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“Innovations in Executive Coaching” Draws Nearly 250 Attendees


by SIOP Administrative Office

13th Annual LEC Explores the Leading Edge of Executive Coaching

Top thinkers and practitioners presented new approaches, models, and interventions in executive coaching during the recent SIOP Leading Edge Consortium (LEC), “Innovations in Executive Coaching: Deepening Your Expertise in a Dynamic World,” at the Hilton Minneapolis.Attendees from around the world participated in the events October 20 and 21, with many of them taking part in a new feature of the gathering, two pre-consortium workshops held October 19.The organizing committee skillfully wove together different perspectives, presentation formats, and activities to create a dynamic event. Sandra O. Davis chaired and handled many of the speaker introductions. Other committee members, who also helped with the emcee tasks, included Erica Desrosiers, Michael H. Frisch, Tim Jackson, Rob Kaiser, Jeff McHenry, and Vicki Vandaveer.

Esteemed researchers and practitioners delivered multi-faceted learning to 248 attendees, who hailed from 8 countries, 37 US states, and the District of Columbia. Three attendees from Singapore traveled the farthest to get there, just over 9,000 miles. Other international attendees came from Lucerne, Beirut, Tokyo, Shanghai, Toronto, and Manly, Australia. The two-day event comprised 13 sessions: keynote presentations, TED-style talks, panels and interactive sessions, including “continuation corners,” which allowed attendees to further explore topics with the presenters in smaller groups.Speakers from such leading organizations as Deloitte, Google, Harvard Medical School, Case Western Reserve University, Cisco Systems, the FBI, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center were joined by an equal number of experts from companies focused on developing leaders through executive coaching. Topics included the neuroscience of coaching; future trends in practice, technology, and the wider world; mindfulness; and a coaching case study. To read more, visit the LEC agenda page here.

The Hilton Minneapolis is in the heart of this vibrant northern city, linked to several other hotels and office buildings through Minneapolis’s extensive skyway system. Nightlife, restaurants, shopping, the Minnesota Orchestra, and local broadcasters are all conveniently near. Warm weather and the vivid colors of fall gave consortium travelers a pleasant welcome.

The preconsortium Workshops, a new feature introduced at this year’s meeting, were well attended. Approximately 100 LEC registrants also participated in the half-day workshops on “Neuroscience for Coaching Leaders” given by Robert Eichinger, TeamTelligent, LLC, and MatrixInsights, and “Team Coaching” given by Krister Lowe, Team Coaching Zone.

Upon checking in to the hotel, attendees were treated to a high-quality travel mug by LEC 17 Presenting Partner, Echospan. They were further delighted to receive, when picking up their conference credentials, a free copy of Using Experience to Develop Leadership Talent, by Cynthia McCauley and Morgan McCall, Jr., a publication in the SIOP Professional Practice Series. Attendees also took advantage of the many publications offered through the resources table, including SIOP and SIOP-SHRM white papers, and information from Leading Edge Consortium partners and presenters.

On Thursday evening, attendees enjoyed a relaxed evening mingling with colleagues and new friends at the opening reception, held in a pleasant room just off the hotel’s spacious ground floor lobby.

During brief opening remarks Friday morning, Consortium Chair Sandra Davis highlighted the importance of being open to change and transformation, and urged attendees to listen for “what is game changing for you.” She then welcomed Joe Vance, GM of Echospan, to the stage to introduce the first keynote speaker.

Anthony Abbatiello, a partner at Deloitte, brandished a VHS tape box with the familiar blue ticket on a white field to dramatize the consequences when a company fails to recognize and adapt to change.

“Leaders need to think, act and react differently to drive organizational success in a digital world,” he said. One of the most fundamental workplace changes being wrought by the digital revolution is the re-structuring of jobs to focus on more human skills, he added.

In the 2nd keynote presented on Friday, David Peterson, head of Executive Coaching and Leadership for Google, asked, “how can we lead change if we don’t continually examine ourselves?” and illustrated how easy it is to be lulled into a false security by patterns.

After a coffee break presented by Data Solutions International, the morning concluded with a panel discussion on “Coaching in Organizations: Today’s Reality and Future Directions.” Panel participants included Niloofar Ghods (Cisco Systems), Amy Grubb (FBI), Jeff McHenry (Rainier Leadership Solutions), and Amy Owen Nieberding (Vanderbilt University Medical Center.)

Friday’s lunch featured the annual presentation of the HRM Impact Award. SIOP President Fred Oswald, Rice University, and President Elect Talya Bauer, Portland State University, presented Maggie Collins and Meredith Vey, representatives of CVS Health, with a plaque after the audience viewed a very compelling video describing the award-winning project. Watch the video and read more about CVS Health’s winning initiative on the HRM Impact winners’ page here.

The afternoon included a keynote from Carol Kauffman, Harvard Medical School, who applied different models to a case study in “Model Agility: the Power of Seeing Your Client from Multiple Perspectives.” Karol Wasylyshyn, Leadership Development Forum, presented on “Executive Coaching at the Top: A Next Wave of Impact.” Other presentations included talks on technology by Alex Pascal and mindfulness by David Drake. The day concluded with six “Continuation Corners,” interactive discussion sessions with the presenters, facilitated by Randy White.

    Friday night, attendees at the open bar reception presented by reception partner Hogan Assessment Systems were automatically entered into a drawing. Stephen Steinhaus, HR Alignment Consulting, Ltd. won a copy of Coaching the Dark Side of Personality and Rob Silzer, HR Assessment & Development / Baruch College, CUNY, won a copy of Reputation: A Leader's Path to Career Success. Renee Giocolano, New York Life Insurance Company, won a free $75 dinner for the popular Friday Networking Dinners. This year’s event featured several highly rated downtown restaurants, all within walking distance.

Richard Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve University, brought the attendees to their feet first thing Saturday morning, leading them in a hand clapping groove to Aretha Franklin singing “Respect.” During his presentation on “Effective Coaching for Sustained, Desired Change” he went on to say that “almost all sustained desired change starts with a positive emotional attractor.” He continued to talk about the effectiveness of using positive and negative emotional attractors in differing ratios in the coaching relationship. TED-style talks by Robert Eichinger and Steve Arneson, from Arneson Leadership Consulting led to the final keynote, by Richard Kilburg of RRK Coaching and Executive Development. “Coaching at the Top” examined the unique challenges of coaching chief executives operating at the highest levels of business.

After a lunch presented by partner Shaker, the day concluded with an audience interaction session featuring Brian Underhill, Coach Source, LLC and Judy Blanton, Blanton Consulting.

In closing the consortium, Sandra Davis reminded attendees about the Post-LEC Webinar, “Getting Real: Making Optimal Choices in Virtual Coaching,” presented by Manuelle Charbonneau, Charbonneau Leadership Consulting, to be held via Zoom on November 3. Charbonneau is a pioneer in the field of research on media selection in executive coaching, whose work has been used as a reference worldwide.

Mark your calendar for the 14th Annual Leading Edge Consortium on the topic of high potential talent. It will be held October 19-20, with Preconsortium Workshops on October 18, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. The event will be co-chaired by Rob Silzer and Allan Church.

    View more photos of the 2017 LEC on SIOP’s Facebook page!

We hope to see you next year in Baltimore!