2020 has been a year of disruption and change, leading so many of us into an existential crisis that has inspired taking stock and reflection.  This reflection has raised important and challenging questions like “what is my real purpose?”, “what is really important to me?” and “how can I have more of an impact and leave a legacy?”

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Leaders are among the many individuals who find themselves having to adapt to the distinct challenges facing organizations this year.  Many are working tirelessly to be agile and adapt to new ways of working. Where they were once working face-to-face with their teams and their teams were on the ground delivering vital programs, they are now trying to create equal impact remotely.

Almost all of our coaching clients are facing tremendous change and asking questions related to making an impact or creating value. We have been inspired to consider, as Peter Hawkins, author and Professor of Leadership at Henley Business School, asks, “what can our coaching uniquely do that the world of tomorrow needs?”

While working with these NGO leaders, we have realized that it’s time to shift our way of coaching, time to allow more divergent and creative thinking to unfurl, using a more systemic approach. Asking relevant questions will generate more creative solutions that are more far-reaching and lasting.

Where to start?  In our coaching conversations we begin by asking questions that expand awareness of the needs of all stakeholders. Some of the questions we start with are:

  1. What do future stakeholders need you to do in order to create shared value, meet their needs, and find win-win solutions?
  2. Who does your work serve? What is the work that your stakeholders would want us to do together that they would get benefit from? What would your stakeholders challenge to us be?
  3. What could you unleash to create positive changes and create impact for multiple stakeholders?
  4. What is the shift that needs to be made in order to reach sustainable outcomes?

We need to move away from coaching that focuses solely on the individual and use an approach that delves into both personal goals and organizational goals. An approach that will uniquely do what the world of tomorrow needs. This approach leads to an opportunity for the individual to maximize their impact on the organization and the wider ecosystem it is nested in.  As NGO leaders navigate the current challenges, it is critical that our style of coaching shifts toward this more systemic approach. Partnering with leaders to consider all stakeholders, both current and future, will broaden their ability to creatively solve challenges and have greater social impact.

Marina Jankovic is a Master Certified Coach, with 15 years of international experience in Business Management, Talent Development and Executive Education. She managed a Global Diversity & Inclusion Program for a multinational company operating in 180 markets and made a direct contribution to building a more diverse talent pipeline and inclusive culture.  She is a co-founder of Pinnacle Global, a global coaching and leadership development company. We partner with those on a mission to leave a positive legacy and create a much larger positive impact on our planet, so that joy and inspiration may be shared for generations to come. Our programs support a shift towards innovative and collaborative practices in business, leadership and personal innovation in order to foster synergy between organizational success and a more sustainable future.