All too often career coaching is only accessible to the senior members of an organisation, but it can benefit anyone, no matter your seniority or trajectory within your organisation.
In this episode we’re joined by Philippa Kindon who, in addition to her role in business development for a healthcare software company, is also a coach within her organisation.
She explains the benefits of having people trained to be coaches within the workplace and how we can make career coaching available to everyone.
Philippa Kindon of Mayden
LinkedIn: Philippa Kindon and Mayden
Philippa is a coach and programme manager at Mayden and is passionate about making sure that people are at the heart of decision making in business.
Following her PhD from the School of Management at the University of Bath, where she studied the role of identity in the workplace, she forged a 10-year career in business support, working mainly with SMEs on publicly funded initiatives to support growth and innovation. After a 2.5-year stint at the sharper end – running a business centre for creative and tech businesses – she moved to Mayden, a health tech company in South West England.
Philippa is also a certified coach, supporting individuals and teams at Mayden to navigate their journey of self-management.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- [1:48] Who Mayden are and the type of business development Philippa does for them.
- [3:46] How successful Mayden’s internal coaching programme has been.
- [5:37] The pros and cons of using scrum methodology.
- [7:04] The type of structural changes an organisation goes through as it grows.
- [10:35] The advantages of having self-managing teams rather than a hierarchical structure.
- [14:49] Why coaching is more beneficial than mentoring or consulting.
- [17:24] The International Coaching Federation and the rise of internal coaching.
- [18:53] Benefits of using internal or external coaches.
- [23:17] What motivated Philippa to sign up as a coach, and how others responded to the opportunity to be trained as a coach.
- [25:28] How coaching differs from what most people expect.
- [27:09] What it’s like being an internal coach.
- [29:12] How you manage your time working as an internal coach on top of your regular job.
- [32:25] The results you can expect from an internal coaching programme.
- [33:18] How to measure the success of an internal coaching programme.
- [34:50] The difficulties of being an internal coach.
- [37:23] How people can introduce an internal coaching programme within their organisation.
- [40:08] The key to a successful internal coaching programme.
- [42:06] Where you can find out if coaching is right for you.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase. This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.
To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.
Episode 119: Getting coached at work - with Philippa Kindon of Mayden
Jeremy Cline 0:00
Do you see career coaching as something that only high performers get? The sort of thing that's only made available to people who are expected to move into senior management positions. Or is career coaching something that can benefit anybody who wants it, no matter what your level of seniority, no matter what your trajectory is in your organisation? If you think career coaching should be made available to everyone, and you'd like to find out how you can make that happen, then this is the episode you need to listen to. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.
Jeremy Cline 0:46
Hello, and welcome to Change Work Life, where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. Regular listeners will know I'm a big fan of coaching in general, and especially, when it comes to your career. I've been coached myself, and it's been an incredibly valuable experience, which I might talk about more on the podcast in the future. Now, you might think of being coached as something you do in your own time outside of your place of work. But what if coaching was offered at work, and the coaches were your colleagues? In fact, what if your workplace wanted you to train to be a coach yourself? That's exactly what my guest this week has done. Philippa Kindon works in business development for a healthcare software company. And she is also a coach within her organisation. Philippa also holds a PhD in identity in the workplace. Philippa, welcome to the podcast.
Philippa Kindon 1:35
Thanks very much, Jeremy.
Jeremy Cline 1:36
So, Philippa, can you start by telling us a bit more about the organisation you work for, and this dual role you have in both business development and as an internal coach?
Philippa Kindon 1:46
Will do, thanks very much. So, as you say, we're a health tech company, we're based in the Southwest in Bath, we've got about 100 employees now. I think it might have just tipped over through recent recruitment. And the company itself has actually been running for about 20-21 years, and I've worked for them for nearly five years. It's an owner-managed business. So, the founding director is still very much involved in the day-to-day. And yeah, it's a super, super organisation, very proud to work for it.
Jeremy Cline 2:22
And what's your role, what does business development mean for you?
