29 April 2014
Time really flies : A quarter of the year is already past us: May and spring are (almost) upon us.
Beyond the many personal and professional trips that are punctuating our 2014 harvest, I am increasingly invited to deliver keynote talks to large audiences. On a volunteer basis and sometimes for a fee, numerous professional associations, public and private schools, international and local organizations are inviting me to share my growing systemic coach experience. Often, however, this increasing interest for my work is rather questioning.
Generally for example, I am solicited to present on systemic coaching themes focused either on individual coaching, or on team coaching or again on organizational coaching. But as far as my perception and my work is concerned, these three systemic coaching fields are one and the same. When the actual underlying question that is put to me is how does one do systemic coaching in each of these contexts, my implicit answer is that one simply needs to be a systemic coach. Indeed, by truly adopting a systemic coach posture, the supposedly different behaviors one may have in these apparently distinct contexts simply fold into one unitary coaching presence and one single way of being.
To be sure, even when systemic coaches accompany a single person, they perceive that client as a developing socialized being in constant collaborative interaction with many partners in different collective environments. Systemic coaches then focus their strategy on how their individual clients can improve all of their pertinent interfaces with everyone and within all of their coherent collective environments.
• When coaches implement such an inclusive posture and strategy, how can clients not influence their family equilibrium, their team effectiveness, their organizational results, even when these systems are officially absent from the immediate coaching context.
• When participating in formal three-way and other preparatory, improvised or provoked meetings, how can coaches not challenge each and every person they meet, in order to indirectly awaken collective transformational potentials ? All these people share a common pretext: a coaching process centered on a singled-out member of their system, who nonetheless very intensely participates in their intricately interactive collective environment.
• How indeed can coaching an finite part of a personal or professional whole not concern the evolution of all the other members or systems in their undivided existence?
Consequently for systemic professionals, any coaching work contracted to focus on any single person or singled-out individual can be perceived as a tacit invitation to strategically include unexpected coaching interactions with as many people as possible within the whole client context. To achieve greater results, a coach just needs to accept to dance with the system's complexity. Paradoxically indeed, working with complexity often allows for simpler and much more effective solutions. Singling out or segmenting out individual clients in order to coach just one of them at a time often turns out to be a very simplistic approach. And that generally results in rather complicated and ineffective outcomes.
For a systemic coach, any meeting or any interaction with any non-designated member of a client system is welcomed if not strategically provoked in order to awaken or activate as many unsuspecting and indirect change agents as possible. With each of these supposedly secondary characters in the designated client's universe, one question needs to be put: what strategic action can each person and each team implement to achieve significant change within their organization or collective system? Each and every person a systemic coach meets can then potentially become a significantly responsible actor who can implement strategies towards achieving pertinent collective transformation.
Consequently in systemic coaching, there is no such thing as individual coaching on the one hand, team coaching on the other, and again something else called organizational coaching. Not any more than there exists such distinct fields as executive coaching, life coaching, coaching for expatriates, coaching for CEOs, sales coaching etc. Coaches just simultaneously coach people and their interactive systems.
- When systemic coaches accompany any one individual client or team, they are also present to the fact that they are actively and simultaneously contributing to a collective quest shared by the larger surrounding client organization or system. As well as to the gradual elaboration of an even much larger, global social and political transformation in which many others are also participating.
So whenever systemic coaches are accompanying individual clients or collective endeavors, they are also fully conscious that they are simultaneously participating in an inevitable emerging global, human and social transformation. Through every personal relationship, within every system they accompany, and in a simple and unassuming way, systemic coaches fully put their art, heart and soul at the service of an absolutely inevitable collective transformation. By simultaneously partnering with each individual, team and organizational client, systemic coaches contribute to one single collective quest: the transformation of human society.
Consequently, systemic coaching is not just another original variation or branch in the profession. Nor is it just another gimmick to achieve personal differentiation with a territorial motivation to segment the market. True systemic coaching is nothing else than an existential posture embodied by coaches that espouse a global social and political role and this, no matter the superficial intricacies presented by each local context.
Once more, it is not by pure chance that the coaching profession is born at the turn of the last century, that it surfs on the digital revolution, that it's true meaning rests on a newly emerging form of collaborative intelligence, that it progressively sets the foundations for more respectful, sustainable and peer-driven governance principles. In just a few words, to be an effective coach in this century, it is almost necessary to embody a truly systemic conscience and totally inclusive coaching posture.
