An Executive Coach’s Guide to Fourth Industrial Revolution Leadership Coaching

The fourth industrial revolution (4iR) is radically changing the role of leadership in every industry in the global economy. Mega trends and technologies are simply changing the leadership game. And if you're a coach, you need to learn about these changes because they're going to impact your profession too.

Ironically, coaches and HR pros aren't talking about how 4iR challenges are changing their coaching practices. Maybe it's because 4iR hasn't disrupted their clients' industry yet. Maybe it's because they're not paying attention. Personally, I think it's because coaches simply lack awareness and knowledge about 4iR's impact on jobs and leaders. This article will help improve 4iR awareness and knowledge.

In this post, I want to offer an introductory guide to what's changing in 4iR leadership coaching. If you want to learn more about how the fourth industrial revolution is impacting jobs, leaders and the workforce, download my free Summer 2017 4iR Reading List. But first, let's looks at what's NOT changing. ​

What's Staying the Same

Good coaching is good coaching. Fourth industrial revolution coaching must demonstrate core competencies. The International Coach Federation (of which I am a member) has a great set of Core Competencies and a Code of Ethics for guiding coaches. Read about these and get familiar with them if you haven't already. 

These Core Competencies and Ethics are the table stakes for fourth industrial revolution coaching. These table stakes aren't changing. They are the foundation for all good coaching relationships. But, remember, they're just a starting point.

What's Changing About 4iR Coaching

What's changing when it comes to fourth industrial revolution coaching is the context in which leaders are leading. Context is king in any coaching relationship, especially in 4iR contexts where entire industries change over the course of a year or two. When context changes, everything changes! Don't underestimate the power of the context in which your clients or the leaders in your organization are operating in and how 4iR is/will change this context.

Download Your FREE 4iR Summer Reading List

I've summarized the 5 must-read books that every leader and coach should read this summer!

Fourth industrial revolution coaches need to get ready to help their clients respond to the changing demands of 4iR leadership. 

Here is an introductory guide to what some of those changing leadership requirements are, and what you can do as a coach to help your clients meet those changing requirements. 

1. Presence--Leaders today are too busy and too distracted to make good decisions. But the complexity of the challenges they face demand being present, listening and engaging in critical thinking. Great coaches slow leaders down and help them become more present so that they can engage in complex reflection and discernment about important decisions. 

2. Speed & Velocity--Leadership 4iR is not just about change. It's about high-velocity change in new directions. Mastering velocity means mastering speed, direction and acceleration. Great coaches help leaders manage their speed, control acceleration, and understand the direction in which their organization is traveling. 

​3. Development--The fourth industrial revolution is the greatest learning and development challenge in human history. And I'm not talking about the kind of learning that's done in a classroom. I'm talking about boots-on-the-ground leadership education that requires a trusted advisor for the journey. Great coaches help leaders, teams, and whole organizations learn faster and more effectively than ever before. 

4. Collaboration​--In previous leadership contexts, collaboration was a buzz word. In the fourth industrial revolution, collaboration is an essential element of survival. Great coaches help leaders decide when deep collaboration is necessary, when it's not, and how to repair broken partnerships.

If you're a leader looking for a coach, make sure that they know something about leadership presence, speed & velocity, development, and ​collaboration.

If you're a leadership coach who wants to step up your game to help your clients, I've offered five tips below. ​

Actions for Becoming a Better Leadership 4iR Coach

1. Practice the fundamentals of coaching, and learn more about the fourth industrial revolution context. 

2. Download my Leadership 4iR Summer Reading List and start reading. Consider how 4iR technologies, such as mixed reality (MR) might enhance your coaching practice.

3. Dig into industry-specific challenges that your clients are struggling with (e.g., 3-D printing, AI, IoT, RPA, etc.).

4. Start conversations with peers about the 4iR business challenges that they're facing. Start conversations with other coaches about the 4iR topics that their clients are bringing to their coaching sessions.  

5. Don't under-estimate the ethical and moral decisions that you'll have to coach leaders through. They will be complex and messy. 

I'm interested in your comments and feedback on this article.

Click on the link below for my FREE Leadership 4iR summer reading list.

And, as always, I look forward to connecting in the future! 

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