Philippa Kindon 2:32
The role I undertake, as you say, it's in a business development capacity, I am very lucky to get involved in lots of different aspects of that, but most recently, in what we call market discovery. So, we've identified that actually, it's time for us to diversify and grow into new markets, both at home and abroad. So, the role I've most recently been fulfilling is in identifying what some of those potential opportunities could be. And then, previously to that, and that's sort of part of my role that's ongoing, we call it programme management, and it can basically be any particular area of the business that needs some project support, that's varied over the years, both internal and external, sort of facing opportunities there that I've fulfilled in the business.
Jeremy Cline 3:31
Cool. Well, certainly sounds like it gets you busy. So, the internal coaching programme, how long has that been a feature in your company?
Philippa Kindon 3:41
That's a really good question. So, when I first joined the company, nearly five years ago, they were just beginning to roll it out across the whole business, but it had actually been ongoing among the software developers. So, our organisation had adopted a particular framework called Agile within the Scrum methodology, which I can go into a little bit more, if helpful, but essentially, the software developers had been rolling out a coaching programme, probably for about seven or eight years from now. And then as I say, about five years ago, the organisation realised that it had been going so well within the software development teams, that they decided it would be a good idea to roll that out to the whole business. And it came hand in hand with rolling out self-managing teams to the rest of the business as well, because what they essentially realised is that, whilst people can be very enthusiastic about self-managing, and flatter structure, which again, I can speak in a bit more detail about, there are certain things that can be missing, if you don't have that traditional sort of hierarchy and line manager, some of the roles and functions that the line manager plays can be quite coaching, quite coaching like, and so they decided it was time to have a more formal coaching programme within the organisation.
Jeremy Cline 5:23
So, the Agile Scrum, which I've kind of heard of, but didn't really know what it's about, is that kind of similar to this idea of a flat structure, is it related, or am I kind of off on the wrong tangent there?
Philippa Kindon 5:35
No, it is related. It is about teams being autonomous and accountable to one another, and to committing to the work that they're doing in such a way that you take on the work that you know you can fulfil and achieve in a given timeframe. And in our organisation, that given timeframe is two weeks, and they're called Sprints. And so, the autonomous Scrum team essentially commit to the work they're going to do in a given two-week period, and then that's their commitment to one another and to the organisation. So, it does go very much hand in hand with self-managing teams. The Agile and Scrum is a huge, huge area of sort of project management. It's an incredible alternative to things like Waterfall project management, you know, I certainly wouldn't say I'm an expert in it in any shape or form, but if it's something you want to know a bit more about, I can definitely put you in touch with some people who can talk with you at great length about, yeah, some of the pros and cons of working in an Agile way.
Jeremy Cline 6:49
So, the flat structure, more generally in your organisation, so what did it look like before? What does it look like now? And what was the motivation for the change?
Philippa Kindon 7:02
Oh, right, okay. It's grown, so the organisation has grown quite typically for a small business, over several years, quite organic growth, and when the organisation reached about sort of 20 to 30 employees, the traditional route started to be followed in terms of implementing middle managers. So, you know, it started literally as a sort of a three-person organisation, and it grown very slowly, very organically, and had a great sort of family feel to it. And then, as it got bigger, that sort of pushed for adding bureaucracy, adding lines of management, adding sort of command and control. That push was there. But the founding director who has some really interesting sort of values, and an ethos, and a desire to run businesses in a different way, was feeling increasingly uncomfortable about this sort of implementation of middle managers. And what they were also finding was that the software development teams, who had implemented the Agile and the Scrum methodology, were absolutely flying, you know, they were really enjoying their work, they've made some great improvements over releasing their work to the end customer. And through a very interesting conversation between the founding director and one of the other directors at the time, they realised that they had quite a lot in common about wanting to run a business in a different way, really not wanting to go down that traditional, hierarchical sort of pyramid, hierarchical route. And one of the key books or, you know, motivations for their way of thinking is a book called Maverick. Now, this book called Maverick, it's by a chap called Ricardo Semler, and it has been around for years, and one of our directors had been to a talk by Ricardo Semler when she was a management trainee in the NHS. And essentially, this book is about an organisation's journey into self-managing. And she thought herself at the time, this is absolutely incredible and inspiring, you know, things can be done in a different way. But as she says, over time, it sort of became one of those talks that she went to as a graduate management trainee, and it has been forgotten. And then, this conversation with our founding director sort of awakened all of that in her again, as they realised that actually they had a great opportunity to not go down the traditional route of implementing line managers and middle managers and a pyramid structure, and that this was their opportunity to make some changes. And so, I think a lot of it stemmed from that sort of meeting of minds of the two directors there, and just that desire to do things in a different way.
