Core Ideology: The essence of corporate coaching

by Folake Oluwole

Why is it sometimes so hard to get people in an organization to come together and work the best way—not my way or his way or the way it's always been—especially when, clearly, that way is not working?

Luckily, corporate coaching can take us on a fundamental and insightful journey of discovery of the essence and intentions behind the organization, unveiling its core ideology.

In taking up a new corporate coaching client, the first things I want to know are:

  • What was the organization's agenda for yesterday?
  • How has it evolved into today's agenda?
  • How will that agenda stand the test of time in the future?

From there, I can identify and appreciate the core ideology of the organization.

So what is core ideology? Core ideology defines what we stand for and why we exist as an organization or corporate body. It is made up of a purpose that drives an individual or organization forward, the principles (core values) that guide them to success and through tough times.

Core purpose = an organization's fundamental reasons for existence beyond making money—their guiding star on the horizon; not to be confused with specific goals or business strategies.

Core values = An organization's essential and enduring tenets—a small set of general guiding principles; not to be confused with specific cultural or operating practices; not to be compromised for financial gain or short-term expediency.

Core values + core purpose = Core ideology

Corporate coaching is holistic in approach and focuses both on the overall performance of the organization and the growth and development of the individual team members. This will involve addressing personal as well as professional or career challenges and barriers, which is a herculean task if you ask me, and can quickly overshadow our cognizance of the fundamental underlying factors necessary for coming together as a body to achieve a set of common goals.

How do I then as a coach, create a positive, productive community of members—individuals who feel that they belong to an organization and who volunteer their best and fulfill their full potentials through meaningful work?

  • I must have a good understanding of the core ideology of the organization, as well as its goals and challenges, so that I can bring all of that into the context of my work with each individual.
  • I must be able to connect the organization and the people being coached.
  • I must have the courage to tell the truth to both the organization and the individuals I coach, without offending or intimidating them.

With a clear understanding of the core ideology of an organization, as corporate coaches we can appreciate the focus and direction of the organization. It is then we can get the people fully engaged, involved and genuinely interested in the growth and continued success of the organization.


Folake Oluwole is a corporate and career coach and is the managing partner of GTD LTD (GETTING THINGS DONE), a consulting firm based in Lagos, Nigeria. She connects with people and organizations to inculcate a passion for the vision of the organization. For more information email or

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