The impact of disruption on coaching

The impact of disruption on coaching
Promoted by The impact of disruption on coaching

In this fast changing world, how does coaching as a profession stay at the forefront to best support the challenges that face organisations? How do coaches add the most value to their clients? How will we need to adapt?

Originating in business as a term to describe a radical change in industry, the word disruption has taken on a life of its own and like so many fashionable phrases, it is used, misused and misunderstood. So what exactly is disruption? Well according to the Oxford dictionary, disruption describes “disturbances or problems which interrupt an event, activity or process.” In this light, disruption can indeed be legitimately applied in all manner of contexts.

However, using the word disruption is not about sounding up to date or about appearing smart; it’s about how this fantastic, challenging word can enable us to look upon an existing condition and question its relevance today and in the future and it’s about how we make concerted efforts to adapt. This mind set is the modus operandi of the Coach but what does disruption mean to the practice of Coaching?


Coaching as a practice has perhaps been disruptive in its own right. Evolving over decades, it has escaped its niche, created new markets and entered the mainstream. Today, most of the world’s leading businesses employ the services of a Coach in some guise. This exponential growth in Coaching reflects a wide acceptance that coaching can enable success for individuals and businesses alike. It’s going well for the Coach, right? Well maybe - for now - but let’s assume that change will happen, after all, change is the one constant that we can always rely upon.

Yes, change is constant but the speed at which change occurs is affected by multiple drivers including the political landscape, the state of the environment, economic stability, social unrest, legislative changes and so on. The scale and pace of change that we experience today in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world, is much greater than ever before, hastened by the digital revolution and the omnipresent impact of artificial intelligence.

We now have access to more information than we are equipped to deal with, the future is largely unknown and few precedents exist to help us with what is to come. In technological subjects at school educators are relying on students reading the latest magazines and blogs to stay current as syllabuses can no longer keep pace with the speed of developments and change.

Perhaps now more than ever, Coaches can help individuals and teams to wade through the complexity, draw upon their resourcefulness and create clarity in highly ambiguous situations. There’s no question that coaching has a place in the future landscape of organisations - but what this looks like is up for grabs.

Please click the below button to read on and download the full article as featured in the Coaching Perspectives magazine in January 2018.

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Comments (1)

  • Joy
    Fri, 9 Mar 2018 7:20pm GMT
    An interesting article - thank you. Especially as I had a job interview today at a new disruptive type of organisation - and have only just heard of this term. The company look like an interesting outfit and is certainly where the future lies.

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