Jeremy Cline 10:23
So, what are the advantages? Or at least what were the perceived advantages of adopting this type of structure, rather than the traditional hierarchical command and control structure?
Philippa Kindon 10:33
Yeah, okay, so certainly, they'd already seen quite a lot of the advantages among the software developers. So, they'd see more commitment to their work, more commitment to teamwork, they were certainly getting better results in terms of releasing. So, with software development, they release their updates to the customer and to their software. And they were getting a much faster turnaround, much less errors, much greater customer satisfaction. So, the advantages of this flatter structure, self-managing teams, has been very well realised among the software developers. And they thought a similar thing would happen when they rolled out to the rest of the business. And this was a bit of a tricky time, a bit of a surprising time for the company, it was actually at this point that I joined the organisation, is when they did roll it out, it had a lot of struggles. And we talked about what are some of the disadvantages of working this way, and what they found is that, actually, employee satisfaction started to take a dip. And the rest of the company who were not software developers weren't realising the same kind of benefits. There wasn't that autonomy, there wasn't an increase in job satisfaction, and as it was at the time, they still had an exec team at the time who sort of took a look at the employee satisfaction results. And they weren't satisfied with what they saw, you know, they started to see a dip in those results. And they wanted to challenge themselves. And they knew it was perhaps connected to this rollout of self-managing teams, but they really wanted to try and figure out why. So, each year, the company does a staff day, and what they've done beforehand is they've done some workshops looking at the values of the company, and they've gone out to all the teams and said, you know, how does the company live well, by its values, how does the company not live well by its values. And what they did as their staff day, is they actually looked at all of the answers to how are we not living well by our values, and really started to connect that with this dip in staff satisfaction, and started to pinpoint some of the areas that were not working so well due to this, perhaps, rollout of self-managing teams that hadn't been done with the full buy-in of the organisation. So, whereas the software developers, it has very much come from them internally, driving it, for the rest of the company, it was a little bit, where's this coming from, and how do we make it work. And what we actually identified, and we did this, I have to say, as a whole company, so not just the exec team, the whole company as one of our staff days, and there was about 60 of us at the time, looked at all these results, all of this data, and came up with 12 different themes, 12 different areas that the business needed to work on to make this new way of working effective. A couple of the ones that I remember at the time was around decision-making, for example, you know, if you don't have a line manager, how do you decide what gets done, or who makes the decision, or what if there's something quite tricky that we're trying to figure out here? You know, if you don't have that line manager, basically, who gets to make the decisions?
Jeremy Cline 14:20
Wow, there is so much in there. So, presumably, one of these 12 things that needed to change led to the idea that you needed some kind of coaching. Can you talk a little bit about what the thought process was, and what was identified as missing that coaching was expected to solve?
Philippa Kindon 14:45
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Exactly as you say, there was some great things about more traditional organisations that did feel a bit missing. So, obviously, for all of us in our careers, sometimes we reach crossroads, we reach points of progression, or things that are a bit tricky. Now, what we do in our organisation is we encourage those conversations to be had with your team. And generally, nine times out of 10, with a high trust team, those conversations can be had. But sometimes, there are things that are very personal, that might be slightly trickier, that people really want to have the space and the time and the headspace to talk through with somebody else. And what we found, the reason that we turned to coaching for that specific area, is there are certain tools and principles around coaching that make it quite unique, and let's say, quite different from something like mentoring, or consultancy, or therapy, or line managing. And we felt that coaching really gave individuals that needed that time and that headspace the opportunity to explore some of those more difficult questions. And also, self-managing does require a really good degree of self-awareness. It asks a lot of the employees in the organisation. And to ask people to dig deep in an organisational context, they have to be very well in touch with themselves and how they operate, and have a really good sort of degree of self-reflection. And coaching, again, gives those opportunities for people to explore sort of how they operate in a very safe and confidential space.
