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ARTICLE: Coaching for the 21st Century

Updated: May 1, 2020 image

Korn Ferry Institute's latest study of 200 coaches, Coaching for the 21st Century (PDF), illustrates that as the speed, uncertainty, and complexity of global markets intensify, leaders must learn to keep their businesses on track amidst adaptive changes.

In such challenging and opportune times, experienced coaches are of tremendous support to these executives; however they must adapt in parallel with business evolution, expanding their toolkits to address not only individuals, but systems and teams.

Coaches must be agile and cultivate their own capacity to embrace uncertainty, move forward through complexity, and position their client for discoveries, smart implementation, and ongoing development.

Businesses expect their senior leaders to activate strategy by motivating and managing their teams, peers and partners to achieve results through others rather than through individual contributions. "Self awareness", a topic identified in research as crucial yet frequently a derailer, ranks high for all leaders, and is at the top of the list for C Suite leaders.

BSLA graphic

21st Century Leaders will need to go beyond their individual skills to build relationships, team effectiveness and transparency that enable shared ownership and accountability. The two top coaching needs for those working in complex and uncertain environments include:

1) the ability to work more collectively and collaboratively;

2) the ability to manage highly distributed networks of knowledge and teams.

Specifically, coaches identified these approaches and skills as valuable for supporting clients in building more effective integration, collaboration, and communication across networks and systems: systems thinking, the ability to toggle between the big picture and pragmatic realities of how things work on the ground, and improved mastery of technologies that enable real-time coaching in a fast paced world.

Korn Ferry's latest report explores:

• Why coaching is still one of the fastest ways to get executives up to speed

• The current coaching themes from mid level leader to the C Suites

• Changes in business climate that impact leadership development

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