Jumping on the Enterprise Coaching Bandwagon

Interesting to see how much effort is starting to go into selling qualifications and training to the enterprise coaching market.

SFEDI Enterprise are launching their Endorsed Award in Enterprise Coaching and ILM are pitching their coaching qualifications (other suppliers are available).

I am  not sure that now is the right time to be pursuing qualifications.  Of course it makes sense for the employers to have qualified staff, and it makes sense for coaches to have qualifications, but does it really serve the customer?  Will it support the reflective practice and development which our nascent profession demands?

Do we not risk converging too quickly on tried and tested methodologies?  On embedding lowest common denominator practices?  Do we not put the focus too early on ‘proving our competence’ rather than reflecting on and developing our practice?

Let’s avoid the bittersweet seduction of qualifications and instead pursue the development and recognition of methodologies that work in our communities, with our customers in our contexts.  Let’s avoid the one size fits all mentality and lets encourage innovation and creativity in pursuit of our full potential.


  1. I can’t claim to be a fully fledged expert on dictionary definitions of coaching, mentoring, business advisor etc. However I thought the whole point of coaching (and mentoring to some extent) was to be a non-judgemental advocate/cajoler. Business advice on the other hand has been characterised by transactional approaches which require technical ability and ‘qualifications’.

    I thought coaching was far more about the ‘person’ being coached. Having some kind of insight as to how to engage as a coach is good. Having a ‘qualification’ with textbooks on ‘how to coach’ seems counter intuitive to me. Another case of a young profession pulling the drawbridge up or raising the bar to new entrants?

    • I agree with your sentiment Rob, however I don’t think it is the job of an enterprise coach to advocate (except perhaps on quite exceptional occasions) or to cajole. They may hold the client to account for doing what they say – but cajoling, with an implication that we encourage them to do things that they are not freely choosing to do would be, for me at least, on the wrong side of the line.

      However, as you say this is a new, young profession (would we trace its origins back to 1985 in Esperance, Western Australia?) and I think room needs to be left for innovation and experimentation based on a firm set of principles.

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