Announcing dates of the USA Systemic Team Coaching Diploma programme 2019/20

Now, more than ever, organizations are aiming to encourage the best performance from their teams – and enable them to respond effectively to unprecedented change and uncertainty. Systemic Team Coaching provides a richer, more sustainable transformation than other forms of team or group development.

Peter Hawkins and Renewal Associates are delighted to announce that they are bringing the Systemic Team Coaching Diploma program to the USA for the first time with dates for Modules 2-5 of the programme in New York. (You will need to have completed Module 1 before commencing the rest of the Diploma.)

  • Module 2 – 1-3 July 2019
  • Module 3 – 2-4 October 2019
  • Module 4 – 16-18 January 2020
  • Module 5 – 15-16 April 2020

The Systemic Team Coaching Diploma enables experienced coaches, organizational development consultants and team leaders to become among the most highly qualified team coaches in the field today.

One of the longest-running team coaching programmes available which has been running since 2010 in Europe and since 2016 in South Africa, this ICF-accredited team coaching training deepens your practice by supporting you in applying your learning to a live client assignment. It offers the expertise of highly experienced coaching faculty and support of an experienced, international learning community. The faculty includes leading systemic team coaches from USA, Canada and the UK.

Please see the flyer for information including dates and booking. A more detailed brochure including module content is also available.

For any questions, please contact fiona.benton@renewalassociates.co.uk

“Systemic Team Coaching is an ongoing partnership and the Masters-level Diploma helps you learn how to partner with a complex team during a coaching programme lasting 9-12 months. It provides a very rich action learning cycle with theories, practice with your learning group, applying your learning to your client project, as well as review, reflection and supervision from expert faculty.”
Professor Peter Hawkins, Chairman Renewal Associates and AoEC Honorary President

 

          



13 Crackers for Systemic Team Coaches

Introduction

Several of the systemic team coaches I supervise and work with in America, said that one of the most powerful parts of the training they had done with me was the memorable one-liners that I ‘peppered’ throughout the training.  They suggested I brought these together in a collection.  Another member of the supervision group suggested I asked my supervisees to all send in ‘the one-liners they found most helpful’.  From this I have developed the following.  I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful.  Imagine each as a message in a Christmas cracker, which for those of you not familiar with this tradition, is something that you pull open at the dinner table and inside is a small present, paper hat and a joke or motto.

  1. The team does not create the purpose, the purpose creates the team
    The best research on effective teams, shows that the most important element is having a joint team purpose that everyone recognises and can only be achieved through the team collaborating effectively together. I used to work hard helping teams create their purpose, now I realise I have to help them discover their purpose – as the purpose is already out there in their business eco-system and in the future needs of their stakeholders, waiting for the team to respond.
  2. Explore ‘future back’ and ‘outside in’
    To discover the evolving team purpose, we need to explore with the team both what the future is going to require them to step up to and what their key stakeholders are requiring now and in the future.
  3. Life sets the agenda
    Traditionally coaching emphasises being on the client’s agenda. Systemic coaching proposes that we should be neither on the client’s or the coach’s agenda but focusing on what life is requiring both parties to work on together.
  4. Never know better, never know first
    Traditional coaching also talks about leaving our experience outside the door, but I argue the clients need all of us to be engaging with their issues, but we should never know better and never know first, but once we have enabled their creative thinking, we should bring our own thinking alongside, dialogically creating new thinking, neither they or we had previously thought.
  5. Don’t tell, don’t ask: Frame the challenge, orchestrate the response
    Both Leaders and coaches, often switch between a directive ‘telling’ style and an eliciting ‘asking’ style. Team Coaches whether they be leaders coaching their own team, or external team coaches, help frame the collective challenge and then orchestrate and enable the team to respond creatively and collaboratively.
  6. Destination precedes design
    Before you can design the orchestrating and enabling process, you need to know where you and the team need to arrive by the end of the journey. Without knowing the possible destination(s) you cannot chose what vehicles you will need to get there.
  7. Start every session with purpose and outcome of this session.
    Every coaching session needs to start with some contracting to discover the joint purpose of the meeting and to explore what we need to collectively achieve together by the end.
  8. Quickly get the team on the stage with you as the animator in the wings
    neither you or them in the audience
    Team coaches can fall into the trap of creating a new hub and spoke configuration, with themselves on stage. A good Systemic Team Coach quickly gets the team actively engaged doing the work, but then stays alongside them supporting, challenging, nudging, enabling the best work possible. As part of this the coach needs to get the team to talk to each other directly and not via the coach.
  9. Coach the connections (internally and externally) not the individuals in front of the team
    Avoid coaching or commenting on individuals in front of the team, rather focus on the connection between team members and between the whole team and their stakeholders.
  10. Locate the conflict or problem in a connection/relationship not in a person or part of the system
    The first rule of conflict is to locate the issue in a connection not in a person or part of the system
  11. No such thing as an impossible boss, difficult team member, un-coachable team, just a mode of engagement we have not yet found.
    I often say this may not be true, but it is a great way to start every day, for it interrupts the ‘blame game’ where we and teams locate the problem in someone else or another part of the system. It encourages everyone to bring it back to what it is I and we can do?
  12. Design and prepare for every session but when you start be unattached to your plans.
    They say you can judge a good film by how much is left behind on the cutting room floor. Good team coaching is similar.  The preparation is important for the coach to be able to hold in mind all the many levels of the system and possible ways of approaching the team’s challenges, but when the session starts one needs to be open to what emerges in the team and between you and the team.
  13. Have fun, be creative and partner with ruthless compassion
    Team coaching is at its best when the team and the coach are enjoying it, but also when both know they are stepping up to the challenges life is presenting, and they are creating value for others as well as themselves.

