Coach 4 Executives

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Coach 4 Executives is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

International Executive Coach, Supervisor
and Cross-Cultural Expert Jackie Arnold
International Reflective Executive Coach,
Supervisor and Creativity Expert Elaine Patterson
Coach4Executives, trading as Arnold Associates, are at
the forefront of cross-cultural working, “clean language
methodology” and innovative leadership development and
research. International Executive Coach Jackie Arnold has spent over
30 years partnering with leaders from all over the world. In addition
to the UK, she has worked extensively in Europe and the Far East,
while Associate Elaine Patterson blends over 30 years of senior
leadership experience in complex political organisations with her
extensive training and research in creativity, reflection and people
development through the Centre for Reflection and Creativity Ltd.
More of the same leadership development is no longer enough. Leaders today need to
understand how to work with the new and emerging markets in our global, complex,
virtual and volatile world. New action research has shown how an innovative 1:1
practice called Executive Reflection (ER) can enable leaders to bridge these worlds.
What do tomorrow’s leaders need today?
Our work together started through a series of conversations we had over 18
months. We explored how to better support leaders to lead in our VUCA world.
VUCA is defined as “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous”. We noticed that
leaders are increasingly required to support staff in complex multicultural contexts,
working remotely and globally, where more of the same was no longer enough
»International Executive Coach,
Supervisor and Cross-Cultural
Expert: Jackie Arnold
»International Executive Coach,
Supervisor and Reflective
Thinking Partner and an
Associate Partner with C4E:
Elaine Patterson
»Established in 2001
»Based in Brighton and London
»Services: Executive reflection,
international reflective
supervision and intercultural
workshops and retreats
»No. of employees: 4, with 12
associates worldwide
Highlighting best practice
because, as Albert Einstein said,
“Problems cannot be solved from the
consciousness which created them.”
Published statistics reinforced this.
There are many statistics available on,
for example, the high levels of CEO
turnaround, the low levels of employee
engagement and the increasing impact
of digitisation on our personal capacities
for deep thinking andreflection.
We felt that the global challenges
that capture our economic, social
and spiritual crises to leaders are best
summarised by Otto Scharmer’sstatistics:
»It is calculated that our world
economies consume the resources
of 1.5 planets. Our current
consumption is outstripping the
resources of earth to support us
»Eight billionaires’ own half as much
as half of the world’s population (3.8
billion) combined
»800,000 people commit suicide
each year – a number greater than
the sum of people who are killed
annually by war, murder or natural
disasters combined.
As Bushong also writes, “No generation
before now has had so many of its
members simultaneously living in,
between and among countless cultural
worlds as is happening today.”
We concluded that new ways of
seeing, thinking, relating, learning
and creating, at the deeply personal
and collective levels, are now mission-
critical – not only for individuals
but also in order for organisations
to create a secure future and build
vital international relationships in
our global, virtual and diverse (GVD)
world. We created the acronym GVD
to capture the essence of business
and organisational life today. GVD is
explained as follows:
»Global – the worldwide nature,
stretch and web of work that can
cross continents, time zones, cultures
and language
»Virtual – computers, the web and
digital technology have enabled
leaders to reach, communicate,
co-ordinate and deliver work to
customers and clients globally
»Diverse – the cultural mix and
blending of many different
countries, identities, cultures, races
and languages that can exist in
just one person, in a team and in
We believe leaders now need to alter
leadership style and course as they
shape vision, goals, deliverables and
inspire performance. We had both
achieved a Diploma as Coaching
Supervisors with CSA Ltd. and knew
its effectiveness. We felt that this 1:1
practice, reframed and repositioned as
1:1 Executive Reflection, could offer
a new generation of leaders with the
tailor-made resourcing and support
to develop a new reflective leadership
style that was so clearly needed for
today’s VUCA GVD world.
We therefore decided to design an
action research study to test our
hypothesis working with our research
supervisor Dr. Alison Hodge pairing
ten senior global Volunteer Leaders
with ten senior global volunteer ER
Practitioners who had been trained by
CSA Ltd.
Executive Reflection for
developing tomorrow’s
global leaders today
New ways of
thinking and
at the deeply
personal and
levels, are
now mission
critical for
An action research inquiry to
explore the relevance and value
of ER to leaders in a global,
virtual and diverse world
The research:
»Confirmed the value and relevance
of ER – from the data, ER was found
to be valuable and relevant to the
volunteer leaders in the sample.
Reflection was found to be a vital,
invaluable and imperative oasis
for leaders to adapt, evolve and
transform, particularly in fast-moving
external business environments.
»Created a new definition of ER – ER
is an independently co-created 1:1
learning partnership and distinct
developmental practice built on
trust, safety and service. ER provides
a uniquely creative, resourceful
and generative oasis for leaders to
gain a robust “super-seeing” of
who they are, why they lead and
how they lead. ER attends to both
their personal and professional
development to resource leaders
to develop a more reflective style
in order to lead wisely in turbulent
»A high level of maturity – defined
as skills, personal development,
reflective capacity and life
experience – was needed from both
the global volunteer leaders and
volunteer practitioners to benefit
from this level, quality and type of
Research recommendations
It is recommended:
»Acronyms of VUCA and GVD are
widely used: VUCA and GVD need
to be used together to describe the
realities of leadership today.
»Recognition of ER as a distinct
1:1 practice: ER is recognised as a
specific developmental intervention
to resource and grow leaders to lead
in today’s VUCA GVD world. ER is
a co-created Learning partnership
for leaders in the context of their
»Development of ER practitioners:
further work is carried out by the
researchers to define the skills,
training, resourcing and support of
ER practitioners working with leaders
in a VUCA GVDworld.
»Promotion of ER as a new style of
leadership: the value, importance
and relevance of ER to leaders
leading in a VUCA GVD world now
needs to be actively communicated
to all.
»Further research: with a larger cohort
is recommended to further test the
Call to action
Aligned with the UN Global Goals
for 2030 we are a specialist group
of cross-cultural, multilingual
professionals from diverse
backgrounds, cultures and experiences.
Our vision is to extend 1:1 ER sessions
world-wide and to promote its
flexibility and potential global impact.
We also plan to offer Global Village
Retreats to build vital leadership agility
and capacity across cultures to meet
the challenges faced by leaders in
today’s VUCA and GVD world.
Reflection is a
vital, invaluable
and imperative
oasis for leaders
everywhere to
lead wisely,
skilfully and
Global Village Retreat
an oasis to develop new
ways of leading in our
VUCA GVD world

This article was sponsored by Coach 4 Executives. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.