Opportunities abound in the business space. With different ways to secure finances, better access to information, and innovations in the tech and marketing environments (think Microsoft Azure, facial recognition, and all things digitally disruptive), there is more of an open door to budding entrepreneurs and established organisations to build empires and own markets.
And while this new world is good for flexibility, innovation, and increased profits, it also creates vulnerabilities. Cue business coaching, a tool that has become more valuable as it empowers organisations and leaders to ride these lucrative waves of opportunity into stability and success.
And not just valuable, but trusted. Coaches are often trusted implicitly to have a positive impact on the business. In response to this trust and various liabilities that crept into the profession as its popularity increased, the business coaching industry is taking steps towards becoming more professionalised through stricter regulations and standards.
I’ve briefly touched on this subject before, but now I want to talk from the heart about why our industry is in desperate need of this regulation – and how it will only serve to benefit us all.
The first reason is that it’s for the coaches.
Coaches can no longer afford to hide behind coaching as a ‘trend’. As more experienced, qualified coaches impact business on a wider scale, coaching is quickly becoming a trusted resource. And as business leaders become more aware of what coaching can do, they’ve started adopting it as a tool for growth.
The increase in uptake means that you can’t play around anymore. You can’t rely on your pitch to get in the door and then wing it. You need to know what you’re doing and how to do it, because those same leaders will soon see whether you’re adding value. If you’re not, they’ll feel swindled – not just by you, but by the entire profession. What you do matters to all of us and because not everyone can be trusted to follow this ‘code’, it’s clear that regulations need to be set in place to protect us all.
The second reason is for the legalities.
Without regulation and established standards, business coaches are vulnerable to lawsuits from clients who blame them for almost any error or failure. It might not even be the coach’s fault. With the proper regulations in place, it’s clear cut when it comes to checking if a coach has provided all possible assistance and possesses no culpability in the failure that’s brought about the potential lawsuit.
Let me be clear to my fellow coaches out there (she said with a grim smile). There have already been some successful lawsuits against coaches and we would all do well to make sure that everything we do for our clients is above board and backed by the regulations available to us as an industry.
The third reason is for the clients.
Up until now, businesses have had to rely on a coach’s past success and pitch to decide whether to invest or not. They couldn’t previously know for sure if a business coach is reliable and capable of providing sound (and at times, legally correct) advice. But if there is regulation and required accreditation, coaches will have to adhere to established standards – which gives leaders and organisations greater peace of mind.
Simply, if the industry is regulated, businesses will have more reason to trust coaches, who’ll then be able to build more solid reputations and help more organisations succeed in their endeavours.
Which is a good thing.
The fourth reason is for the innovation and longevity of the industry.
And finally, let’s look at the need for regulation from a different angle altogether. Industry standards are asking more from coaches, including the need to gain formal accreditation and training. As a result, there exists a stronger foundation on which to grow. Without this foundation, it’s just not possible for coaches to keep up with the latest industry developments. Additionally, if they rely on experience alone, they can’t know how to deal with different kinds of organisations in different industries, which limits how they can help.
Moreover, they also can’t learn or create new skills that might help improve the general quality of coaching. When we know where we stand from a training perspective, we can raise the bar, innovate, and push further into better tools, processes, and systems that will only serve to keep up with the changing face of how business is conducted.
You see, regulated business coaching benefits both clients and coaches. It’s a legitimate need that will push industry growth and enable organisations to receive the assistance required to weather economic challenges and opportunities. And while there may be a few hurdles along the way, the effort is worth it.
If you want to find out more about Heartcore’s consultants or see what a qualified coach can do for your business, then get in touch with us to arrange a complementary session.