Coaching for Innovation Agility to Affect Profound Change

by Janet Sernack

The business playing field has changed and will keep on changing – and it will change in ways that we cannot yet imagine.

Uncertainty and instability are the key drivers of the business game – and our clients are challenged by a diverse range of wicked, societal, business and people problems, none of which are going away.

This means that the future will be very different from what happens today- and as coaches, we are in a unique position to support and enable clients in these types of organizational environments to survive, master and flourish within the playing fields of the future.

We have a unique opportunity to empower our clients to maximize these trends and problems as creative opportunities for change and innovation today.

We can achieve this by supporting them to shift their often conventional and traditional ways of leading, managing and doing things. To co-create new ways of leading that result in profound change that create the REAL results that people want.

C. Otto Scharmer, author of Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies writes, “We collectively create results that nobody wants because decision-makers are increasingly disconnected from the people affected by their decisions. As a consequence, we are hitting the limits to leadership – that is, the limits to traditional top-down leadership that works through the mechanisms of institutional silos.”  

What is business enterprise agility?

Business enterprise agility is the “ability of a business system to rapidly respond to change by adapting its initial stable configuration”. It is the ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to market and environmental changes in productive and cost-effective ways.

What is innovation?

At ImagineNation™ we acknowledge that innovation is about creating “changes that add value” & involves knowing how to see, respond & solve problems in creative ways that people value and cherish!

What is business enterprise innovation?

Business enterprise innovation involves making changes that add value in terms of either revenue growth or increased operational efficiency. These may involve the creation of new products and services that deliver value to customers, supported by a sustainable & profitable business model.

How does business enterprise innovation merge with agility?

Innovation results as a collision between different perspectives and patterns, which break habitual ways of being, thinking and doing. The result is an explosion of creativity that leads to innovative ideas and solutions!

 C. Otto Scharmer writes: “Isn’t there a way to break the patterns of the past & tune into our highest future possibility—and to begin to operate from that place?” 

The key collisions are between “necessity” because necessity is the mother of all invention and innovation – and with the highest “possibility” seeking thought patterns.

In her book, The Agility Shift: Creating agile and effective leaders, teams and organizationsauthor Pamela Meyer writes “Agility as the ability to make an intentional shift in order to be effective in changing contexts” and that “every person in every organization will experience the need to respond to the unexpected and unplanned in big and small ways, and will have a choice whether or not to make their own agility shift.”

Agility merges with innovation when we apply the collision both as a way of intentionally shifting our way of being, thinking and doing and taking a strategic, systemic, end-to-end approach to discovering, designing and delivering the change or innovation strategy.

Where people can:

  • Quickly embrace, respond, adapt to, and safely deal effectively with change
  • Self regulate their complacency and unconscious resistances to change
  • Feel confident and empowered to take smart & courageous risks
  • Permit, encourage and enable people to rock the ‘business as usual’ boat and safely disrupt their comfort zones
  • Collaborate and connect, are curious and inquisitive, generatively see, respond to and solve problems
  • Create an energetic environment that cultivates their purposefulness, creativity and wellness

How does this benefit organisations?

  • Accelerates the innovation process.
  • Reduces the resistance factors and risks inherent in change & innovation.
  • Engages, empowers and enables the entire organization and broader ecosystem in the innovation effort.
  • Build long term business value, growth & sustainability.

Who is an innovative & agile coach?

A coach for innovation agility is someone who knows how to be present to, see, and respond to (complex adaptive systems), the unexpected and the unplanned.

Who is able to shift their way of being, thinking and doing to emerge possibilities, opportunities and solve problems generatively by demonstrating agility competence, capacity and confidence.

A coach for innovation agility is someone who contributes the best of oneself, and generates the best from others, by being able to listen from the whole, for the good of the whole – as a coach in the context of innovation and entrepreneurship!

What is your highest possibility?

At the heart of every successful coaching intervention is the willingness of the coach to courageously and compassionately step outside of our comfort zones and hit the issue in safe powerful authentically powerful ways.

When we are able to connect with the other person, and create a collective holding space, in deep and meaningful ways, often to effect profound change and transformation.

Coaching for innovation agility is a key lever for effecting this, because, as Otto Scharmer says: “This is the moment when what we need most is enough people with the skill, heart, and wisdom to help us pull ourselves back from the edge of breakdown and onto a different path.” 

The next Coach for Innovators Certified Program for 2017 starts on Tuesday, 6th June & ends on Tuesday, 25th July. To take advantage of the Early Bird price and get a US$200.00 DISCOUNT, please use the discount coupon- EARLYBIRD and pay by Friday, 19th April. You can register now.

image credit: bigstockphoto.com

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janet-sernackJanet Sernack is an ICF ACC accredited executive coach, corporate trainer, group facilitator and culture & change consultant with over 25 years of experience with some of Australasia’s and Israel top 100 companies. She is the Founder of ImagineNation™ a generative and provocative innovation education company that provides innovation e-learning programs including The Coach for Innovators Certified Program™ experiential learning events including The Start-Up Game™.

2 comments

  1. Thanks for your comment, I studied with Otto, and completed the Master Presencing Program at MIT in 2006 and since completed U Lab, the Coach for Innovators Certified Program uses the U process as the learning structure enabling participants to deeply experience the U at the head, heart & gut levels to see their business problem from a systemic perspective, to then be, think and act differently, and transform it into a creative solution. Exactly to not keep on creating a reality no-one wants!

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