The Problem with Potential

Potential text concept isolated over white background

Who has “High Potential” in your organisation?

I took part in an interesting discussion yesterday which turned to reflections on school days.  It seemed for quite a few of us, the school system failed to recognise our talents, traits and characteristics and paid little heed to our styles of learning or rate of development.

I well remember as a puny 13 year old taking to the rugby field for the first time with lads who were much bigger than me and hating every minute.  I liked football, I was pretty good in goal and had quick feet as a winger, yet none of that mattered in a school that almost exclusively played rugby in winter and cricket in summer.  Likewise “athletics” was confined to short sprints or one or two laps of the track.  I was never the fastest and I realised later in life I was quite good at running longer distances.  I still am.  I enjoyed writing and creativity yet only achieved moderately good marks in English.  Ditto music and my school years played no part in developing the interests I have now or the skills I’ve acquired since.  The system failed me and others.

Note: Ken Robinson talks about his conversation with Paul McCartney on this very topic.  I won’t spoil the punchline but you can see it here on TEDx

Failing to nurture talent and harness potential is irresponsible and I think the same accusation might be leveled at many organisations public and private, large and small.  And while we talk about encouraging diversity and talent, these are broad concepts that remain elusive to many.  I know this because people often tell me.

So how to assess potential?  How to make sure we don’t bury talent?

  • Have proper and meaningful discussions with our people.  Do less “appraising” and do more listening.  Host conversations that help the individual navigate their own development path.  If we are going to set objectives then we should make them stretching and developmental.
  • Devise career paths that encourage people to travel laterally as well as vertically in the organisation.  Progression is far too often associated with Promotion and it needn’t be.  Your future CEO could well have first hand experience of Sales & Marketing, Operations, IT and Human Resources, so we need to provide placements and mentors to allow that to happen.
  • Host regular “Development Centres” to assess potential of staff.  These can be quite demanding for the individual and are resource heavy to run but they will help you identify a rich layer of talent and give a much clearer indication of people’s strengths and limitations.

It’s also possible now to use diagnostics and you can find the new High Potential Traits Indicator on our pages.   I think it’s a really useful tool and accompaniment to your initiatives around Talent and Succession Planning.

Potential is all around us.  I’m interested in your thoughts as to how we make sure this most precious of resources isn’t squandered.

With the challenges we have in the world, we are going to need it.

Questions for Leaders:

  • What traits and characteristics does your organisation need going forward?
  • How do you recognise potential?
  • What systems do you have to nurture Talent?

 

Posted by John Drysdale
15th July 2016
John's Blog

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The ILM Qualified Coach

Your guide to choosing a qualification

In the last 12 months we’ve seen an upsurge in the number of people looking to gain one of our ILM Coaching & Mentoring Qualifications, which is fantastic.

One of the early discussions I have with candidates is to answer questions around: ‘what will it give me?’ or ‘what level of qualification should I go for?’ and ‘should I do a Certificate or Diploma?’.

I’m always very happy to have those conversations but I thought I might attempt to bring a bit of clarity to people considering an ILM Qualification in Coaching & Mentoring to progress their career.

 

An ILM Coaching Qualification; how will it help me?

I recommend that anyone in a coaching role considers getting a recognised qualification. It makes sense as Coaching is coming under increasing scrutiny as a profession with much debate about the quality of provision. Clients want to know their coach has received adequate training and people commissioning coaching will consider competence before contracting a coach.  I have been involved in tenders for contracts where commissioners specified the qualification level of coaches required within the framework.

For the individual, we have seen how our ILM programmes have opened up new opportunities, both for people working within an organisation and consultants or freelancers who now have an additional and credible tool or service that can add value to their client base.

In summary it makes you credible and attractive to anyone commissioning you and gives you the confidence to believe you are now ‘the coach’.

 

What Level of Coaching Qualification should I go for?

Levels of qualifications are set according to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in England.  A decent explanation of academic levels can be found here :

http://www.accreditedqualifications.org.uk/qualifications-and-credit-framework-qcf.html

For coaching and mentoring I usually ask about the context you will be coaching and how you want to apply these new skills:

 

Coaching Executives, CEOs and Directors

This would suggest a Level 7 Certificate or Diploma may be right for you. Academically it suggests something at masters degree or post grad and requires a greater understanding of coaching in a strategic arena. We take particular care that people registering for this level are able to practice their coaching at a strategic level and can in some cases support them in finding ‘clients’ for the practical elements.  Freelance Executive Coaches need this one.

