Happy New Year 2018 President Newsletter

Happy New Year! I hope that 2018 has started well for all of you and will bring you many good things.

I’m delighted to be starting this year as the incoming UK ICF President and I hope that there will be many opportunities to get to know you as members over the course of the next two years.

Thank yous. There’s often a certain amount of trepidation about starting any new position. With such inspiring people who have filled this role before me, I’m hoping that I will be a worthy successor. Our thanks go to them and of course to Janet Wilson for her drive and commitment during her term of office as President from 2016-17. Many of you will have benefited from Janet’s New Members’ and Ethics webinars and her facilitation of the Local Groups Leaders’ Forum while knowing less about her involvement with the EMEA region and initiating a review of our governance processes.

The 2018 Board Going forward, I’m really looking forward to working with the 2018 Board, who are just great. Jane Kidd and Kaveh Mir have been on the Board since July 2016. Jane is our Company Secretary, has been leading on the Governance project and this year’s Conference, which promises to be a stunning event. Kaveh held the Finance role initially, has done a lot of work on updating the website and is currently leading the introduction of a new CRM system and training us all to use the Business Model Canvas to improve our approach to strategy. Chris Billinge and Karen Foy joined the Board last autumn. Chris is taking the Honorary Treasurer role and is the person to contact if you know a potential sponsor for the Conference! Karen is leading on professional development, credentialing and Local Groups.

What I bring to the role. You may wonder about me and what I bring to the role. I’ve been on the Board for four years, leading on professional development, running credentialing webinars and competence workshops, engaging speakers for our conferences and leading on the 2017 Conference, and contributing to the Governance Working Party and Finance Committees. I joined the ICF rather than any other professional coaching association because I thought the credentialing ladder was the best: well thought out coaching competences that at each level help us to identify what we need to do to have impact in our work with clients; a requirement to keep on developing and growing as professionals; a global mindset and global reach; and a great set of values. I’m still here on the Board because I want to help increase the value which UK ICF offers members and to contribute to ICF being more widely recognised as the gold standard for professional coaching.

Immediate priorities. We have two immediate focuses for our work at the beginning of this year: developing a more strategic approach and renewing the Board. We want to be really clear about why we do what we do, so that we use our resources in the most effective way possible to meet as many stakeholder needs as we can, given our size and the fact that being a Board member is a volunteer role. We’re fortunate that our current financial position, supported by the contribution we make in our UK membership fee, funds us in sub-contracting a lot of operational work to the experienced EBM team who you will probably know as Alison and Steve and the UK ICF office. In the regions, we also have a growing number of Local Group leaders who are helping to grow ICF across the country. To make a real difference though, we need more hands on deck on the Board and supporters working in project teams.

Growing the Board. We will be sending a more detailed email next week about how to apply to join the Board if you are interested. There are lots of benefits from joining us! Board members say they enjoy working as part of a motivated team to shape and grow the profession in the UK, with the potential to influence ICF strategy globally as well as at home. There are opportunities to connect with other inspiring members and speakers from different backgrounds – and to learn. For this particular Board, there is training in using the Business Model Canvas for the benefit of UK ICF with the potential for transferring this learning into your own practice. And free access to a host of webinars and the annual conference.  If you’d like to consider applying, in the first instance, email admin@coachfederation.org.uk with the subject headingPlease send Board application details – and we will send you the application pack.

Your opinion and questions count. Later this month, we’ll be experimenting with a new virtual Members’ Forum. This is an opportunity to share your views and ideas and ask questions of the Board. I’ll be hosting the first one on January 24 at 6 pm if you’re interested. Of course, you can email me directly, on sarah.gornall@coachfederation.org.uk, though just to manage your expectations, I am not chained to the laptop all day, do have clients and a family life too, and may be a little while replying!

Conference. Last but not least, here’s some news about this year’s conference “Dancing in the Future”. It will be our biggest conference yet, held in a larger venue at the old County Hall in Central London (Westminster).  This year we will be focusing on the future for the coaching industry and how we can continue to meet the needs of clients in a rapidly changing environment with new technologies, economic and demographic shifts. The day will offer debates, discussion groups, workshops and presentations from leading experts. With over 18 different sessions running during the day, you will be able to choose from a diverse range of speakers and facilitators including Hetty Einzig, Simon Hayworth, Ilias Varthomolmaios, Edmee Schalkx, Rob McCargow, Georgina Woudstra, Nicola Cairncross, Sarah Hill, Lisa Farr, Ginny Baillie, Aboodi Shabi, John Passmore, Joy Harcup, Janet Wilson and Anne-Marie Watson. Registration at first adopter rates will open soon: – so save the date, it’s 8th May 2018!

With All Best Wishes,


Sarah Gornall

UK ICF President

UK ICF Charter Chapter

01922 660088 or admin@coachfederation.org.uk