Coaching entrepreneurs will play a pivotal role in developing leaders of the future, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to adapt to rapid change.
- Professional coaches can help entrepreneurs deal with change, whether that change comes in the form of sudden society-shattering changes like the coronavirus, or the long-term challenges of building future workplaces.
- How will entrepreneurs find the place in the post-coronavirus economy? This is an important question that professional coaches can help address.
- Looking beyond the corona pandemic, workplaces of the future will need to adapt to long-term challenges such as technological disruption and employee engagement.
Historian Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century; believes that the rise of the internet and the digital landscape means human civilization is currently undergoing the most fundamental change since the industrial revolution. And as with the industrial revolution, the workplace is one of the areas where this change will be most keenly felt.
So it’s no wonder that professional coaching is one of the world’s fastest growing professions, as the services of professional coaches become vital in preparing entrepreneurs for the challenges of the future.
Coaching entrepreneurs for the challenges of the future
We’re already seeing some of the significant ways in which the workplace has changed with the reaction to the coronavirus. With the world on lockdown, technology allows people to work from home and communicate with their colleagues in ways that were not possible before.
But we’re also seeing the many challenges entrepreneurs will have to face. The coronavirus pandemic is on the verge of bringing the world economy to its needs, and the entrepreneurs of the future will need guidance dealing with the post-corona business landscape.
That guidance is provided by the professional coach, who can help the entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to guide their ships through stormy waters.
Preparing entrepreneurs for upheaval
In the long-term, businesses face the prospect of technological disruption. In the short-term, they must grapple with the consequences of the corona pandemic. Professional coaches can help business leaders understand the difference between crisis mode and strategy mode; between dealing with a situation where the objective is simply survival; and dealing with a situation that requires careful long-term strategy.
But in almost any crisis there is a silver lining. When the world comes alive again after the corona pandemic finally passes, the economy will need time to recover. This presents opportunities for entrepreneurs, who are the very people you rely on to drive an economy. Professional coaches can help the owners of small and medium enterprises visualise a purpose for their company to serve in the recovering economy.
Preparing entrepreneurs for long-term changes
Krista Skidmore, partner and co-founder of FlashPoint Leadership Consulting, writes that coaching used to be focused on the past, in that it was performance-related, and would address whether goals and standards were being met. However, over the past five years, “we have seen a shift toward coaching as a powerful, future-focused development approach”.
Increasing technology, greater diversity in the workplace, and fiercer competition for talent are some of the challenges businesses of the future will have to deal with. The corona pandemic can delay, but not prevent, the need to address those challenges.
So while businesses may be in crisis mode for now, they will soon need the services of professional coaches to help prepare for the new world. Professional coaches can help entrepreneurs:
Prepare for change in general, rather than a specific change
Technologies that are fundamental today could be redundant in ten years. There’s no point focusing on a specific technology when helping entrepreneurs deal with change; the aim has to be improving their ability to adapt to change in general, which is a skill in itself.
As Skidmore writes “being better able to adapt to dynamic, shifting, or complex situations is a key capability for future roles, since leaders are often dealing with the unknown and ambiguous”.
Build a more inclusive business environment
Magdalena Mook, CEO and executive director of the International Coach Federation (ICF), writes that “mobile workforces, multiple generations with different values and ideas, and marketplace competition from around the globe are pushing organizations to embrace diversity not just in their customers, but their employees”.
As globalisation results in an increasingly smaller world, workplaces grow more diverse, crossing cultural and generational lines. Organisations need to build an inclusive culture, where everyone feels that their voice is being heard.
Promoting employee engagement
In a world where select skills will become more valuable, leading to increasingly fierce competition for talent among organisations, employee retention will become a high priority, and businesses that fail to evolve will lose out. The role of coaches will be invaluable in helping organisations build a culture that promotes employee engagement, gradually abandoning rigid hierarchical structures in favour of environments that encourage growth and innovation.
The willingness to take risks
Times of stress and change result in uncertainty, and an unwillingness to take risks; but the willingness to take risks is key to being an entrepreneur. It all comes down to mentality, and professional coaches understand this better than anyone.
If you’re interested in professional coaching, and the role it can play in guiding entrepreneurs through times of change, whether it be sudden, society-shattering change or long-term changes in the workplace; SACAP has a range of coaching courses that will qualify you for a career in coaching. For more information, enquire now.