Coaching as a specialisation has matured significantly over the last few years.

Just to clarify I’m talking here about ‘executive coaching’, and I’m using this term to include all organisational coaching, including Leadership coaching, business coaching and performance coaching. Whatever your preferred label, coaching has grown-up significantly.

Most coaching in organisations now clearly starts from the desired outcomes of the organisation.

This ‘three-way contracting’ and the need to dovetail outcomes for both organisation and the coaches is now core to executive coaching. It’s become the norm to start a coaching relationship with a detailed discussion of the outcomes desired by the organisation and how the coachee would like to use the coaching opportunity within this context.

I know this view rankles for some coaches that see coaching as an entirely client driven activity shrouded in mystery. The idea that the coach would introduce the outcome of the organisation or worse, to steer coaching sessions towards opportunity to work on developing specific competencies would draw criticism from some quarters of the coaching industry.

My view is simple. Coaching is hugely effective way of developing people’s skills and performance. This is very valuable to organisations and this is why organisations invest in coaching. Organisations want to be able to demonstrate and measure results from this type of investment against their outcomes.

I believe that three-way contracting and working from organisational outcomes is now recognised as fundamentally part of what executive coaching is.