Three year anniversary of “Preparing For A World That Doesn’t Exist-Yet

We are approaching the three year anniversary of the release of our book “Preparing For A World That Doesn’t Exist-Yet” and Rick and I are grateful for everyone who purchased a copy. We are in our 4th printing and it has been a fantastic experience all around…I have learned so much from our readers and the dialog that followed. Thank you!

One of my favorite aspects of the book has been the opportunity to coach emerging and established leaders and even other coaches about the difference between transformational and traditional coaching.

Most people are familiar with the traditional model of coaching-which focuses on setting and achieving goals, developing new habits and skills as well as holding accountability for follow through. The traditional model is mostly about “Doing”. Individual transformational coaching is different-the main focus on the “Being” of the person. Transformational coaching usually focuses on the Being and challenging the beliefs that get in the way of developing “who” you are. It also can include clearing thoughts and feelings that are not serving or hurting the person.

Transformational coaching for communities and organizations adds a new way of seeing the future and understanding the fundamental shifts from an Industrial Age society and economy to an organic, interconnected society and economy in constant change. It is important to be able to help leaders and citizens unlearn traditional concepts and methods that are no longer appropriate, no matter how difficult it is to move beyond cherished beliefs.

Transformational coaching focuses on the individual and his/her worth and potential. It does not dwell in the past. The movement is forward and connects with one’s truth/s, purpose and eventually adopting a higher purpose that serves humankind.

The same idea is true when the “transformational coach” looks to help communities or organizations prepare for a different kind of future-one that is in constant change, is interconnected and interdependent, and increasingly complex. Transformational coaches help individuals develop a sense of self, an understanding of the paradigm shifts in society, and the skills that are able to develop “capacities for transformation” in other individuals, organizations and communities.

Traditional Coaching and Training is necessary in Transformational Coaching

All this said, traditional coaching and training is necessary in transformational coaching. There are skills that master capacity coaches need in order to be a good coach. Some skills can be introduced directly, and therefore can be considered training. Other aptitudes employ the skill of “indirectness” and need to be introduced in different ways to create an environment where any individual will to his/her own understanding of the need for transformational change.

Some direct training skills are measurable. Most of the time, training is based on identifying tangible, concrete outcomes that can be evaluated easily and with quantifiable metrics. Such training outcomes could be:

  1. Can you identify an emerging weak signal or trend?
  2. What methods can be used so that a person can come to understand a problem that already exists?
  3. What steps can be taken to have individuals learn the principles of complex adaptive systems?

In each case, the outcome is defined, and the person can be evaluated in a traditional way.

Transformational Habits Become Automatic

Both training and coaching need to be employed in developing transformational thinking and processes, but a clear distinction needs to be drawn between training versus coaching. Basically, training develops the transformational ability, coaching engages and hones this ability. As with any new behavior, it can take at least 6-18 months for transformational habits to become automatic-it takes practice with those who are interested in learning to think in open-ended ways and who can be creative and flexible in responding to an unknown future with unpredictable variables.

Transformational tools have been and are continuing to be used in personal and community development. Transformational capacities and skills are pulling our thinking and leadership into the 21st century and getting more and more people involved in the adventure and excitement of creating and being part of a positive future change.

Does this make sense to you?