The business landscape is rapidly changing. As coaches, we must evolve too. Are you prepared for 2018?
To start with – I want to co-author this post with you about trends in the leadership and executive coaching industry. Will you help?
We’ve spent a significant amount of time together in 2017 exploring critical topics on how to grow and sustain a successful leadership and/or executive coaching business. Imagine what could become possible if 1,000 coaches each impacted 1,000 leaders. We could fundamentally change the health of the workplace and the lives of millions of people. That’s our mission at Coachmetrix, and that’s our mission in working with you.
As we wind down 2017 and look toward 2018, my initial instinct was to write a post about strategic planning for a coaching business. I got just about all the way through it and wasn’t moved.
Most coaches probably know how to do this already or can find resources to support the planning process.
What really started percolating for me was how rapidly the business landscape is changing – our clients, the coaching industry, technology, and the impact of politics. Everything around us is evolving at an ever increasing speed.
We too as coaches, trainers and organizational development experts must evolve – or we will fall behind or even go completely out of business. So, I decided to make this post about trends in the executive coaching industry.
The great advantage that most of us have as coaches is that we can pivot quickly. We are naturally adept at change and can evolve our businesses to respond to the greatest needs in the market. But, in order to do that, we have to be able to spot the trends to see where our businesses might be impacted. In the book, Scaling Up, the authors replace the typical SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) with a SWT analysis (strengths, weaknesses and trends).
Back to my original premise for this post – I’d love for us to co-author this post so that we can collaboratively spot the trends and make a bigger impact on our businesses and the industry.
So please comment below.
I’ll start with a few trends that I’ve observed. I’d love to hear back from you. What are you noticing in your practice? In your region of the world? (We have coaches on Coachmetrix all around the globe – from Australia, to Singapore, to India, Russia, Canada, the United States and more). With your clients?
Here are the trends I am noticing:
The Move to Mobile:
The trend: OK no surprise, but everything has to be “mobile first”. People are spending more time on their mobile devices for just about everything (an average of 5+ hours per day). It’s highly probable that you are reading this post on your phone right now. In an article I read on TNW, comScore shows that m-commerce growth eclipses other online retail spending, with over three times the growth of desktop e-commerce.
The impact to you: We have to shift our thinking in the way that we connect with customers, the way we nurture our customer relationships and the way in which we support the coaching process.
Considerations: Is your website mobile optimized? Do you have a strategy for moving content online? Do you have the ability to create more transparency and accountability in your programs through online versus paper formats?
Uber: It’s Not Just for Taxis Anymore
The trend: We live in the Uber world. Except the Uber model isn’t just affecting taxis anymore. There’s potential impact to any service provider. Imagine your future coaching clients pulling up an app where they search for the nearest coach and can visually see where the coach is located, like an Uber driver coming to pick you up at your location. And then the potential client gets a “fare estimate” as they are reviewing different coach profiles online. Can you see where this is going? You may have already been spammed by companies that are applying this model.
The impact to you: One word – commoditization. I know it’s easy to resist this as a future reality because we all like to think that you can’t replace the personalization of the coaching experience and the coaching conversation. But, coaches that are getting on the Uber coaching trend (I call it the app + coach model) can make the same argument that you can make plus they have an app.
Considerations: Sign up for Coachmetrix for one. It’s a simple platform that’s easy to use that will help you as a coach respond to the technological demand that you clients will have in the future. What will be your technological response?
More Coaches + No Barriers to Entry
The trend: Everyone wants to be a coach. It’s a sexy job title. Of course the ICF is a great organization trying to set standards of ethics and operations and elevating the professionalism and credibility of the coaching industry. Other governing bodies are doing the same. The problem is everyone still wants to be a coach (OK, there’s a little hyperbole here…). In a recent post, I wrote about three people I met within one week – a psychic, a bookkeeper and an administrative assistant – all of whom considered themselves coaches.
The impact to you: With more coaches than ever entering the space and coaching being adopted as a legitimate intervention to drive better business results, coaching fees are being pushed down. Transactional coaching will always yield transactional fees. If your primary role as a coach is accountability only, or if all you do is coaching – you’ll always face price pressure.
Considerations: You have to find ways to add more value, to innovate and to separate yourself from the ever growing pack. Find ways to measure your coaching ROI. Find ways to prove that your clients change as a result of your programs. You have to be able to articulate value beyond just accountability.
Connectivity: It’s All About the Cloud
The trend: Millennial coachees don’t use pens. Seriously. Why does this matter? Because there’s an expectation with the growth of “the cloud” that everything can be accessed from any device. Check the weather online, collaborate on a google doc, purchase an airline ticket, take notes on your iPad, send out a meeting invite. Why would a coachee need a pen?
Impact to you: Coachees will expect less paper and more efficient ways of managing their coaching experience and connecting with their coaches. Multiple logins and touch points from your website, emails, and elearning platform – pain in the butt.
Considerations for you: Find one platform as a base to communicate, deliver resources and interact with your coachees. Make it so incredibly easy for them so that they can access all communication from anywhere and focus on what’s most important – coaching with you!
Bite-sized Content to Support Learning: In Real-time
The trend: Micro learning is all the rave in the world of training and development – short bites of content and video to support the development process. And this trend is connected to the mobile-first trend, because most of the time participants are able to digest these small chunks of information on their mobile devices between meetings or at lunch or while sitting on the shitter on break (are you still reading?:)).
Impact to you: In the short-term coaches with micro-learning and bite sized content will be able to set themselves apart and add more value. In the long-term, it will be a requirement that all coaches provide additional online support and resources.
Considerations: Take your existing content (trainers and coaches usually have a ton of content) and get it online and in small chunks of content. Coachmetrix and other online coaching tools do this in a really simple way where you don’t have to be an expert elearning developer. Bottom line – make it so easy for your customers to access your bite-sized content from any device.
How to apply these technology tools in your coaching business
Those are just a few trends that I’ve noticed.
There are other trends around neuroscience, peer coaching, gamification, augmented reality, single-click payments, robotics and more that will likely impact our work as trainers and coaches.
What are you noticing? Help me complete this post by commenting below.