Coaching in Three Dimensions : Meeting the Challenges of a Complex World book cover
1st Edition

Coaching in Three Dimensions
Meeting the Challenges of a Complex World

ISBN 9780815378136
Published August 14, 2018 by Routledge
184 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $32.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Traditional approaches to coaching fail to account for the way organizations really work. Attempts to enhance leadership capability one person at a time, through private one-to-one coaching sessions, are unlikely to succeed by themselves. Coaching in Three Dimensions: Meeting the Challenges of a Complex World offers a more connected, systemic approach, aligning coaching with the realities and challenges of organizations operating in an ever more complex world.

Coaching in Three Dimensions is structured around a central model: the three dimensions of coaching. Using stories and case studies, the book enables readers to:

  1. Consider their current and desired approach to coaching: is it traditional, dialogic, or systemic?
  2. Identify which areas of practice they work in and wish to work in: one-to-one coaching, group/team coaching, and/or organizational coaching?
  3. Think about stretching their development as a coach in terms of competence, capability, and perspective: how do you enhance your capacity to manage the challenges of increasing complexity?

The book explains complexity using simple language and easy-to-recognize examples, and suggests pragmatic approaches going forwards. Coaches will learn how to expand their scope and impact, and to navigate the new and difficult challenges posed by contemporary businesses. Clients wishing to use coaching in complex change work will learn what to look out for in prospective coaches and how to best deploy them in their organizations.

Coaching in Three Dimensions will appeal greatly to all coaches, including those working with organisations, students and those in training, as well as HR and OD professionals and senior leaders.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.  Foreword. Introduction. The Three Dimensions. Coaching APPROACH.  1. The Traditional Approach.  2. The Dialogic Approach.  3. The Systemic Approach.  Coaching PRACTICE .  4. A Systemic Approach to Coaching Individuals.  5. Coaching Teams and Groups.  6. Coaching the Organization.  Coach DEVELOPMENT.  7. Competence.  8. Capability.  9. Perspective.  Experience and Reflection. Last Thoughts

View More



Paul Lawrence, Ph.D., lectures in business coaching at the Sydney Business School (University of Wollongong, Australia) and conducts research into coaching and change. He coaches individuals, teams and groups, and has over 3,000 coaching hours. Before becoming a professional coach/consultant, Paul had a long corporate career, heading up businesses in Spain, Portugal, Japan and Australia. He is President of the NSW Chapter of the International Coaching Federation..

Allen Moore, Ph.D., heads the executive coaching practice for Korn Ferry Hay Group, providing leadership and development consultancy to the world’s largest companies. His early corporate career was international marketing for medical devices, then consulting in strategy and change across multiple industry sectors. Allen has worked with more than 10,000 leaders in 450 client companies, in more than 50 countries around the world.


"I have long argued that coaching, having ridden the wave of great success in the last 35 years, needs a radical revolution to be successful in the next 35 years. Paul Lawrence and Allen Moore have provided us with a great book that very clearly lays out the contours of the necessary revolution needed to take coaching forward into the world of hyper-change, complexity and disruption. Coaches who want to be part of the new wave need to read this book." --Professor Peter Hawkins, Author of ‘Leadership Team Coaching’, ‘Creating a Coaching Culture’, and many other coaching and supervision books.

"This is the type of book that is currently hard to come by, but that is much needed in the coaching field. It is about practice, written by and for coaching practitioners, and it is clear, well-structured and rich in detail. What excites me is that this book takes understanding of professional experience to a higher level. It dares to conceptualize coaching with an appreciation of complexity and lucid thinking, providing a coherent theoretical proposition built on new ideas and a meaningful synthesis of what the best of this field can currently offer. This book is great for both an intelligent novice and an advanced practitioner. I enjoyed reading it and cannot recommend it strongly enough." --Tatiana Bachkirova, Professor of Coaching Psychology and Director of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies, Oxford Brookes University, UK

"From the first few pages of this book, the authors capture the essence of the next evolutionary wave of coaching in organizations. It sparked my thinking immediately. Our clients, in their own words, are asking us as coaches and coaching practice leaders, to be more systemic in our approach. They want us to engage them and the complexity of the environment in which they lead. Coaching in Three Dimensions provided a comprehensive, yet elegant and straight forward, model as to how we can include the voice of clients, coaches and key organizational stakeholders. The model helped me reframe the strategic narrative for coaching in our organisation, in a way that has created clarity, shared meaning and accelerated decision making." --Karen R. Mathre, Coaching Center of Excellence Leader, Medtronic

"The shift from linear to systemic thinking is fundamental to coach maturity — here is a book that lifts the lid on this complex but essential transition." --David Clutterbuck, Practice Leader, David Clutterbuck Partnership

"This book is both refreshing and timely. Refreshing because it straightforwardly acknowledges the messiness of the coaching engagement, without offering simple solutions. Rather it honours the reader's intelligence by challenging us to think carefully and deeply about what we are doing, offering the promise of a richer, more enduring perspective. It's timely because this book is needed. Whilst everyone likes to talk about ‘VUCA’, few have been able to offer a coherent articulation of how coaches might within this complexity and chaos. This book offers precisely that." --Dr. Gordon Spence, Program Director, Master of Business Coaching, Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong, Australia

