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Ian Mitchell & Paul Cracknell

Developing effective NHS leaders through systemic team coaching: a conceptual model

Theme: Approach/school/theory
Area: Team coaching
Type: Research and how to apply it in practice
Keywords: NHS New Model Leaders, Leadership, Team Effectiveness, Systemic Team Coaching, Reinforcement Learning, Tabula Rosa,

Session on Wednesday, Jul 11th, 13:50
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‘We therefore offer a systemic approach to team coaching rather than team coaching as an intervention.’ Owens, A, Team Coaching Capacity Building, 2016 (Health Education, England). Annual NHS staff surveys indicate 90% of respondents work in teams. Those indicating their team to be effective falls to around 40%. (Owens 2016), As he concludes, ‘A sustainable approach to applying coaching for team effectiveness is compelling.’

Whilst there are a number of models for systemic team coaching emerging in the literature, the aim of this research project was to create, road test and refine a conceptual model for coaching team effectiveness that could be utilised by ‘Big C’ coaches when working on large scale systemic team coaching projects, team leaders and managers working as ‘small c’ coaches to their own teams, and to teams seeking to, on a daily basis, become self coaching as they seek to ‘learn from themselves’ (a central tenet of much machine learning) as a means of creating greater working effectiveness.

Participants will be invited to explore and discuss the model and its accompanying simple diagnostic tools, and to consider some insights gained from Primary Research carried out in one NHS Trust in the UK.


Ian Mitchell has been an executive and team coach and coach supervisor since 2011. Prior to that he worked for 30 years as a senior executive in the Financial Services sector, approximately 10 of which were spent in leading large teams of actuaries and financial planners with Deloitte Ireland He holds a Bachelors degree in Moral Philosophy from Queens University Belfast, a Post Grad Certificate in Coach Supervision from University of Chester, where he is completing (estimated April 2018) an MA in Coaching Leaders through Transition and Change. This research has formed a part of that work.

Paul Cracknell is ‎Director of Strategy and Transformation at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust. Paul says that his portfolio is ‘quite random, but it is one that I have learned to manage very well’, and comprises oversight of Strategy, Operations and Human Resources’. Holding a Bachelors degree in Law from the University of East Anglia, and a Masters from the University of Sheffield, his career has included leadership level experience across a number of organisations within the private, public and third sectors. Paul will be sharing insights into how he applies the conceptual model in his work within the Trust.

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