Jeremy Cline 16:57
It's really interesting how you said that coaching can be different to lots of other things like mentoring, therapy, and line management. I mean, it sounds like this is something which could have a place, not just in an organisation which has a flat structure as you described, but any organisation, even one with a sort of traditional hierarchical structure, where you do have line managers?
Philippa Kindon 17:22
Yeah, absolutely, I think it can sit alongside in a more traditional organisation. In fact, one of the bodies that we have been along to conferences, to kind of help ourselves improve in our coaching practice, is a federation called the International Coaching Federation. And they run conferences. And what we've noticed, and whilst we've been going to the conferences, which has been about four years now, is they now even have a track for, or talk, specifically for internal coaches, because what we're finding is, this role of the internal coach is becoming a much better recognised role, and it does have some very specific challenges and opportunities, that are different to being a coach that perhaps comes from outside of the organisation. So, yeah, it can definitely run in more traditional companies as well.
Jeremy Cline 18:24
Talk a little bit more about that distinction between internal and external, and why your company went the way of having internal coaches, so employees within the organisation, rather than getting or arranging access to external coaches, so that employees could have these difficult conversations and these difficult thought processes about understanding yourself.
Philippa Kindon 18:51
Yeah, sure. Probably, we're saying it is so we have both internal coaches and access to external coaches. It's not sort of completely either/or, but our module definitely is around building our internal coach capacity. So, there's a few reasons for that. One being, if you're going to make coaching available to everybody in the organisation, and we do say it is available to anybody who wants it, it's not mandated, you don't have to have it, but if you put your hand up and say you'd like a coach, then the answer is yes, and we'll make that happen. What you find in most, still probably most, but many organisations, is that coaching is reserved for the top performers, shall we say, the people who have been identified as the ones that will succeed, get to the top of the organisation, and that actually, that's not in keeping with our ethos and our values of, you know, everybody matters, everybody counts, everybody brings value, everybody deserves to kind of achieve their full potential. And if you have been lucky enough to benefit from coaching, which Jeremy, I know you have, you know how powerful it can be about unlocking potential, about overcoming limiting beliefs. You know, we just believe that that should be available to everybody in the organisation. Now, it is true to say that external coaching can be quite expensive. And perhaps, that's why it has generally been limited to those top performers, shall we say, for want of a better word, but you can make it a lot more accessible and a lot more affordable, even for an SME, like we are, small-medium-sized enterprise, if you can provide that as an internal resource. Now, we have put all of our internal coaches through training. So, you can't just turn up to work one day and say, 'I'm going to be a coach now.' You do have to have the basic training that's delivered by a certified coach, somebody that has been certified by the body I mentioned, the ICS. So, we know that they're trained to the proper standards that will be recognised, and then, they've been running a one- or two-day introductory course for anybody that wants to be a coach in our organisation. But then, you don't have to be, you can go through the training, and then decide that it's not right for you. And that's absolutely fine. It's not right for everybody, not everybody wants to be a coach. And then, what we also do is, we offer refresher training, and most recently, and really excitingly, we have now just started to really push ourselves to the next level in our coaching, and we have formalised the programme, we've got a series of 15 modules that we're rolling out to the coaches over the next six months in two-hour bite sized chunks. So, we're really embracing this coaching, internal coaching model. What I would also say is the other reason we were very keen to keep it in house, largely in house, as I say, not to say you can't access an external coach if you feel that that is something that is desperately needed or wanted, is about having a coaching culture. So, everybody in the organisation, whether they are a formally trained coach or not, has had training on coaching styles, coaching questions, because actually, we all have an opportunity to coach one another in the day-to-day, and we're sort of building up that coaching culture as well as the coaching programme.