"As developmental needs in organizations have grown ever more complex, there is a need for coaches and coaching itself to evolve so they can rise to the occasion. The authors have laid out a clear path for doing so, particularly with their focus on systemic frames and the maturation of coaches. I highly recommend this book for raising the bar and casting light on the path ahead." --Dr. David Drake, Founder and CEO, Moment Institute, USA

"Many books about coaching only look at coaching as a tool but fail to take the world around us seriously into account. The authors start by recognizing the rapid changes taking place in the world and organizational life. Their inclusive and in-depth understanding of coaching, and developmental dialogue, will help the reader apply this work in service of renewing collaboration, organizational change and leadership." --Reinhard Stelter, Professor of Coaching Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

"Paul and Allen present a thoughtful and grounded treatment of coaching in ‘real’ organisations where quite often things don’t make a lot of sense. They don’t fall into the trap of debunking traditional approaches. Instead, they provide a model and weave a narrative that encourages multiple approaches. The underlying assumption is that complexity-of-context requires that coaches carry a complexity-of-mind. The writers draw on research, theory and experience to encourage coaches to embrace the systemic and messy nature of organisational life. There is an elegance in their approach that might well provide an attractor for coaches to step from the comfort of the familiar to the discomfort of the unknown - and enjoy the ride." --Geoff Abbott, Director Executive and Organisational Coaching, Graduate School of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

"The right coaching can offer profound value for individuals and organisations. A coaching culture is a real differentiator for companies and a must for the complexities we all need to face now and in the future of work. The tools and approaches in this book provide Human Resource professionals and OD practitioners with the toolkit to work effectively with executives, individuals and teams." --Raechel Gavin, Group Executive People & Culture, Quantium

"In Coaching in Three Dimensions, the authors take readers into coaching conversations, places we rarely have the opportunity to venture. The book challenges coaches to take their conversations to a deeper level, to truly understand the client’s interests, beliefs and assumptions. Most helpful is the exploration of leaders in today’s corporations, managing multiple systems and realities, their teams, and complex, matrixed organizations. The coach should consider all of these, not only the client as individual. This book should help even the most experienced coach co-create with clients more successfully. You won’t want to put this book down!" --Alison Arkin, Global Manager of Learning and Development, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

"Although coaching receives plaudits across the board in talent development, it is plagued with unevenness in its delivery. Part of the problem is that many coaching approaches are prescriptive, and in their specificity they end up only adding to the overall confusion. Here, however, is a book in which the authors offer perspective rather than prescription. See how they merge approaches from the traditional, to the dialogic, to the systemic, and how they encourage coaches to work beyond the level of the individual.  This is a contemporary book for coaches in the future organization - which has already arrived." --Joe Raelin, Knowles Chair, Northeastern University, Boston, USA

"This book is fantastic and can give you a new perspective on coaching. The authors look in depth at various approaches to coaching, including the increasingly popular but widely misunderstood ‘leader as a coach’. Numerous real-life examples help even experienced coaches reflect on their own coaching style, and adjust for optimum outcomes. A gold mine not only for coaching practitioners, but any professional who wants to deepen their understanding of how coaching works." --Dr. Gerrit Pelzer, Leadership Advisor & Executive Coach, Bangkok, Thailand

"If you read one book on coaching this year, let it be this book! Despite coaching’s promise, traditional approaches too often fail to have the transformational impact clients and organizations crave. We need new thinking on how coaches can help clients keep pace with the demands a VUCA world places upon them. This book provides a breakthrough in thinking and will change how you think about your practice and the impact you can have with your clients and the world." --Laura Heaton, Vice President Talent Development, Penske Truck Leasing

"The job of an organization is to bring multitudes of humans together, provide a shared purpose, and create something that is of value to customers. No easy task, humans are complicated. Our executives must learn, adjust and innovate to be successful. This book shows us that as coaches we are in the same boat. Knowing what’s true today may not be true in a year. The authors challenge coaches to understand the system, and to work in much the same way as their clients, discovering and adapting to maximize results." --Rebecca Hemmer, Director of Leadership Development, Edward Jones

"Many of us would love to be a fly on the wall and observe other people coaching. While that is rarely possible, Coaching in 3D offers a great alternative, with each chapter enriched with examples of coaching situations and dialogues. Drawing on a rich theoretical basis as well as extensive experience of coaching practice, the authors offer a highly readable text that invites the reader to reflect on their coaching practice and how they can develop their effectiveness as coaches in a highly complex, ambiguous and rapidly changing world. Well worth a read!" --Associate Professor Grace McCarthy, Dean, Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong, Australia

"Drawing on their considerable depth of experience, the authors reveal some astute insights and home truths of the coaching industry and the realities of coaching executives in a range of complex environments. The reader is provided a short-cut into the real world of organisational coaching; its positive impact and potential short-comings. Always insightful, sometimes irreverent to traditionalists, Coaching in 3D offers credible suggestions as to how coaches and coaching will need to adapt to the quickening and changing organisational landscape."--Tony Mathers, Chief Executive, Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership, Australia


"Paul Lawrence and Allen Moore have produced a thoughtful book on coaching methods that draws together many strands of thought, research and practice across the coaching industry over the past 20 years. Their capacity to illustrate a range of approaches to coaching ensures that this book is an informative and interesting read that will speak to experienced coaches and managers. Well done Paul and Allen." --Michael Cavanagh, Deputy Director, Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Sydney, Australia