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Tünde Erdös & Shirley Smith

How Executive Coaching and Coaching Supervision can create sustainable developmental opportunities for organisations

Theme: Organisations
Area: Supervision
Type: Workshop
Style: Mainly Experiential

Session on Thursday, Apr 12, 16:45
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Since the publishing of what is commonly known as the Brundtland-Report (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) the term sustainability has been used in various ways (Marrewijk, 2003: 96). In the context of coaching in organisations sustainability primarily appears in two facets. On the one hand the term is likely used as a largely featureless and non-descript adjective, and on the other hand as ‘Corporate Sustainability’ (Jonker, 2015). Corporate sustainability receives growing scientific attention as companies have begun to acknowledge their social and environmental responsibility (UN Global Compact, 2010). However, there is almost no relevant literature which would explicitly pertain to or which would provide an in-depth exploration of the concept of sustainability in the context of Executive Coaching & Coaching Supervision in Organisation Development (OD) itself (Neugebauer / Prammer / Pawel / Erdös, 2015).

There are some publications that relate to OD work by using the term sustainability and even attempt to describe what enables sustainability (e.g. Reichert 2008: 37). Yet, almost none responds to the question of what ‘sustainability’ should mean in the context of Executive Coaching within OD consultancy. Nor can any of them be found to outline the requirements which would seem likely to assure sustainability in and of OD processes.
For about 15 years, my colleagues of the iff-faculty at the University of Klagenfurt (Prammer, 2014: 27), of CONECTA – Vienna School of Organisation Consultancy, Alfred Janes, and we as the presenters try to inquire into what sustainability could mean in a specific Executive Coaching & Supervision process in OD and what might be the way in which we could ensure that an OD process becomes and remains sustainable (Grossmann, 2007).


Tünde Erdös holds a Master’s Degree in Executive Coaching earned at the Ashridge Centre for Coaching at Hult International Business School, which is backed up by ten years of experience as an executive coach, trainer and philologist. She is also an Ashridge Accredited Executive Coach and has recently embarked on a PhD trajectory at ABRI – Amsterdam Business Research Institute of VU University, Amsterdam.

She offers a psycho-dynamic approach focussing on the ’players on the stage’ in what seems to be a mature model in addressing tasks and goals in a cyclical, recursive, reflective and reflexive process. The approach grew out of the requirement in her coaching work that ‘You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’. Additionally, she offers a relational stance: ‘It’s always both’. Creating and working in effective systems takes assuming responsibility for what we create and co-create. How do differences between client, coach and organisational contexts impact clients’ learning? AND: What can clients contribute to the coach’s own learning in the coaching relationship? In being genuinely curious about how we can become grounded in this inter-connectedness she is confident to enable clients cognitively and emotionally to develop effective and fully-engaged realities in their organisation.

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