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Coaching: the emerging centrepiece of Leadership Development strategies.

Coaching: the emerging centrepiece of Leadership Development strategies.

Is coaching now central to Leadership Development strategies? 

Having only just put away the (empty) champagne bottles that marked the celebration of our ICF accreditation in April, we had due cause to break a few fresh bottles open again last month.

The reason? We were selected to join an elite pool of coaches supporting a major Leadership Development programme being implemented across one of the world's largest R&D organisations working at the cutting edge of science.

To see MB Leadership's name alongside a strong contingent of professional coaches from one of the UK's leading business schools and other highly experienced coaches who are experts in their field is another true "woohoo!" moment for us.

The really interesting thing about this though, is that it takes us into the heart of the radical talent retention and leadership development strategies that are sweeping across this and other industries rushing to address this looming crisis in high performance leadership.



"...retention is a major talent management issue today, and AMA believes that coaching can play a positive role to assure retention of high performance leadership..."  

Edward T. Reilly, President and CEO,

American Management Association (AMA) 

A few years back, the AMA published 'Coaching: a Global Study of Successful Practices'. This established leader in professional development commissioned a global survey of coaching practices across a diverse range of organisations in the US, EU and Middle East and the findings were a call to arms to Corporate clients and coaches alike to raise professional standards.

No aspect of the process escaped scrutiny and the scope for improvement was breath-taking.

With a third of coach/client relationships deemed to have failed with often catastrophic effects on the client, the need for greater rigour and transparency in how coaches are selected, contracted and made subject to performance measures was compelling. This view was later reinforced by the in-depth research report into the Executive Coaching Industry conducted by another US organisation, Coachsource, in 2013.

In just a few short years, the coaching profession has cast off its image as a problem-solving, rather subversive dark art for the few. Instead it has succeeded in revealing - in all its glory - the powerful potential of coaching to fast-track Leadership Development for the many talented people within an organisation.

"This study confirms that external and internal coaches have a role in executive leadership development that improves organisations' productivity and profitability."


The authors of the AMA report in 2008, The Institute for Corporate Productivity, predicted these trends:

a) The need for Coaches will contine to grow

b) Executive coaching will mature as an industry

c) More barriers to entry will emerge (differentiating the professional coach from the untrained)

d) Professional coaches will market to more mid-level solutions

e) Peer and internal coaching will become more established and well managed

f) Matchmaking will become essential to successful coaching

g) Establishing metrics will become a standard practice.


It is clear that our new client is embracing coaching as a core tenet of their Leadership Development programme. The rigour of their approach to selecting and briefing the coaches they have appointed to their pool and their relationship-based approach is indicative of the future that the AMA and Coachsource predicted.

To say that we are bursting with pride at being a partner within this exciting, world-class initiative is a wicked understatement. And on that note, I think we might just have to say "woohoo" one last time and break open another bottle of champagne...






This article has been written by:

Annalise Cowley, Director of Mansfield Buchanan

An experienced Consultant and certified Coach, Annalise works exclusively with LifeSciences clients worldwide to help Leaders and their teams to use insight into what people need and value to deliver the business results that matter.


MB Leadership
Corby Enterprise Centre, Northamptonshire NN17 5EU
United Kingdom

t: +44 (0) 1536 560358
m: +44 (0) 7966 771054



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