Jeremy Cline 22:51
So, this coaching culture training, this is something which every member of staff gets.
Philippa Kindon 22:56
Jeremy Cline 22:58
Fantastic. When it came to introducing this internal coaching programme, and presumably, there was a call out for anyone who's interested in being a coach, sign up here, what was the take up like? Was it reluctance, was it a few people, or did everyone go, 'Yeah, sign me up'?
Philippa Kindon 23:15
It was probably somewhere in the middle. There was a good number, now, the day that I did, I think there were about 12 of us. And at the time, there were about 60 employees, and there were already a handful of coaches in the business at that point. We are now up to, I think, maybe about 20 trained coaches, for an organisation of 100. And everybody that signs up to be trained as a coach signs up very enthusiastically. It isn't something you can do reluctantly. So, yeah.
Jeremy Cline 23:53
What was your motivation for signing up?
Philippa Kindon 23:55
That's a good question. It just, okay, I guess it just spoke to me. In some ways, it just spoke to me. What I realise now in hindsight, and people tell me as well, is I've got generally a natural coaching style. Before starting where I am now, I've worked for several different organisations, mostly on the smaller side. I have worked in some larger corporates. But what I have always felt quite uncomfortable with is the idea of telling other people what to do. I genuinely believe that we all have our own answers. Obviously, when it comes to like professional training, of course, you need to do the right programmes and courses and get trained up in your profession. But when it comes to making decisions about yourself and for yourself, you know, that's time to look inwards. And yeah, I just felt that this was a great opportunity to explore something that has probably always been an interest to me, that had never been sort of formally presented as an opportunity. So, I just jumped at the chance.
Jeremy Cline 25:16
Did you have any expectations when you first signed up? And if you did, how were those expectations met or not? What came as a surprise?
Philippa Kindon 25:26
I suppose I did. I'd been very lucky to have had some coaching from off the back of a course, that I'd done with a previous employer. So, it's been a sort of a personal development course that I've done over several weeks, and then, you could sign up to get the support of a coach after the course. And it absolutely blew me away. To be asked such challenging questions in such a helpful way, and to feel that that person sat over the other side of the table to you was completely on your side and wanted the very best for you, but wasn't just going to agree with you, 'Oh, yes, that must have been very hard', or, 'Of course, you are right in that circumstance', they are going to challenge you, but for all the right reasons. And I guess what I, yes, in terms of expectations of being trained as a coach, I wanted to get under the skin of how do you do that, what are the tools, what are the techniques, you know, what is it that enables somebody to have that presence. In coaching, we talk about having a coaching presence, and you know it when you're with a good coach, it's a very kind of particular connection that can start to flow between coach and coachee if it's working well.
Jeremy Cline 26:56
So, what does the internal coaching role look like, and how does it interact with, if you like, the day job?
Philippa Kindon 27:04
Yeah, great question. So, once you've been through your training as an internal coach, and you've said, 'Yes, this is something I'd like to do for the business', you're essentially added to a bank of coaches, your profile then sits on our intranet, and you write a little bio about who you are and what your motivation for coaching is, and you know, if you've got any particular areas that you feel you can be helpful to people, and then employees will put a hand up and say, 'Yes, I'd like to access the services of a coach.' We have a programme manager for the coaching programme, and she sort of administers all of that process. So, as an employee, you would say, 'I'd like to have a service of a coach', you pick three that you would be happy to work with, and then there's a bit of a matchmaking process, in terms of judging who's got capacity of the people that you'd like to work with, and then, you get underway. So, very importantly, you have a coaching commitment, a coaching contract, between the coach and the coachee, that outlines the basic rules of engagement, in terms of confidentiality, the broad areas you're going to work on, probably some time limit, people sometimes come with a very specific issue that they want to address, and you might say, 'Right, this is a month or, you know, this is a couple of months', where further, it's more of an ongoing, longer-term relationship that can last maybe even a year or two years. But yeah, importantly, it starts with that coaching commitment and the contract between coach and coachee, so you both know sort of what you're signing up for.