 

Peter Hawkins December 2018 

Happy Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice, Dōngzhì Festival, Yuletide, Saturnalia, or December holidays.

 

I will be running Systemic Team Coaching 3-day intensives in 2019 in New York, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo, Lisbon, Johannesburg, London, Montreal, Vancouver Island, Bucharest.  www.renewalassociates.co.uk. and www.aoec.com.



Partnerships are not created by partners: from bartering to partnering

Too many people think in terms of trade-offs that if you do something which is good for you, then it must be bad for someone else. That’s not right and it comes from old thinking about the way the world works…We have to snap out of that old thinking and move to a new model.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever

Many partnerships, from marriages to business mergers and from professional partnership organisations to public service organisations partnering to provide joint ‘leadership of a place’ start with good intent but descend into ‘trade-offs’ and transactional bartering of what each partner needs from the other.  In this short blog I explore how all forms of partnership need a purpose greater than the parts as well as processes for regularly renewing the synergy of the partnership.

Whether in business or in marriages, founding partners often think they are the ones who have created the partnership, but for the partnership to begin and be successful, a third vital element beyond the partners is even more important in its formation.

This third element is a collective purpose. It is the answer to the questions:

  • “What can we do together through collaboration that we cannot achieve by working in parallel?”
  • “Who and what does our partnership serve?”

Despite the growth of partnerships in all sectors of the economy, there has been very limited research on how to create effective partnerships that realize potential synergies and little development in how to effectively coach partnerships. Increasingly my colleagues and I have been applying the ‘five-disciplines’ model (Hawkins; 2011, 2014, 2017) to coaching partnerships both in how they form and develop as well as how they resolve conflict.

Commissioning

Many partnerships fail to adequately define the core mission that the partnership is there to serve or to create.  Ismail (2014) redefines the mission as the partnership’s ‘Massive Transformational Purpose’ – the endeavour that creates great beneficial impact for all the partnership’s stakeholders at the same time as transforming the partners and their ways of relating to others.  This creates the galvanising force and collective buy-in that gives a partnership its momentum.  It also needs to be a strong enough motivator to keep the partners fully engaged and committed, even when an avalanche of urgent issues tempts them away or when the dynamics of the partnership become tough.   The commission or collective purpose of a partnership does not usually come from further up the hierarchy but from a massive challenge in the wider eco-system that requires multi-organizational collaboration.

The collective purpose that is formed by a partnership in response to this challenge needs to be one that:

  • Is only achieved by working together and not by partners working separately or in parallel.
  • All partners recognise and define in an aligned way.
  • All partners are committed to and will prioritise over ‘business as usual’ items within their own organization.

