Over a socially purposeful breakfast from Fat Macy's, we learned how organisations are putting coaching conversations at the heart of their culture — and the impact such approaches are having on people and commercial performance.

The coaching industry has boomed in recent years, with membership of the ICF (International Coach Federation) more than tripling. And within thriving, people-oriented organisations; coaching mindsets are being developed and embedded throughout teams, to enable continual and purposeful conversations that drive the performance of people.

Businesses serious about building high performing teams are taking people centric approaches to performance management; empowering their people-managers to have quality, frequent coaching conversations, and enabling them with the time, space and tools to do so.

On the morning of the 17th October we explored what this means in practice, pulling in the perspectives of those with evidence of effectiveness to share. We were joined by Anna Rasmussen, a coach with over 15 years' experience and, more recently, founder of Open Blend — a performance management platform that enables people-managers in businesses, ranging from Avios to Depop, to have more meaningful conversations with their direct reports. Also sharing her learning was Liz Whitney. It was as a member of the leadership team at pioneering digital studio ustwo, that Liz felt first hand the transformational impact of coaching on people and teams. Having gone on to train as a leadership, team and business coach she now leads Cove — a collective of coaches, designers and strategists working with creative and people-led businesses to define their goals and empower people to deliver them. And bringing an organisational perspective was Helen Verwoert, Global HR Director of Dr. Martens — the iconic British brand, born in Northamptonshire in 1960. Since joining the business in 2013, Helen has led remarkable cultural change initiatives, including a progressive approach to performance development, with coaching-led conversations at its heart.

We're heard some generous, frank and insightful perspectives on the power of people first cultures, and the challenges that come with meaninfgully creating and sustaining them. Lots of resources, reading, listening and viewing was recommended — a selection of which is shared below, alongside some photos from Sam Bush (thanks Sam).

We'll be revisiting the topic at future events, and hope to have you along. Our partners can find frequent workshops on coaching approaches, listening skills, questioning and much more in our core programme, and please drop us a line to find out ways we can work directly to build coaching capability througout your teams, wherever they are.

Resources and Recommended Reading.

Books for the pile: Creating a Coaching Culture by Peter Hawkins, The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier, Time to Think by Nancy Kline, DO Listen by Bobette Buster.

Watch: The Year They Discovered People, from the AT&T Archives
This 1973 film examines the Hawthorne experiment through the eyes of the men and women who worked in the plants at the time.

Read: Death for the Performance Review: A first person perspective from Adobe
A great read from 2016, in which Adobe's Donna Morris lays bare the company's approach to rethinking performance as part of a broader digital transformation.

Read: Let’s Not Kill Performance Evaluations Yet
A long read put together by Lori Goler Janelle Gale and Adam Grant for Harvard Business Review.

Read: Millennials X Performance Reviews
Fast Company explores the widening gap between the expectations between managers and their modern reports.

Read: The future of performance management, from the minds at McKinsey
This report digs into the benefits, and modern necessity, of ditching the traditional end of year evaluations in favour of continual coaching cultures.

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Coaching Cultures: A conversational breakfast

Partner with us

Creatively driven, growth oriented, organisations partner with YCN to purposefully build capability throughout their teams.

Our pioneering social learning programmes bring people together, enriching their skillsets, and growing their networks in the process too. We take targetted, topic specific workshops into our partners’ places of work, and use modern and energising facilitation to take teams towards any outcome.

Find out more in this PDF, by emailing YCN Director Nick Defty or calling +44 (0)20 7033 2140.