Jeremy Cline 29:01
And how, when you as coach have this role, do you manage it alongside your other commitments to the business?
Philippa Kindon 29:11
Yeah, so two things. One is, obviously, being a self-managing organisation, it is up to you to manage your time. You and being working to sprints and in your teams, as we mentioned at the beginning of the interview, you know, you commit to the work for your team in your sprint. Now, if you know that you've got two or three coachees, and at least one of them is going to be featuring in your two-weekly calendar, then you would say to your, in my case, the business development team or the market discovery team, I know I've definitely got two hours that I have to commit to coaching in this sprint. So, you take that time, and that is for your coachee, and you say to your team, you know, this is my capacity for these two weeks. So, it's up to you as the individual to manage your balance of the day job and the coaching commitment. And what we also have is completely transparent diaries. So, everybody in the organisation can see everybody else's calendar, you can request a meeting with anybody else, and it populates as a request. So, my coachees can look into my diary and see where there's a space. And for some people, they like to just have a regular slot every month or every other week, and we just easily stick to that. And other people prefer to be on a bit of an ad hoc basis. So, it's a combination of sort of that self-managing, working in sprints, and completely transparent diaries. And that's how we manage it.
Jeremy Cline 30:54
Does that self-managing apply also to the coachees, in the sense that the business does expect that people will do coaching, and they will do it during working hours? So, that, you know, it's not something that you're expected to do, you've got to do it before work or after work or at the lunchtime?
Philippa Kindon 31:11
No, it is on company time. So, the company aligns for that time. I think it's important because it is company-sanctioned, it's company-supported. You know, sometimes people will choose to do it over their lunchtime, they may choose to go out to a local cafe and get away from the office environment. But yeah, no, there's no expectation that it's done outside of work. And I think what is interesting is, when you give people the responsibility and autonomy over their own work and their own progression, they use it wisely. You know, you don't find people taking the mick and, you know, 'Oh, we're just going to go and take a three-hour lunch break and have a nice chat.' There is an expectation that the coaching itself will deliver value, and we will regularly survey the coachees to make sure that having access to coaching is making a difference. And we consistently find that it is.
Jeremy Cline 32:18
On that, talk a bit more about what the results have been as a result of this internal coaching programme.
Philippa Kindon 32:23
Yeah. So, one of the biggest areas that we've seen, and people say things have improved in, is confidence. It has been absolutely amazing to see people kind of, yeah, when they're asked where has coaching made the biggest impact for you, many people will cite improved confidence as being an outcome, which is just amazing, as a coach, that is probably one of the most exciting things to think, that you might actually be helping somebody to feel more confident at work, to feel better at work, to feel happier at work. So, yeah, that's been a clear outcome from the coaching.
Jeremy Cline 33:11
And how does the business measure the success of the coaching programme?
Philippa Kindon 33:15
So, literally this autumn, we're actually having a big look at that. One of the, and it's not just us that find it tricky, you know, we've spoken to our colleagues at the ICF about this, and sort of delved into resources, because of the confidentiality of coaching, it is really tricky to, both the confidentiality and the personal, individual nature of it, you know, everybody brings something, a different challenge to coaching, or they want to get something slightly different out of it, and it is hard to quantify, really hard to quantify. But my colleague, Michelle, that's sort of running the coaching programme at the moment, really leading on that, she is making that her absolute sort of driving force over this autumn season, is to figure out how can we show the value of this coaching. Because we know it, we know it from the survey results that we get, we know from anecdotally what people say to us, but we feel it's actually time to really try and quantify that.
Jeremy Cline 34:30
So, does the business have a particular motivation for finding out this value? I mean, is this something which could lead it to stopping the internal coaching, or is it kind of a, it's going to carry on anyway, but it would like to have some harder evidence of the value? Can you talk a bit more about that?
