Sustainability leadership coaching

By Nicola Robins (4 June 2013)

We’re getting a growing number of requests for not-quite-advisory, not-quite-training work. A coaching model seems to be filling the gap. Here’s how it works:

The client:

  • Is an organisation that knows that their operations are impacted by societal issues (such as unemployment, skills shortages, resource scarcity, food security and heightened volatility in every sphere)
  • Is aware that value goes far beyond short-term profit maximisation
  • Wants to develop a social value proposition that really enhances their competitiveness
  • Is willing to inspire an organisation-wide dialogue on how to get it right

The participants:

  • Are carefully selected executives, practitioners, managers or teams within the organisation
  • Are interested in driving transformative change
  • Are not naïve about what change means, how long it takes or the level of resistance to making it happen
  • Are often frustrated that sustainability initiatives have come unstuck or plateaued in their organisation
  • Are committed to building the capacity to respond skilfully to uncertainty and significant change (what we call the transition quotient or TQ)

The contract:

  • Is tailored to the organisation
  • Provides access to coaches with significant sustainability and coaching experience
  • Drives capacity development in the most cost-effective way
  • Is typically framed in a six-month or year-long programme
  • Can include email exchange, face-to-face coaching, tele-coaching, team engagements and one-off interventions

The content:

  • Ranges across technical, organisational and personal development issues
  • Is tailored to an upfront set of success metrics
  • Can include both modest and wildly ambitious goals, while leaving space for the unexpected
  • Enables executives to reflect on how their business strategy responds to societal challenges
  • Helps managers to structure roles and responsibilities of sustainability teams
  • Addresses dilemmas where personal and company ethics may not align
  • Explores how individuals can drive change and innovation more skilfully

Costs depend on the number of participants and the preferred coaching methods.

For further information, please contact Nicola at

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