At least 100 professionals interested in coaching gathered on Friday, November 19th at the Rialto Hotel in north Munich. This was my first experience of an event organised by the ICF (the US-based International Coach Federation) in Germany, and it turned out to be an enriching and energising day.
The central theme linked coaching with “agile”, “digital” and leadership, and the programme was well-structured into 3 areas – HR best practice in coaching, digitalisation and leadership, and the business of coaching – with 27 talks or workshops on offer. It was a clever, and inclusive, idea to run a third of these sessions in English, as well as to welcome delegates in two languages.
There was plenty of stimulating input to think about: positive leadership, storytelling, coaching in Silicon Valley, astronaut leadership (though I still need to find out what this is), creating thinking environments, collaborating with HR and emerging AI in coaching. At the outset we were urged to predict the future of the coaching industry. Apparently, platforms will be the new go-to service providers. Daringly, the ICF accreditation framework was challenged on the topic of real mastery in coaching.
Enthusiasts from Siemens, Adidas and VW told us about their systematic internal programmes – great role models for those companies which have yet to set something up. There were diverse perspectives on shared leadership and collective intelligence from Austria, entrepreneurship and VUCA from Serbia, and self-organising teams from Poland.
There might have been a little more space for participant interaction during sessions, but otherwise there was much substance and diversity – of voice, culture, gender and organisational viewpoint. The location, hotel and catering were all perfect, thanks to the professionalism of the ICF organisers and Hunfeld Services. I will go next year.