Philippa Kindon 34:50
We think it is much more likely the second thing that you've just said there. Now, up to over 50% of staff have opted to be coached, and the survey, the anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly positive. So, I can't imagine that the outcome would be, you know, we're going to stop the coaching programme. And in fact, the opposite decision has been made, the company's set aside, you know, for a company of our size, a reasonably substantial budget to invest in the coaching, as I mentioned this, and formal training, to top up our basic training, we pay to attend the conferences to make sure that we keep our sort of coaching professional development up. So, we don't think it's ever likely to not happen. I think it's more about how do we need to progress it from here. There are very specific challenges around being an internal coach. We've already mentioned a couple of them, like managing time, managing confidentiality, you know, you can just imagine where, in one session, you're coaching somebody who is bringing their, sometimes quite personal and potentially sensitive discussion points to a coaching session, and the next day, you're in a team meeting with them, where you're discussing sales results. So, you know, you do have to be really clear about which hat you're wearing, and always keeping that vault. You know, we talk about sort of coaching being in a vault. But you know, I think it's about recognising how do we get the most value from the coaching, so that it continues to make the difference that we need it to in the organisation.
Jeremy Cline 36:49
This leads very nicely onto my next question, which is, if there's someone listening to this, who thinks, 'Oh, my goodness, this sounds amazing, I would love to have this at my place of work', how can that person start the ball rolling? Who do they speak to, and how do they persuade the right people that there is merit in this, and that it's, I mean, it's going to have a cost attached to it, but that it's a cost worth bearing?
Philippa Kindon 37:22
I guess, yeah, well, first of all, I would be more than happy to have a chat with anybody that's interested in finding out a bit more about sort of how you can start those conversations. But I think it comes from, you know, very often, an organisation will have at least some form of an HR function, some kind of HR department, human resources department, people and culture department, or you know, somebody in the business that looks after the people. So, my advice would be, start with them. Coaching isn't new in terms of people management. I guess what will be important is, if you want to make a start on this and do it in a different way, do it in a way that you recognise that coaching can be of value to anybody in the organisation. You know, so, yeah, it is about starting with HR, you do need the support of decision-makers of budget-holders, you know, most organisations are not flat, they're not self-managing, there will be sort of management structures and hierarchies to navigate, but yeah, there's no doubt, there's plenty of case studies available online to show what value coaching can bring, but generally, start with the sort of the people management side of the business, and speak to them about it.
Jeremy Cline 38:49
I think the case studies are probably going to be very, very important here, because so many organisations just have this, as you described, coaching is just for the high flyers, it's for the people who expect to be promoted in the executive team. And you're quite right, that does suggest that everyone else's career, everyone else's worth to the company is maybe not quite as much. So, it's overcoming that hurdle, it's persuading the business. And look, yeah, there's going to be merit in coaching the high fliers, but you're going to see results if you coach everyone. That has got to be the bit you've got to present. It's showing that it has positive results and that it is a return on investment.
Philippa Kindon 39:38
Yeah, yeah, very much so.
Jeremy Cline 39:40
On that, I know that your kind of experience of this is largely limited to where you are, but I mean, are there any particular types of organisations where an internal coaching model is particularly valuable? And I suppose the counter to that is, are there any types of organisation which it's maybe not so useful, or it doesn't lend itself so much to having an internal coaching system?
Philippa Kindon 40:07
So, having experienced the value of coaching, both as a coachee and as a coach, I find it hard to imagine there being any scenario or any workplace setting that wouldn't benefit from having access to coaching. I think being able to have an internal coaching programme, there does need to be perhaps very clear ground rules. You know, at the end of the day, the employer is paying for that time, the employer is paying for the coach's time, the coachee's time, you've got to recognise there are three parties in that relationship, the employer is expecting, you know, whether it be improved performance or better team working, there is an expectation, like you say, that there should be some return on investment. But for a coaching session to work, the content of it must be confidential. That coachee must feel complete trust in the coach, of that vault, of that, you know, what we discuss in this session, does it then get, you know, taken to the line manager or the boss, you know, whatever your particular setup is. So, then, it's something about culture in there and high trust, you know, as long as the ground rules are there, I imagine internal coaching could work and could be valuable in all organisational settings.