Clarifying

Too often partnerships (including marriages) start in a contractual way with each partner saying what they want from the partnership.  This creates a negotiated transaction between the parties.  For a partnership to be transformational the partners need to develop their ‘future-back’ and ‘outside-in’ strategy – addressing questions such as:

  • Who and what does our partnership serve?
  • What can we achieve together that we cannot achieve apart?
  • What massive transformational purpose can we pursue together?
  • How will we know the partnership is successful?
  • What criteria will we use to evaluate our collective success?

Too many partnerships start their thinking from inputs into outputs. Instead they need to try working backwards along the continuum from ‘value-creation’ to outcomes by agreeing the necessary outputs they need to collectively deliver and the inputs or resources which are required to achieve this.

A partnership needs to clarify how this strategy can be developed into agreed strategic objectives with action plans and measurable targets, and clear roles and responsibilities

Co-creating

Inter-group dynamics are not only critical internally within organizations but also between multiple organizations that constitute partnerships. Increasingly organizations have a wide and diverse number of often quite complex partnerships with other organizations. One large drinks company I worked with was using competitors as bottlers in one part of the world, distributors in another and as a joint venture partner in a third area. Elsewhere they competed fiercely for market share. This required a sophisticated and mature way of managing partnerships.

In the public sector where independent services are expected to deliver more at higher quality but with less finance and resources, they are finding they need to work closely in partnership with other agencies to create savings, remove duplication of effort and create synergies in delivery of service.

There has also been a growing recognition of the importance of public sector organizations working together to deliver ‘leadership of place’. The UK’s public sector focussed Leadership Centre writes:

A sustained period of constrained public finances means we need to look beyond any single organization’s resources for solving problems. And the nature of the major challenges we face means they cannot be met by one agency alone. Our focus has rightly shifted away from organizational structures towards people and places, so across the public sector we need to learn to work together in different ways. And we need to do it fast and wide. (www.leadershipcentre.org.uk)

A partnership needs to develop effective ways of co-creating in which meetings do not become dominated by bureaucratic governance but generatively create new forms of response that their individual partner organizations could not have arrived at by themselves.

Connecting

Successful partnerships always focus on who they are there to serve rather than just on each other.  A coach needs to help a partnership to keep focused on this.

A partnership needs to be connecting with all its stakeholders in a way that represents all the constituent members, not just their own organization.  Effective partnerships I have coached have moved beyond ‘representative’ members going back to their ‘constituencies’ to brief ‘their people’ and consult.  They have developed joint statements from all members and new forms of engagement which entail joint cross-organizational presentations, communication and engagement events to the various organizations and the wider stakeholders.

Core learning

Finally, a partnership needs to have regular reviews, attending to its own core learning and performance improvement.  Many of the approaches for carrying out board reviews can be adapted to coaching the core learning of a partnership.  Other embedded core learning methods can also be built into partnership meetings, such as ‘time-outs’, process checks, process consultancy.

What is important however, is that the core learning is not just for a partnership’s internal representational members, but must be generated in dynamic co-creation between all its constituent member organizations, as well as all the customers/clients and other stakeholders for whom it is there to create value for.

A few years back I was privileged to be the celebrant for a couple who wanted to have a spiritual wedding that would speak to the many different beliefs of their community.  They came on retreat to design their unique ceremony.  I posed them two questions to explore before we were ready to co-design the ceremony:

“Who and what does your relationship serve?”

“What is the truth your relationship needs to express to your wider community?”

These questions took them into a rich collaborative inquiry, by the end of the week they and their relationship were ready to co-create a truly moving wedding ceremony.

These two questions are core to all partnerships – whether marriages, joint ventures, mergers or joint leadership of place.  As my wife and I reach our fortieth wedding anniversary, I realise that we need to ask ourselves these questions not only at the beginning of our partnership but at regular intervals to redefine and determine the changing purpose of the partnership and the ever changing needs of those our relationship serves.

 

Professor Peter Hawkins

This article is based on some of my new writing in the third edition of Leadership Team Coaching:  Developing Collective Transformational Leadership which will be published by Kogan Page in July 2017 (already on Amazon for pre-order)