ICF Converge: Part of a Learning Strategy for You - International Coaching Federation
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ICF Converge: Part of a Learning Strategy for You

Posted by Sara Smith, MCC | September 17, 2019 | Comments (1)

You’ve been hearing a consistent drum beat to join our coaching colleagues at ICF Converge in Prague, Czech Republic, October 23-26. I want to talk with you about that, but first, did you know ICF Converge is part of a larger strategy of development opportunities for ICF coaches around the globe? It is. In fact, part of the value of your ICF Membership is access to developmental opportunities year-round designed to help you be more successful—wherever you are in your coaching career.

The ICF Learning Strategy

The ICF Learning Strategy commitment is to make a broad variety of events in different venues available to you and that the events offer valuable content and are affordable. The strategy includes in-person gatherings, virtual/live events and recorded information. Different approaches to suit different learning styles, levels of understanding and price points.

The strategy spans annual boundaries to ensure variety and respond to evolving needs. A foundational element of the learning strategy is the ICF Communities of Practice (CPs). Ten CPs provide virtual venues for coaches with shared interests—like ethics, internal coaching or science.  The purpose of the CPs is to expand members’ professional understanding and knowledge. They offer programs to share emerging trends, best practices, tools and tips. Each meets quarterly at no charge to ICF Members. They are great places to earn CCE units.  Recordings of past meeting can now be found in the Learning Portal.  In fact, the Learning Portal is another part of the strategy to make opportunities easier to find—it houses different developmental and learning resources in one place.

ICF Converge, our in-person, global event, is held every other year. So in non-Converge years, we plan global virtual events like the ICF Business Development Series (BDS) and ICF Advance. BDS is designed to help build, sustain and grow your coaching practice. ICF Advance brings the latest research and ideas to broaden our perspectives in areas like coaching science. Advance helps coaches connect theory to practice. Both BDS and Advance are recorded and made available afterwards as OnDemand packages in the Learning Portal, continuing our strategy to deliver value to you at all times. ICF also partners with regions and chapters around the world in those non-Converge years for events that are varied, relevant and affordable.

And here we are—the year of ICF Converge, our premiere in-person, global gathering! Converge is designed to push the boundaries of knowledge and ideas. At the same time, it will offer actionable tips for business creation and coaching skills. Converge is designed to bring value to every coach, manager/leader and HR professional who wants to expand their knowledge of coaching—no matter where they are in their journey.

Over 100 reviewers—mostly ICF coaches from all over the world, with all levels of experience—sorted through hundreds of submissions to select the 84 sessions that are scheduled.

Eighty-four sessions are more than one person can take in, but Converge isn’t designed for just one person. The schedule offers a wide range of topics to attract a broad audience. To help you decide among them, sessions are arranged in four content groups:

  • Practice – Skill strengthening in team and group coaching, strengthening use of the competencies, etc.
  • Build – Ways to expand and diversify your business, with topics like ROI, the impact of technology, how to sell the value of coaching and how to build a coaching culture
  • Science – Exploration of practices and theories that are having a growing impact on coaching, including neuroscience, emotional intelligence, systemic coaching and positive psychology
  • Discover –A look at the future of coaching through topics like social change, new technologies, regulation, artificial intelligence, diversity and leadership

Converge is designed to be highly experiential—and FUN (!) because that’s how adults learn. A wise man once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”  That’s the philosophy of Converge: To get participants involved in the experience—an experience where you can earn up to 14.5 CCE units. Choose one content group or dabble in all four. It’s your call.

Converge 2019 offers sessions to keep us at the top of our games with offerings designed to help us be more skilled, relevant and successful professionals. Is it worth your investment? Yes! It will be an exceptional learning, networking and personal growth experience. And if you need, you can pay for Converge in installments. We’ve also negotiated travel discounts through our partnerships for air travel and lodging.

ICF is committed to bringing value to you, our members. The learning strategy is one part of that commitment. We strive to offer cutting-edge information and new ways of thinking, while always offering CCE units with a price advantage through your membership. Converge is an important part of that strategy.  If you haven’t committed, now is a good time! To register or learn more, go to www.icfconverge.com.

I hope to see you there.

Sara Smith, MCC

Sara Smith, MCC, is the 2020 Chair of the ICF Professional Coaches Global Board. She is principal of Smith Leadership. Sara worked for IBM for nearly 30 years and finished her tenure as an internal executive coach and transformational consultant. Since leaving IBM, Sara continues to work with business executives, athletic coaches and university executives. Sara has been involved with ICF since 2001, where her passion for the profession led to her to become an active member in ICF North Texas. She was part of the chapter leadership team for eight years. She founded the ICF Southeast Region and served as its co-leader for six years. Sara has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Texas Christian University and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and a Master Certified Coach (MCC).

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (1)

  1. marcia@outsmartyourbrain.com says:

    How exciting that hundreds of people submit to present for Converge. It shows how much we love to share with each other in our coaching community. Thank you for the great recap of learning resources, Sara. I will keep this page to share with my coaching students around the world.

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