Jeremy Cline 41:44
Leaving aside whether someone might be able to persuade their organisation to have an internal coaching practice or whatever it might be, if someone has listened to you and thinks, 'Wow, that sounds brilliant, I'd love to get involved', where can someone start to find out whether coaching might be right for them?
Philippa Kindon 42:04
Okay. As I mentioned before, one of the key resources that we've tapped into is the ICF, the International Coaching Federation. So, I mean, that is a huge organisation. It's worldwide. If you reach out for coaching resources, training courses, case studies, conferences, if you go to that, kind of as a starting point, you know that you're going to get credible, professional support and access to the resources that you might need. But what we have also found is some great local resources. So, for example, in our area, there's in Barth something called the Future Talent Programme. And, you know, that's a voluntary organisation, I think with charitable status, and they essentially invite local organisations to nominate delegates to attend, I think it's something like a three-month programme, and they get access to coaches through that. So, again, there's a bank of local coaches that are a great resource. There's groups on LinkedIn. So, there's, I think, once you just get started on that, you find there's some amazing resources that you can tap into, that can really help you on your coaching journey.
Jeremy Cline 43:36
Brilliant. And if anyone does want to get in touch with you, how can they do that?
Philippa Kindon 43:41
Yes. So, I'd love to hear from anybody that's got more questions about this and wants to hear about our experience in the organisation I work for. So, I am emailable. Can I give you an email address?
Jeremy Cline 43:57
Yeah, absolutely. I'll put a link in the show notes.
Philippa Kindon 43:59
Super. So, it's email@example.com. And we're really happy to speak to anybody that's got questions about coaching, that's got specifically internal coaching programmes, has got questions about self-managing, have got questions about Agile and Scrum. You know, these are things that we've been running for close to a decade, certainly the Agile side of the business now. And we find, actually, we're really happy to share our journey. We call it warts and all, because we find it really frustrating when you're looking for resources, and things are sanitised, and you get, you know, this is the answer to everything. That is never the case. There are always pros and cons in whatever route you choose. And we've made mistakes along the way, but we're really happy to share with anybody that's got a genuine interest in sharing wisdom, and learning from others as well, so just really welcome those conversations.
Jeremy Cline 45:04
Brilliant. And Mayden, that's M-A-Y-D-E-N, is that right?
Philippa Kindon 45:08
It is, yes.
Jeremy Cline 45:11
firstname.lastname@example.org. Cool, so I'll link to that in the show notes. Philippa, thank you so much for this conversation. Absolutely fascinating. I hope it's inspired some people to take this forward. So, thanks so much for coming on the podcast.
Philippa Kindon 45:25
Thank you very much for having me. It's been lovely to speak to you again. Thanks, Jeremy.
Jeremy Cline 45:29
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Philippa Kindon. It wouldn't surprise you to hear that I am massively in favour of what Phillippa's company, Mayden, is doing for their employees in terms of making coaching available to everyone. It's not to say that people should be forced to get career coaching, but having it available for those who want it, that really sends out a signal that every employee matters, not just the senior people or those who are on the fast track to leadership. And as Philippa and I discussed, I don't think this is something which you could only have in the context of a company with a flat structure that doesn't have a line management system in place. I thought it was really telling how Philippa describes that over 50% of staff at Mayden have opted to receive coaching. It's clearly something which people value. And I just can't see how it won't make a positive difference, even if that's something that might be tricky to measure. So, if this is something which sounds like it might be a good fit for your company, I hope you've been inspired to start talking to the right people, maybe to think about implementing it. As usual, there's full show notes at changeworklife.com/119. That's changeworklife.com/119. And this is one of those episodes I'd really love you to share. I mean, I'd like you to share all the episodes but this one in particular. If you've got any friends that work in HR or learning in developments, then why not send them a link to this episode, see what they think? There's another great interview coming up next week, so subscribe to the show if you haven't already, and I can't wait to see you in next week's episode. Cheers. Bye.
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