Systemic coaching training: some information
In line with the above reflexions, ESG Paris Business School is offering an original MBA for leaders, executives and HRs, specifically focused on how coaching can accompany new emerging forms of organizational governance. It aims to help private and public decision makers anticipate the deeper transformations provoked by the ongoing digital revolution and learn how to implement transitional strategies through systemic individual, team and organizational coaching. I am truly honored and excited to participate in the delivery of this program.
Also, for the last ten years, Metasysteme Coaching has been offering professional training and supervision for systemic coaches and managers. All these trainings and supervisions are validated by the International Coach Federation as ACSTH profesionnal programs. Through these programs, Metasysteme Coaching is gradually developing an international community of competent systemic coaches that will contribute to current and future social and political transformations that are in keeping with the vision presented above.
Our Metasysteme Coaching training programs :
The « Fundamentals of Systemic Coaching » for managers and coaches. I am truly thankful for this training program's growing international success, mainly due to its very performing delegated training structure or architecture. For your multicultural English-speaking friends and network, the next East Europe program will begin in Bucharest September 15 and 16. The same program for Latin America will be in Mexico starting July 21-22. In France and in French, aim for Paris starting September 11-12, and in Spanish and in Madrid (ANSE) also this year-end.
« Systemic Coach Supervision »: For all those who want to develop their European or international coaching frame of reference, a three-day systemic coach supervision marathon is offered in English and in Bucharest, November 13-14-15, 2014. The expected Mexico program is begining September 31-Oct 1. The French Paris monthly supervision cycle starting september is almost full, and registration for the Lyon cycle is open for a program also starting September. If you are not already trained as a systemic coach, these supervision programs offer a truly exciting collective learning environment. This individual and team-coaching supervision process inevitably surprises newcomers by its capacity to accelerate each participant's potential to develop as a very performing systemic coach.
This coming June 2 & 3, in English and in Bucharest, we are offering our renowned "Risk Management" (Cubes workshop) for managers and coaches. This extraordinarily creative workshop is one of Metasysteme Coaching's favorites. It is a most creatively practical systemic learning experience. Also in English, our "Delegated Processes" workshop focused on basic team and organizational coaching methods will be offered in Mexico City July 23-24. In French, the two-day « Breakthrough » workshop for managers and coaches searching for a powerful process to allow individuals, teams and organizations implement exponential boosts in their operational results. It will be delivered in French June 26 et 27 in Paris. and in English, in Mexico City on August 27 and 28.
Did you say digital?
I've recently experimented publishing a first English digital book on Kindle: Masterful systemic coaching. The text is an adapted translation of my last French book : "L'art Véritable du Maître Coach" published in 2011. It has also been translated into Romanian and published in 2012: Adevarata Arta aUnui Master Coach. The Kindle version has a different annex, however, offering a range of specific systemic coaching tools. Also, the Kindle system is open, so I can gradually improve and correct the text as time goes by, and these changes will be immediately available to readers who have bought it. That is much more interactive. I also have another book in preparation, so this is hopefully the first of a long line of resources for readers. Don't hesitate to inform your English-speaking friends and larger network.
As for our presence on internet: We have posted over a dozen of short and longer interviews and films as resources on YouTube, in English and in French. These provide insights into key systemic coaching definitions, strategies and tools and related subjects. On Linkedin, and especially on Facebook, I also regularly post other news and resources, and follow up on the growing Metasysteme network, of which I hope you are an active part. So please connect by looking for "Alain Cardon MCC" or "Metasysteme Coaching". Of course, you can also consult the Métasystème Coaching websites in French, English, Spanish, (ANSE) Romanian, and even in Mandarin (note that the two latter ones display texts that are getting somewhat outdated). And I truly hope you will enjoy the Articles sections and other links towards our coaching programs for organizations.
As for us:
The above photograph may show it: both our health and physical condition are much better than in the past years. Even if it is not slowing much, we are settling into our increasingly international rythm, while preserving our needed personal resourcing space. Our two home bases in Paris and Bucharest are now well established. This allows us to be in a very good position to seize all other emerging opportunities, taking us either towards larger horizons or to explore other more internal dimensions.
And as always, we both thank you for your presence at our sides and for your continuous support in the course of our shared quest.
Alain et Geanina