by M. Parker
A global coaching community
very name of our organization, the International Association of
Coaching, speaks to what is essential in fulfilling our goals. While we
continue to evolve on all levels, including expanding our membership,
providing strong professional guidelines and an influential leadership
base, the IAC is fundamentally interested in promoting and
strengthening the skills of coaching in an international arena.
the midst of all the work that needs to be addressed as the IAC grows,
we must ensure that internationalization sits at the core of
maintaining and sustaining our integrity. With our world becoming ever
smaller, and with the coaching community increasing in numbers, mastery
and complexity, we are faced with the question of how do we ensure that
our international focus remains actively present and genuine?
Below are five areas that serve to guide the IAC or other organizations that are committed to being international.
Be rooted in a mission that encompasses international
very mission of the IAC is in "furthering the interests of coaching …
worldwide…". The language of this mission invites a sense of stretching
and expanding into a global world community. The mission is like a
guiding beacon constantly reminding the organization of its true
desires. This poses a constant challenge and opportunity for members
and leaders of the IAC as the practical implications of the mission
unfold. Following our mission is integral to maintaining and ensuring
the authenticity of our organization.
Cast a broad net
In an international community there has to be room for
everyone to find a place to contribute and to participate in
whatever way makes the most sense for them at the time. The
IAC is fortunate to have a strong and talented group of
unpaid leaders at the helm of the organization, who dedicate
untold skill, time, and energy to growing and strengthening
the field of coaching. The Board of Governors purposefully
and actively seeks the participation of members from all
over the world and regularly casts a broad net to invite and
encourage leaders motivated in our mission to emerge from
across the globe.
Members can get involved in many different ways, including
volunteering for a committee,
writing an article for the Voice, participating in online COGs, Local
Chapters and tele-seminars and many other activities that are
constantly being added. Inasmuch as the leadership needs to invite
members to participate and contribute in an open-minded way, it is also
incumbent on members to step forward and be willing to contribute
whenever possible. Signing up and joining is one huge step in the right
direction. Members and potential members are encouraged to take an
active part in the organization.
Overcome differences and barriers
speaking about things international, there is a compelling need to
consider a laundry list of issues including time, language, cultural
and economic differences that can be obstacles to true inclusion. Most
of the time with patience and consideration these obstacles can be
surmounted and swept away as being little more than minor
inconveniences rather than major obstacles.
the IAC considered the international implications of setting membership
fees. We wanted to set fees that would both support and sustain the
organization without being enormously cumbersome to coaches in
communities with lower income levels. One member of our Board raised
the question of "How would one fee amount or another impact the global
coaching community?". It is through asking these seemingly small
questions that the possibility of internationalization is accomplished.
Explore the possibilities
a company or an organization is truly international, full consideration
must be given to searching for the common ground. The organization must
consider all possibilities and respond to the "what ifs". This takes
time and requires patience. Learning from colleagues halfway around the
world must be more than "here it is and do it this way". There must be
an invitation to examine and uncover the possibilities that can further
our goals internationally.
Embed the essentials
and every organization motivated to be truly international must learn
to embed the essential components of globalization into their everyday
work. First, we must reconnect with our mission and with our members. Second, we must
reexamine the areas where the organization may have been wrapped up in tradition or in "have to's"
that don't serve the international needs of the
organization. We should
reconsider the relevant issues and policies and be willing to
reinvent in consideration of a broader set of needs. Third, organizations committed to being international should continuously
recommit to ensuring the continued involvement of a global community.
Mission International: Mission Possible
strength of any organization lies in who is leading and who are those
who are willing to follow. The IAC has made a commitment to being an
international coaching community that furthers the interests of
coaching worldwide. The call is made for all to contribute, join in,
and participate in making coaching a mission international and a
active support and involvement is needed from across the globe. Join
with us in "furthering the interests of coaching…worldwide."
M. Parker Anderson, PCC
Parker is a member of the IAC Board of Governors and CEO of The
Anderson Advantage Group, an international coaching and executive
management firm based in Washington, D.C. Often considered an
internationalist, Parker has lived and worked throughout the globe
including Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and South America. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,