 

Coaching Managers and Leaders

The Level 5 Certificate or Diploma would be ideal for this target audience. This is also a substantial undertaking requiring in depth knowledge and demonstrating practice.  It is broadly equivalent to a foundation degree or some other types of degrees. I always recommend this to people working in large organisations going through change or growth and where there is an opportunity to introduce coaching as a development tool in the organisation. It is really useful to consider this within HR or Training functions and clients have asked us to deliver programmes to entire teams.

Level 5 may also be useful for those starting out as a business coach at the smaller end of the SME market and we know from experience that many people want to get involved with start ups or helping people transition from employee to self-employed business owner.

 

Coaching Front Line Staff or Team Leaders

Level 3 provides a foundation and is useful for people in a training role or coaching front line staff or team leaders. It provides a route into a training or development type role for those in an operational role and can open up some great career opportunities. The ILM Level 3 is highly work contextualised and suits larger work places e.g. large contact or service centres are ideal.

 

Your prior academic experience, continuous professional development and experience at the various levels is fairly important in choosing your path and we always discuss this prior to registering you with ILM.

For the coaching suite it comes back to:

Why do you want to do this qualification?

What context will you be coaching in?

Who will you be working with?

 

Certificate or Diploma?

Both our Level 5 and Level 7 qualifications have the option of achieving a Certificate or Diploma.  The difference between the Certificate and the Diploma is around the practical element and the ‘extended’ period of coaching for the Diploma. This carries additional credits (a measure of your learning).

This table shows how many hours coaching you need to provide evidence for each level at Certificate and Diploma.

Level Certificate Diploma
Level 5 12 hours 100 hours
Level 7 20 hours 100 hours

 

There are some other requirements around how you access supervision under the extended period but this is the main difference. The Diploma should be undertaken if coaching is a significant focus of your role.  We often get asked how many people (clients) you need.  Just as a rough guide we would normally expect you to work with a particular client somewhere between 6 and 12 hours in total for coaching (though mentoring relationships may be longer).

 

How long will it take me?

We believe the Certificate at both L5 and L7 can be achieved in a 9-12-month time frame but it varies according to the individual. The Diploma is harder to quantify, and we generally meet with those candidates to identify a realistic timeline.

Making good progress early in the programme generally means candidates complete in excellent time.

 

How can you help?

This article is simply to help guide your thinking. I will always have a call or a meeting with a prospective ILM candidate to identify what is the right qualification for you at this time and how we can help you progress.  I want all my candidates to succeed.  After all many of them are self-funded and it’s important to me that they not only enjoy the classroom sessions and engagement with the wonderful people we have on our cohorts but that they come away with a recognised Qualification to further their goals and aspirations.

One thing we do know is there is a direct correlation between attending our (now monthly) tutorial sessions and achieving the qualification. These are provided as part of our programme and follow the 6 classroom dates.  I really enjoy these sessions because I can see people remove the fear of assignments and become inspired to go out and develop their coaching practice and ultimately their ILM Qualification.

If you are thinking about a Qualification in coaching & mentoring I would be happy to have that call or cup of coffee and a chat.

Our next programme starts on February 23rd 2018 in Liverpool click here for more details

You can contact me on:

0844 873 1226

Or email: coachingcapability@noguru.net

 

ILM Approved Centre

 

 

Liverpool based training company, No Guru is ‘leading in learning’ as the ILM city region hub

North West employers now have access to professional development qualifications for management, team leaders and supervisory staff as Cotton Exchange based training company, No Guru becomes the Liverpool City Region hub for ILM accreditation.

(more…)

University Contract extended for 2 Years

Leeds Beckett University relationship extended

We are delighted to announce our current contract to provide Staff Training and Team Building to Leeds Beckett University has been extended a further 2 years.

During the next academic year we will be running new programmes around:

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Leading Change
  • Leading & Empowering People
  • Working to Strengths
  • Designing and Delivering Presentations

Additionally we will continue to work with Teams to deliver on the University Strategic Framework as well as completing our first ILM Level 5 Coaching & Mentoring programme for internal ‘Coaching Champions’.

We would like to thank People Development and everyone at Leeds Beckett for making it a great place to work.

 

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