INSEAD Executive Coaching

Shedding new light on your leadership

Mary Carey

Regional Director | The Americas
INSEAD Executive Education

What makes INSEAD executive coaching so unique in North America and how can it help reshape executives’ leadership, their behaviours and themselves? Mary Carey, INSEAD’s Regional Director for Executive Education for the Americas, explains.

We do something unique and powerful in our executive leadership development programmes at INSEAD using executive coaching. Most business schools incorporate executive coaching in their programmes, INSEAD takes this methodology to a different level. The result is that a great many executives come away from INSEAD’s leadership coaching saying the experience was unlike any other coaching they have had. They are profoundly moved by a new opportunity to see themselves, their behaviours, and their work and life systems in an entirely new light.

How do we manage to make this happen? INSEAD’s approach to coaching is based on methods that draw from systems psychodynamics as well as group dynamics and psychoanalytic theories. What these methods offer are penetrating ways to understand at a deep level, the systems and groups in which executives work and the roles they play in them. Our coaching is also most often done in groups – 5 to 6 participants with an INSEAD coach. The dynamics created within these groups adds greatly to the learning.

What does all this mean for the executive participants? The experience of INSEAD coaching sheds new light on why executives do what they do, and the impact their behaviour has on others. They gain clarity on how effectively they are operating within their work life and the potential levers they have at their disposal to change their organisations along with themselves. Using powerful tools and methods, participants also build understanding about what may truly be holding them back from making the kinds of changes they desire.

As part of the coaching experience, we often take participants out of the classroom and challenge them to accomplish difficult tasks. Many struggle and fail at these tasks. The resulting learnings often expose important truths, perspectives, and realities about how they actually show up at work and in their lives. Many tell us that our coaching and leadership development work ranks among the most profound learning experiences of their careers.

I value leadership development and have participated in many experiences over the years. Though I have gotten something from each, they all have basically recycled similar themes and methods. INSEAD’s approach is completely different and thoroughly profound – it has changed my entire perspective on my leadership.

            A recent testimonial from a senior executive at a major global technology organisation

INSEAD was one of the first business schools to bring psychodynamic coaching methods into mainstream business education. We offer a decidedly different executive coaching experience than many of our peer business schools in the USA. I believe that much of the intellectual energy driving this difference is grounded in INSEAD’s European roots. Our faculty’s research leads in this space and many of our professors are part of a larger community of European-based academics who research and practice in this area. As an American, I first became aware of these European influences during my masters’ work in clinical organisational psychology at INSEAD and deepened my understanding when I later led INSEAD’s Global Leadership Center which focuses on the theory and practice of leadership development and where many of the coaching methodologies were developed.

However, the uniqueness of our approaches and the difference they make really became clear when I began working with USA-based global organisations developing custom executive development programmes for their leaders. I have a bird’s eye view of the immediate impact of our work and how different it is from the offerings of other business schools.

As the leader of INSEAD’s Executive Education for the USA, I am often asked what differentiates us from the many other renowned business schools here. The first answer is always our global perspective of business in all its complexities. The second answer is our distinctive executive coaching and development approaches with their capacity to reshape executives’ leadership.

Explore Executive Coaching at INSEAD

At INSEAD Executive Coaching, we believe that effective leaders contribute to the creation of sustainable organisations that are great places to work. Our outlook is that the ways leaders deal with their people and the type of organisational culture they create, are the real and enduring sources of competitive advantage.

Podcast: Shedding light on yourself with executive coaching at INSEAD

Virtual executive coaching participant, Samia Elfekih, Research Scientist at CSIRO Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, shares how she came to enrol on virtual executive coaching at INSEAD, its impact on her and the journey she has been on since.

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