by Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC
The IAC: An Enthusiastic Organization
It seems the IAC is perennially in the business of future search. The operative question, at least during my tenure as President, has always focused on the IAC’s function and place in the global coaching community. Through eight years of existence, the IAC has been on a slow growth curve. In fact, after the premature and sudden death of its founder in 2003, Thomas Leonard, the IAC took a few steps backwards before finding its bearings.
That should come as no surprise given that Thomas died only weeks after creating the IAC. At first, the IAC was part of CoachVille, a large and thriving community of coaches. Once Thomas died, both CoachVille and the IAC had to find their own ways in the world. It was a little easier for CoachVille, since Thomas bequeathed the organization to a single individual, Dave Buck. As a for-profit operation, Dave was able to take the ball and run with it after a time of disorientation and grieving.
The IAC was in a different position entirely. You don’t exactly bequeath a not-for-profit organization to a single individual. For one thing, there is no financial incentive. For another, it is against the law. Non-profits in the USA are, by definition and statute, the collective effort of at least three or more people. Those on the IAC Board of Governors at the time of Thomas’ death were thus faced with the daunting task of figuring out what to do next. Going out of existence was certainly an option. There were plenty of other coaching associations around, including the big daddy of them all, the International Coach Federation (ICF), which Thomas helped to found 10 years earlier. Nothing would have been easier than that.
But the IAC was an organization that refused to go away. There has always been the gnawing sense that Thomas was onto something when he created the IAC, something bigger than just his frustrations with the ICF. Perhaps he saw something that the rest of us didn’t see when he crafted proficiencies, standards, and processes that were phrased and framed differently from those that were prevailing at the time. Perhaps he had an inkling (one of Thomas’ favorite words) that the world needed a place where coaches and clients could hang out together in a community of conversation that would make them not only the best in the world, but also the best for the world. Perhaps he was being used by a larger truth to do something that is only now, more than eight years later, becoming clear.
I know I feel that sense of calling and even an emerging sense of clarity from the recent conversations between the IAC and its Board of Governors, certifiers and global leaders. The landscape is not much different today than it was more than eight years ago. The IAC is still a relatively small coaching association, dwarfed by the ICF and other emerging organizations. It would be easy to become discouraged by such numbers. But instead of discouragement, there is a palpable enthusiasm around the globe for what the IAC has to offer. And the IAC Board of Governors seeks to be responsive. As chapters and licensees organize to align themselves with the IAC Coaching Masteries™ and certification processes, the message comes through loud and clear: people want what the IAC has to offer and they are willing to help make it happen.
What could be more exciting than that? Take what’s been happening in Asia. Thanks to the pioneering work of Angela Spaxman, Bonnie Chan and others in Hong Kong, the IAC has become a go-to organization in many cities and communities across the region. Local organizations abound with an annual conference that draws 100-200 people. In 2010, the first annual Conference was in Shanghai; in 2011 the venue moved to Taiwan and in 2012 the event takes place in Kuala Lumpur (visit the Conference website to take advantage of the early-bird registration discount).
Matching the enthusiasm in Asia, the first Brazilian Coaching Congress is taking place in São Paulo, Brazil at the end of this month (November 24-27, 2011). Once again, some 100-200 people are expected to be in attendance with speakers from both South and North America. I will be speaking at the Congress to share perspectives from the experience of the IAC visit the Coaching Congress website for more information and to register for the event).
These are exciting times in the global coaching arena and the IAC is both honored and proud to play a part. There is a reason that people are reaching out to the IAC for its wisdom, perspective, knowledge base and experience. The IAC's framework on certification as a mastery-based credential speaks to the needs of the moment. Regardless of how people learn coaching mastery, there is value in having an independent organization to set and recognize standards of excellence. People are looking for the IAC to be that organization.
And I see the IAC stepping up to the plate. In the coming weeks and months the IAC will be rolling out new ways to better serve its growing constituencies. Make sure you stay on top of all the new developments by joining the IAC, subscribing to the VOICE, reading the IAC blog, and following the IAC on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The best is yet to come!
May you be filled with goodness, peace and joy,
Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC, is CEO and Co-Founder of the Center for School Transformation and President of LifeTrek Coaching International. Bob is the co-author of Evocative Coaching, which incorporates the IAC Coaching Masteries® in a coaching model designed for leaders and coaches in schools.