What executive coaches can learn from the sustainable food movement.

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A plate of sustainable food‘Genuine sustainability’ reads the caption on the New York City’s PRINT restaurant website. For PRINT, genuine sustainability features commitment to local produce, seasonal menus, carefully vetted purveyors, quality protocols for each farmer, investment in a healthy work culture, and other conscious efforts to preserve resources, avoid waste, strengthen ecosystems, and protect the environment. I wondered: “What can the field executive of coaching learn and adopt from the sustainable food movement?”

Some parallels:

  1. Seasonal coaching might occur at key points around an organization’s annual calendar, such as: performance review cycles, strategic planning off-sites, budget negotiations, or board meetings. Perfect timing for coaching.
  2. Vetting Purveyors requires careful selection of coaches. PRINT has a chief Forager who has the sole responsibility to visit farms, screen, purchase services, and evaluate vendors.
  3. Quality Protocols can include the expectation that coaches have regular supervision, to ensure their health and wellbeing.
  4. Strengthening Ecosystems suggests that organizations create internal coaches and peer coaching groups. This implies that the impact of a successful coaching engagement has a positive ripple effect throughout the system.
  5. Local produce will have coaches fully understand the organization’s culture, norms, competencies, unwritten expectations, major initiatives, and even politics. The local and fresh world of the coaching client is on the table of every coaching session.
  6. Protecting the Environment will examine the impact of coaching on an organization’s Employee or Customer satisfaction survey. Do coaching efforts improve selected items on these surveys? Do coaches know what these links are?

What does the sustainable food movement suggest to you? I have a reservation at PRINT next week and I am eager to learn more parallels with coaching while enjoying lunch.

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