Work based learning
The Impacts of Coaching on Leaders within the Cultural and Creative Sector
When the CLP was established to promote leadership development within the cultural and creative sectors, it was clear that provision would include both informal and work-based learning, and that coaching would contribute significantly to both. The writer of this essay was commissioned at the outset of the CLP to carry out an exploration of coaching and mentoring in the cultural and creative industries, and subsequently worked with some fifty leaders across the sector. This study is a follow-up to that initial piece of work, and focuses upon the experience of individuals, their personal stories, and themes which have emerged as a result.
After surveying the sector and identifying both challenges and opportunities, the coaching ‘approach’ is outlined, and the writer explores findings around the use of coaching in leadership development including the benefits it brings. The essay looks at the specific skills that are developed through coaching, and describes factors such as the importance of time to reflect, and the power of the personal and its relationship with confidence, both of which lead to important insights and impact. Crucial themes in this piece are confidence and competence: described as the competence and capability to provide leadership to the numerous and varied organisations which make up the sector, which need to be underpinned by a confidence on the part of individual leaders, in their own skills, in their ability to develop others, and in their knowledge of themselves.
The Impacts of Dynamics of Leadership Coaching
The Cultural Leadership Programme invested in the Dynamics of Leadership Coaching training as a means to develop key coaching skills as part of creating strong, highly skilled, insightful and confident cultural leaders. The resulting five-day foundation course offered an overview of the essential elements of coaching and how they can be used in leadership practice. This essay considers, assesses and defines the impact of this training upon leadership capacity for those working within the cultural and creative industries.
Skills acquired through coaching training have been identified as core competencies for effective leadership, and this programme intended to challenge cultural leaders in a different way by cultivating listening, questioning and reflection skills as a means to develop more transformational skill bases.
Drawing upon the experiences of different cohorts of the Dynamics of Leadership Coaching course, and conversations with Nicola Turner (Assistant Director, CLP) and Deborah Barnard (key designer/deliverer of the programme) this paper focuses impact on the sector across the following areas: professional performance; dynamics within teams and organisations; working relationships in terms of external partners or collaborators; changes in professional direction such as change of employment; and professional coach practices developed.