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The Open University A Case Study

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1 The Open University A Case Study
Veronica Barnes & Charlotte Bruce-Foulds The Open University The OCM

2 Outline of the session The Open University Why coaching – now?
Why The OCM? The programme – Phase 1 Evaluation The programme – Phase 2 What now and next

3 The Open University's Mission
... to be OPEN to … People Places Methods and Ideas

4 The Open University A world leader in modern distance learning
Enables people to achieve their career and life goals by studying at times and in places to suit them Founded to open up higher education to all; most undergraduate courses have no formal entry requirements, prior qualifications or experience More than 250,000 students per year and since 1969 over 1.6 m people worldwide have achieved their learning goals by studying with us Many of our teaching and learning resources are free of charge on line, MOOCS leader

5 Why introduce coaching?
Learning & Organisational Development Management Development Survey Different levels of development Coaching to support the Highly Effective Manager (HEM) programme

6 A transferable skill Management Coaches Coach-Mentor
Coach / Mentor HEM Delegates (‘Learners’) Delegates begin to use coaching approach with own team Coach across the OU Coach their own teams

7 Why The OCM? Has a strong academic underpinning
Provided the hybrid of coach-mentoring to support management development Offered a blended approach to learning Covered core skills of coaching and models Designed with emphasis on skills practice Supported with Coach-Mentor Supervisor Considered ethical issues

8 The Programme – Phase 1

9 How, what and when Selection of Coach-Mentors …
Programme promoted on L&OD website and in leaflets Completed application forms including 3 reasons why they want to do this Online self-assessment Online questionnaire Selection interview with OU and The OCM

10 What did the programme initially look like?
Started in May 2009 An initial 2-day workshop 4 x 1:1 coach-mentoring (supervision) sessions every 2 months Online portal and one book – J. Starr Interim half-day skills workshop 180 feedback from HEM learners Final half-day review workshop

11 What does it look like now?
Recently started our 5th cohort and there are a few key differences … More coaching support from delegates individual Coach-Mentor Supervisor (CMS), 6 hours instead of 4 hours to enable monthly contact Introduce Action Learning in the initial workshop, so self-managed learning groups start immediately More practice with models and an additional coaching framework

12 Models Core processes and key skills supported by a range of other frameworks … GROW Appreciative Inquiry Wheel of work/life Skilled Helper Framework Change House and other useful tools working in this context, e.g. Forcefield Analysis

13 The outcomes Quantative and qualitative feedback was captured from both the delegates (= coaches) and their HEM learners (= coachees) and it was extremely positive For example, from the HEM learners … “The time spent with my coach has enabled me to gain far more from the HEM than I ordinarily would, appreciate the lessons available in my daily working life and, more importantly to put them into practice with rewarding results” “It has been an extremely important and valuable part of the development and will probably prove to have been the most valuable aspect of it as there is such a direct focus on my immediate work and goals”

14 Feedback from HEM learners on their coach’s behaviours

15 Feedback from HEM learners on their coach’s style & approach

16 Feedback / benefits from the coaches’ perspective
Importance of coaching in creating a safe space which provides opportunities to think Coaching really helps to raise self-awareness and self-confidence Provides an opportunity for the coachee to think about their own individual development Encourages coachee to relate their development to organisational benefits Importance of using coaching conversations with direct reports

17 Differences made The Management Coaching Programme provided by The OCM has … Provided a sound and professional foundation for the development of coaches across the OU Lived up to the choice of provider with an academic underpinning as models and theories have been challenged during the learning process Enabled individuals across the university to experience the empowering characteristic of coaching

18 Activity 1 In small groups …
How do you currently use coaching in your organisation?

19 So what happened next … By 2012 there was a critical mass of coaches who needed support, their frequent questions were … Who could they coach? How could they continue to develop and be supervised?

20 The Programme – Phase 2

21 Who can be coached? Learners on the Highly Effective Managers Programme Individuals ‘Coaching conversations’ & ‘coaching style’ with own staff on day-to-day basis Teams On behalf of Human Resources Outside OU e.g. voluntary sector

22 How can the coaches be developed?
Qualifications Short courses, Conferences, Seminars Join local coaching groups Open University’s Coaches’ Network

23 Feedback from Coaches’ Network events
‘I think this Coaches’ Network is a fantastic way of drawing on the experiences of others and being able to share with people who understand the OU and its internal coaches model.’ ‘A really good overview of coaching which made me think about my own coaching style.’ ‘I already thought I was an authentic coach, however, I will be reflecting on the ideas raised, to find out how I might develop further.’

24 How can the coaches be supported?
‘Owner’ of coaching A formal process of professional support in a trusting and supportive relationship. Supervision ensures continuing development, sharing of experience and effectiveness of the coaches’ practice within the ethos and culture of the University … 1:1 supervision Group supervision

25 Outcomes from coaching supervision

26 Activity 2 Discuss in small groups …
If you have internal coaches in your organisation, how might you support them? Or, if you don’t have internal coaches in your organisation, what could you now do to create your own group of coaches?

27 What’s happening now? Formalising offering of Supervision
Individual basis Group sessions Considering an annual refresher The Coaches’ Network events quarterly Management Coaching 5

28 Organisational impact
Quality control Coaches make a greater and higher quality impact Coachees make a better contribution to the organisation Provides a source of organisational knowledge and learning Maximises the potential of coaching and supports the investment


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