Coaching Wednesdays: Coaching Tech – what’s the gen?

We know that there is an undeniable shift in the way that organisations are developing staff and this means inevitably big changes ahead for L&D departments. We hear about moving from a learning culture to a coaching culture with some people asking if L&D departments are under threat entirely? As we move towards a self-directed way of working and developing, where employees are encouraged to ask questions, develop a mindset and behaviours that support well-being and purpose, it sounds like great news for those us who are coaches and/or delivering leadership and management training that focuses on creating a coaching culture! However, I am also hearing hearing a lot about Coaching Technology – so what is this all about?

In this digital age, we have access to great learning all around us and more people are looking to the Charles Jenning’s 70:20:10 approach to learning: 3 types of experience to learn, using a 70-20-10 ratio: challenging assignments (70%), developmental relationships (20%), and coursework and training (10%). (Remembering that these are principles rather than strict rules in terms of %).This means that coaching falls into the 20% sector and by its very nature, coaching must be coachee centric. By creating a coaching culture, we develop a more agile workforce who become a community of people supporting and developing each other, which results in a blended coaching approach with many people participating in self-directed coaching (where individuals identify development needs, plan development activities and support personal problem-solving). But how to embed this in your organisation?

This is where the technology starts to come in, with a range of providers offering a platform that enables organisations to do this. The platforms have libraries of e-learning modules designed to give everyone the capability to coach, a psychometrics facility to help employees raise their self-awareness with a profile of their mindset, the facility to record ongoing 360 feedback and performance trackers. You can build employee engagement surveys and gain organisational insights, giving the board that all important data which is what ensures their buy-in and commitment to the process.

But what of the coaching? Are tools like this really helpful – they look very impressive – but when does the 1:1 human element come into the process? We use our 3D virtual world for coaching, and these immersive technologies offer a real break-through for dispersed work-forces as they combine technology with the experience of co-presence.

But can time be made in organisations for everyone to become a coach and in reality, will all staff engage with the process when they have their own jobs to get on with? What is happening in your organisation?

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