The COVID-19 pandemic initiated and accelerated dramatic changes in the way we worked and ran our organisations in 2020. Coupled with disruptive social and political unrest most leaders are investing valuable time and resources in planning how best to extract benefits from these changes as they refocus their organisations to adapt and grow. Some global thought leaders are even suggesting that we 2021 is just the very beginning of what will be an entire decade of disruption. Making coaching, in the face of disruption, a key partnership relationship and enabler for supporting boards, leaders and teams to strategically maximise the potential of their people, systems and technologies, in the organisations they lead and serve. To evoke a co-creative approach, coaching from the emerging future requires different ways of sensing, being, thinking and acting.

A moment of profound disruption

This moment of profound disruption – between what is happening now and an unknown emerging future, creates a range of unique opportunities, to strategically focus innovation efforts to drive changes that are beneficial to both people and customers.

To co-create new workplaces that hold the promise of greater creativity, productivity, lower costs, enhance resilience and energise and mobilise people’s broader well-being.

According to McKinsey & Co – “The trick will be in reducing the risk of unequal outcomes, ensuring companies of all sizes can benefit, and preparing workers for these shifts”.

We are experiencing a time where we don’t know, and can’t know what is going to happen in the future.

Not knowing is significantly impacting our hold on many of our old traditional world structures and operating models in an uncertain and unstable environment – where conventional linear approaches to planning, managing and transitioning change processes are unlikely to work because the “gap” is too wide.

Coaching to explore inner and outer places

Making coaching, from the emerging future, a profoundly thought-provoking and creatively abrasive process, to inspire and enable clients to maximise their personal and professional potential. Which is becoming increasingly important in supporting clients to adapt, grow and be resilient in today’s uncertain and unstable environment.

An innovation coach has developed the:

  • Confidence, capacity and competence to partner with clients, to deep dive into the most adaptive and creative spaces: the inner and outer places from where they operate.
  • Ability to cultivate a client’s consciousness: “the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings” and develop deep levels of personal and systemic self-awareness through partnering a client to lean into the unknown, into the spaces of “not knowing” and sense making.
  • Systemic awareness to open their minds, unlearn and relearn how to truly see the world with fresh eyes, to open their hearts to deeply connect and empathise with their world through cultivating compassion and courage to effect systemic change within it.
  • Ability to listen and inquire with humility, through sensing at the edges of the system, and by enabling a client to actualise the future as it emerges.

Developing deep levels of personal and systemics self-awareness

Coaching from the emerging future Involves cultivating a client’s deep awareness and ability to distance themselves from a problem or situation, to think, feel and act differently about it through:

  1. Being silent and still, being grounded and being present to their whole system.
  2. Observing, observing, observing, removing evaluation and suspending judgement to notice habitual patterns of thought and behaviours, and their impact on their emotional and mental states, and ability to adapt, create and perform at optimal levels and:
  • Adopt a systemic perspective, including seeing themselves as part of the system, and how they contribute to the problem of the system.
  • Observe deeply to sense and connect to what wants to emerge.
  1. Retreating and reflecting through introspection, contemplation and wondering into wandering to:
  • Redirect their attention inward.
  • Allow new structures and models to form.
  • Sensing (seeing and feeling) what is really going within and at the edges of the systems.
  • Flow with constraints.
  1. Letting go of old identities, roles, models and intentions that will not serve them and:
  • Let go of the old crucial conventional structures and operating models of the world that no longer serves them, yet being able to paradoxically accept them as “what is” the current reality.
  • Connect to Source; their inner knowing to let the new thoughts, intentions and creative ideas emerge as to “what could be” possible in an unknown future, to emerge.
  • Crystallize these into an intention or vison for innovation.
  1. Acting on their intention or vision by enacting, prototyping, embodying the new through applying structured and disciplined project planning, agile design thinking and lean start-up methodologies.

Partnering with an innovation coach

Coaching from the emerging future requires partnering with an innovation coach, who enables a client to understand and change their operating systems and to develop their consciousness – to adapt, innovate and grow and be accountable by being transparent, and authentically purposeful in delivering innovative, sustainable and equitable outcomes, that serve humanity, at large.

Join our next free “Making Innovation a Habit” innovation webinar “Catalysing change through innovation teams.” It’s on Thursday, 25th February 2021 at 8.00 pm Sydney and Melbourne, 11.00 am London, 10.00 am Amsterdam, at 1.00 pm Abu Dhabi and at 5.00 pm Hong Kong. Find out more.

Find out about The Coach for Innovators Certified Program, a collaborative, intimate, and deep personalized innovation coaching and learning program, supported by a global group of peers over 8-weeks, starting May 4, 2021. It is a blended learning program that will give you a deep understanding of the language, principles, and applications of a human-centred approach to innovation, within your unique context. Find out more.

Contact us now at to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt, and grow your business in the digital age.