2 January 2021
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) has taken a bold step forward into the future of coaching. A refreshed brand identity now reflects ICF’s interests in many areas of the coaching industry, represented by six unique family organizations that make up the whole or “One” ICF.
To introduce the new brand, Coaching World interviewed ICF CEO Magdalena Mook. Check it out for insights and inspiration as ICF forges ahead and empowers the world through coaching.
Q: As the CEO of ICF, tell us about how the new brand came to be and the process of adopting it.
It is quite exciting to launch the refreshed brand for ICF. The impetus for this has been the transformation of our organization at the beginning of 2020 as we introduced “One ICF” and six family organizations. This specifically responds to the needs of the growing coaching marketplace. So in order for ICF to truly be able to deliver on its vision and mission of coaching becoming an integral part of a thriving society, we needed to reinvent ourselves to stay true to that mission.
The brand is simply an extension of that thinking and a better illustration of how all stakeholders in our sphere can relate and be a part of One ICF.
This new brand is the result of a very well–thought out and lengthy process. We had a lot of data gathering and consultation with our stakeholders so that the brand reflects not only the ambitions of the organization, but also the reality of it and the thoughts of our broad and diverse community.
Q: Why is this new brand important for all facets of the organization and how does it reflect ICF’s work in the industry?
I think that this new brand will show more explicitly all the facets of the work and activities that ICF is offering. Now everybody can find a specific channel or venue to be a part of this organization.
If you are a professional coach, there is a special place just for you to expand your education, to be a part of a huge network, to be a part of a chapter structure.
If you are a training provider, now we have a home for you not only to have your program accredited, but also to learn about what’s new and exciting in the field of adult development, to interact with other training providers and offer your thought leadership into where we’re going as a profession. The same is true for individuals interested in credentials or those who are really interested in social progress through the activities of the ICF Foundation.
And with thought leadership, all the industry research and education need to have its own visibility.
So, because of this new brand, everybody can see more specifically what ICF has to offer as an organization while also seeing that we are one body – we are leveraging each other’s strengths to create exciting offerings for all stakeholders in the marketplace.
Q: Can you speak a little bit more to what this new brand means for the two newest Family Organizations – ICF Thought Leadership Institute and ICF Coaching in Organizations?
ICF has been a thought leader in the coaching profession for the last 25 years. But at the same time, what we observed is that there is not a space for individuals, organizations, governments or other entities for that matter to come together to have unobstructed conversation about “what if?” or about what we need to pay attention to.
So this is that space and forum for everyone who is interested in the development and evolution of coaching to come and talk about it, to get voices from outside of coaching professions.
We already have many conversations with the medical field and psychologists, but now artists, designers, human development people – this is where the conversation is really happening.
For example – the future of work. COVID taught us that things that we thought were impossible were not only possible but they were possible very quickly and some things we’d never heard of will probably become a canvas of how we work in the future. And what does that mean for coaches? What does it mean for them from the perspective of what their clients will need, but let’s think about the topic of artificial intelligence. How can a coach adapt AI to support their business and their work? This is still a field where there are no obvious answers, and as the largest, most influential organization of professional coaching, I think this is the perfect place for ICF to host that conversation.
And as far as ICF Coaching in Organizations is concerned, this is by far the fastest growing element of the coaching marketplace.
It’s also an element with huge influence, not only through organizations large and small adopting coaching cultures, but also through the exponential growth of managers and leaders using coaching skills. In our previous structure, that fast-growing group did not really have a home within ICF. Although we did a lot of research around coaching cultures, how coaching supports change management, how coaching is received and perceived by different generations, we did not have a home or specific offerings for corporations and organizations that are building coaching cultures. So that is a new home and a home we already know is of interest to many.
Q: Like you said, ICF transitioned into six family organizations, creating “One ICF.” How is the new brand a reflection of this change?
This transition is a reflection of a change in philosophy, a change in the mindset of the organization.
To stay relevant to all stakeholders, we need to continually reinvent ourselves. So creating these family organizations was very much to focus attention on what was needed. This is the evolution and transformation of our own organization to respond to the needs of the marketplace and more precisely respond to and support our own vision and mission.
Q: What do you hope this renewed organization and visual identity will inspire for coaches and the larger coaching community?
One desire is that everybody will see the broad offerings of ICF and find the best way to interact with us. The family organizations provide the starting points and many ways that individuals and organizations can interact with the ICF brand and as such, offer thought leadership and find a place for reflection, conversation, maybe even discourse at times, all for the better future of the coaching profession.
Q: What are some of the most exciting aspects of the visual brand identity refresh – what are you most excited about?
It’s been quite fun to see how the visual brand has evolved over the years. And what’s exciting about this new one is that it’s fresh – it seems to have this promise of being relevant for years to come, of being open and inviting, but also innovative and daring.
So I hope that this new brand reflects the philosophy of One ICF – open, embracing, lots of heart, and doing a lot of great things in the name of the coaching profession.
Q: What do you think the community is going to be most excited about?
I certainly hope that the community will be proud of where we came from and what we’re becoming. And we’re becoming this because of strong commitment of each and every one of our members and stakeholders. We would not be a strong, 40,000+ member, global organization if not for individuals who decided to commit their professional lives to coaching, and if not for those who decided that coaching is a modality that is truly delivering great results and invested resources to secure professional coaching for their organizations. So the pride of our evolution I think is what I’m hoping for, and also realizing that we are not done yet.
This new brand just puts us on the trajectory of growing further, being influential and bringing this phenomenal resource that is professional coaching to a growing number of organizations, individuals, systems, countries, the whole planet. We are just at the beginning of making a sustainable, lasting and profound change.
Magdalena Nowicka Mook is the Executive Director and CEO of the International Coach Federation (ICF). She joined ICF in 2005 and has supported ICF with extensive experience in fundraising, development, consulting and association management. She is also serving as Chair of the American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE’s) 2019–2020 International Associations Advisory Council.
Previously, Magdalena worked as Assistant Director of National Policy and Director of Development with the Council of State Governments (CSG). Prior to CSG, she served as program manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
Magdalena’s formal education includes an M.S. in Economics and International Trade from the Warsaw School of Economics in Poland and completion of the Copenhagen Business School’s Advanced Program in International Management and Consulting. She is also a trained coach through the College of Executive Coaching, and she holds a certificate in the Fundamentals of Systemic Coaching.
Magdalena is fluent in Polish, Russian, and English, and has a working knowledge of French.
The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.
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