Systems coaching operates across a full organisation, or indeed across partnerships or wider systems.
It encompasses team coaching, group coaching and individual coaching, working with groups and teams as the work emerges and is required. It is an extremely dynamic form of coaching, whose core purpose is to enable the whole system to learn about its purpose, its resources and how to align the two.
lifetimeswork has worked in systems coaching especially in the public sector in areas of reform, transformation and 'wicked problems' such as tackling inequality. In each of these, the coaching has involved helping breakthrough old paradigms of organisations, to find new ways of working and bring these to clients, service users, and to whole communities.
Typically there is an overarching coaching contract that sets out the core commission of the coaching work, with outcomes associated. This commission is most often set by the most senior Board operating across the system. Thereafter, coaching can take the form of Team, Group, Individual and whole-system coaching, with each coaching session being individually contracted for as and when is necessary. The onus on the coach is to keep abreast of the overarching movement of the system towards its goals, and enable each part in the system to get a greater sense of the whole, learn what the system needs, and enact change at a localised level to fulfill these needs.
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The emphasis on systems coaching and enablement was vital to the success of the IRF work. The expertise brought to this work by Jenny Campbell and Malcolm Young was both challenging and stretching, and contributed significantly to a growing sense of trust and maturity across the partners involved
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