As the new year approaches and many begin to reflect on the past 12 months, you may be asking yourself “What did I accomplish?” or “What do the next 12 months look like?” ICF Foundation Trustee Morel Fourman reflects on the work the Foundation has completed, looks towards the future and shares what inspires him about the Foundation’s vision.
The Foundation: What draws you to the mission of the ICF Foundation?
Morel Fourman: As a foundation, we recognize that coaching is transformative. Coaching unlocks possibility. I am inspired by the depth and reach of the Foundation through our relationship with ICF Members and Chapters. I’m inspired by what is possible when we align and act together. In my experience and over two decades, I have spent time with many change agents feeling called to make a difference. My own experience of that calling is that I don’t make sense on my own! Everything that matters to me matters in relationship with other people. The contributions that I want to make is for and with other people. What we as a foundation call “social progress” is about making a difference to people and society. For me, this resonates with the African spirit of Ubuntu. The meaning of Ubuntu translates to: “I am because we are.” I am because of my relationships and community. I am moved by the work and contribution of our coaching community. I am more of myself and more for the world through being part of this ICF Foundation. By acting together and in alignment, our ICF and ICF Foundation communities can not only make a difference, but also make the difference.
TF: Considering the vision of the ICF Foundation, “Coaching is an integral part of the thriving society,” how do you envision the role of coaches?
MF: To thrive as a society, we need to meet our needs and challenges. As coaches we are carriers of a tool for transformation. Coaching and coaching relationships can transform what is possible. The incoming generation is inheriting vast local and international challenges: everything from climate change and species loss to economic instability and dangerous alienation of populations. We are leaving this next generation with a gap between what is needed and what seems to be possible. Whatever the scale from personal to global, coaching has a role. I am inspired by the work that we as a foundation are doing with global organizations like the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Foundation provides an easy-to-use vehicle for international organizations to work with professional coaches. ICF Members and Chapters can also use the Foundation to come together, to deliver the power of coaching where it is most needed in the world. When I imagine the depth of impact of one powerful coaching conversation, the power of ICF coaches acting together is a force of nature. For me, the Foundation is here to invoke that force of nature for good, to change the course of history towards a better future.
TF: Can you share more about the role of coaching in working with social progress organizations and what is possible?
MF: The ICF Foundation is committed to impacting social progress through coaching. In my experience as a coaching client, I have seen firsthand the transformation that comes from being coached and from having my teams coached. I call on coaching to explore what is possible. I aim to build coaching cultures in my own teams and client engagements for agility, for results and for impact. The Foundation is bonded in relationship with ICF Members. At so many levels, the ICF Foundation is because members are. Through and with the Foundation, coaches act in alignment with a common focus and purpose. Together we are demonstrating how coaching can bridge the gap between what is possible for social progress organizations and what is needed in the world.
In 2019 and beyond, I fully expect breakthroughs to continue to unfold in ICF Chapters working with the ICF Foundation. One area of momentum and promise is the Ignite project, where ICF Chapters are working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Chapters work with the Foundation to impact SDG 4: Education, bringing their innovation and energy to demonstrate the impact coaching can have on education.
TF: As we move into 2019, what call to action would you encourage coaches with?
MF: Fellow Board of Trustees and I are passionate about opportunities to bring the transformative energy of coaching into social progress initiatives and organizations that really matter and to achieve the seemingly impossible. I would like to invite the coaching community to expand our vision and share the transformational power of coaching to continue to amplify and accelerate the impact of social progress.
I like to find time each new year for reflection. As a foundation, we invite our coaching community to share in inquiry for the coming year: What can I contribute through coaching? What more is possible when I act together and in alignment with a global community of coaches? What is our role today as coaches impacting the world and what could it be in the future?