Introducing One ICF | ICF Coaching in Organizations
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) has taken a bold step forward into the future of coaching. A refreshed brand identity now reflects ICF’s interests in many areas of the coaching industry, represented by six unique family organizations that make the whole or “One” ICF.
First, ICF’s CEO Magdalena Mook introduced the new brand for the entire ICF ecosystem. Then, we interviewed the vice presidents of ICF Professional Coaches, ICF Credentials and Standards, ICF Coach Training, ICF Foundation and ICF Thought Leadership Institute to introduce us to their respective family organizations.
Now, the final installment of the series concludes with the ICF Coaching in Organizations family organization – one of two new additions to the ICF ecosystem. Coaching World interviewed ICF Coaching in Organizations Vice President Renee Robertson to bring you insights and inspiration as ICF forges ahead and empowers the world through coaching.
Q: ICF Coaching in Organizations just launched in January 2020 and is brand new to the ICF ecosystem. Tell us a little bit about why it was established and what purpose it serves for the ICF community.
A: ICF Coaching in Organizations’ purpose is to lead the global advancement of coaching in organizations, transforming the way people and teams work and thrive to achieve results. The organizations that enroll in our membership currently have or are wanting to expand the influence of coaching in their organizations. This could be any type of organization, whether that be a public company, for profit, nonprofit, university or college – anywhere where coaching is being leveraged for any number of things like talent development and business performance.
Over the past few years in collaboration with the Human Capital Institute (HCI), ICF has conducted research on the growth, utilization and application of coaching in organizations. In the 2019 Building Strong Coaching Cultures for the Future, more than half of the responses indicated that coaching was being utilized in leadership development, either as a development opportunity or in performance conversations with employees.
From a personal and ICF perspective, I started developing internal coaching programs in organizations nearly 20 years ago, and it’s incredible to see how the use of coaching has grown.
In the early 2000s, a small group of HR and business leaders, started the internal coaching journey at ICF. There were about a dozen companies that formed the Internal Coaching Committee, which is now known as the Internal Coaching Community of Practice and has representation from several organizations. It’s fantastic to see the growth that has occurred inside organizations that are using coaching.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about coaching culture and specifically what ICF Coaching in Organizations is doing to help bolster that.
A: Let’s start with the definition of culture – the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a social group or in this context, an organization. Now take ICF’s definition of coaching – “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Then, when you think of how the two overlap, you can see how coaching becomes an integral part of shaping an organization’s culture – it becomes a facilitator or an accelerant. In essence, coaching can be a catalyst to developing new ways of thinking, behaving, and ultimately driving performance and results.
More specifically, ICF Coaching in Organizations has been established as a membership association for organizations that find themselves on the journey of embedding coaching into their culture. When an organization joins ICF Coaching in Organizations, they become a Member Organization and can enroll individual employees as Member Representatives within their membership. Those individuals may be HR professionals, they could be internal coaches, organizational development, talent or learning professionals. They could even be IT professionals looking to develop coaching within their piece of the organization.
So, our aim is to develop a community where organizations and their member representatives can form a collaborative community to gather and learn from one another. They can stay up on organizational coaching topics such as the Future of Work or coaching the remote employee. They can learn best practices, receive industry research, and also have the ability to contribute to the future of coaching within organizations.
Q: How do you plan to reach new organizations that maybe haven’t implemented a coaching culture?
A: The new branding and announcement of the new ICF structure is a great start to reach a broad audience. There will be that word of mouth naturally, as well as speaking on different platforms, getting the word out in terms of conferences and venues where these types of organizations show up and learn their best practices.
Also, our board members are representatives of this community. They represent large global organizations that are using coaching in various ways. Our goal is to showcase our organizational members who are doing some really interesting work around their coaching programs.
Q: Tell us about what the new ICF brand identity means for ICF Coaching in Organizations.
A: It’s such an exciting time to be here at ICF and to be a part of this new brand launch. It’s reflective of the transformation that’s happening in the industry and also the transformation that happens through coaching, too, whether that’s at an individual level or an organizational level. And it’s an interesting time for ICF Coaching in Organizations because we are officially opening our doors for business and welcoming organizational members to join us.
Q: Why is this new brand important and how does it reflect ICF’s work in the coaching profession?
A: I think what’s so interesting about our new branding is that it illustrates the broader ecosystem where coaching is showing up and playing a role. It also sets us up to better serve our members, and it allows us to go more deeply into the verticals of our family organizations. It enables us to dig deeper into the work that we’re doing and further advance coaching overall. We know ICF has been a leader in this space for more than 25 years, and it’s been dedicated to holding the highest levels of standards for coaching. This new structure enables us to take a deep dive into specific areas that benefit the industry overall. Whether you’re a professional coach, an organization that uses coaching, a coach training school, or if you’re aiming to earn a credential, continue your credential journey, this new brand sets us up to continue to be best in class, be thought leaders and really lead the charge for coaching as an industry.
Q: Now that ICF Coaching in Organizations has officially opened its doors, tell us about the value proposition for organizations considering a ICF Coaching in Organizations membership?
A: ICF Coaching in Organizations is an organization level membership association dedicated to the advancement of coaching within organizations. When an organization purchases a Coaching in Organizations membership, they can assign “seats” to their member representatives. These seats are typically assigned to CHROs or Heads of Human Resources, Talent Management, Talent Development, Talent Acquisition Heads or Managers, Organizational Development or Effectiveness Heads or Managers and even internal coaches – as they can each find benefit in our being part of our community.
A Coaching in Organization’s membership offers several opportunities for its member representatives – to name a few are access to global networking events with peer groups from around the world, the opportunity to attend a keynote presentation on a thought-provoking topic, or ask questions to a panel of experts or perhaps, be part of a panel as an expert, receive the latest research on a Coaching in Organization’s topic, or contribute to research studies about organizational coaching or culture and coaching. These are just a few of our activities and we are just getting started!
Q: What excites you the most about ICF’s new brand identity?
A: I have been an ICF member for more than 20 years and have been a credential-holder for at least 15 of those years. I’ve watched ICF go through several brand iterations and for me, each time, it evokes a sense of growth and renewal of our commitment to the coaching profession.
A good portion of my life’s work has been dedicated to advocating for coaching applications that drive talent development, organizational change and business results – no matter my role, I’ve always been passionate about the idea of coaching in organizations.
So, I’m delighted that our marketing team chose the purple color scheme for ICF Coaching in Organizations because for me, purple represents that passion for advocating for the use of coaching in organizations.
And for the all the family organizations – the various color schemes help the member distinguish between the family organizations they’re engaging with, and it evokes and inspires some of that emotion about why they’re engaging with them.
Q: What do you hope this renewed visual identity and structure will inspire for ICF coaches and the larger coaching community?
A: My hope is that it inspires and renews ICF’s commitment to each coach’s professional development, to organizations and the future of work. I hope that everyone has their own experience with the new brand, but that they feel the dedication and commitment that ICF has made.
Q: What branding and aesthetic changes do you think the ICF community will be most excited to see?
A: I think they’ll be excited to see the diversity and inclusivity that is expressed through the use of color. If you look at the entire ecosystem, we all have the same brand, but we express our family organizations and their unique focuses through color. I feel that the undertone of that is around community, belonging and inclusiveness – what a wonderful community to be a part of.