Redesigning coaching and mentoring for the digital age

By Dr Andrew Larner | 28 April 2021

Last month saw the shortlisting of the iESE 2021 Awards. A terrific two-day online event with all of the shortlisted entries describing the work that they had done to improve their communities and services.

One of the features of this year’s awards was the level of creativity and impact achieved at the same time as dealing with the pandemic. While it is tempting to think that necessity was the mother of invention, which in turn may have speeded up progress, the ideas and the actions were already there. In fact, it was clear that those who responded best to the pandemic did so precisely because they had put in the hard yards becoming a ‘community centred’ council over many years.

If the pandemic achieved anything it was to close the gap between the first movers with the rest of the sector catching up fast. This in itself a fantastic achievement and a testimony to the skills and dedication of the officers and members of the sector. In The MJ, on 31 March we heard that people are the most valuable asset for local authorities, which is of course true. In the article ‘Everyone Needs a Coach’ we read about the value of the coaching approach to develop the talent in the sector. The current approach to coaching, however, often comes at a price that is quite high for the average salary in the sector.

To this end iESE, as a part of its pro bono sector support role, is developing Alchemy, a new resource that supports individuals to take the next step, whether that be for a specific important decision the likes of which they haven’t taken before, or for more holistic development. One feature of Alchemy is a Leadership Diagnostic, produced in collaboration with Capital People, which will be free to use. The diagnostic is based upon the most comprehensive original research of leadership characteristics within local public services in the UK.

The Leadership Diagnostic is not only intended to give you pointers about your development, but also to categorise content available from a range of sources. This includes the latest iESE research, learning, awards winners, and the Innovation Club. In addition to this, it will include our increasingly global footprint on the latest in public services. But more importantly it will disrupt the coaching and mentoring market by bringing a range of types of face-to-face and online interaction that will range from affordable to free.

If you want to be a part of the development of Alchemy and trial the Leadership Diagnostic, then please contact annabelle.spencer@iese.org.uk.

www.iese.org.uk

Dr Andrew Larner is chief executive of the Improvement & Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE), which supports public sector transformation

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