The price of respectability

"As a discipline gains respectability it loses capacity to make a difference that makes a difference" wrote #PaulGoodman in the 60's.

I can't find the quote, so the wording might be different and I might be mixing Paul Goodman and #GregoryBateson. I read both in my teens when I was in jail for political reasons, and again in my 30's when I was in my basic training as a #Gestalt and #Systemic practitioner.

For 25 years ago the world of #coaching was the Wild West. A land of opportunities that was there for any newcomer to grab, despite having been populated for a long time by professionals that had never known that they had been doing coaching during their whole careers.

The coaches that didn't know they were doing coaching are now gone, and we who had the opportunity to learn from them are getting close to retirement age. In today's market it is nearly impossible to work as a coach if you are not certified by the #ICF or any other certification institute.

Looking at several of the certification programmes, I see a couple are good enough, like the #ICF (some others are really pernicious). I see with sorrow that even the ICF prepares their candidates to operate in a #mainstream market. To paraphrase #Goodman, they train to make a difference, but not a difference that makes a difference.

Similar process, although not so advanced as in the case of coaching, is observable regarding #facilitation. The certification programme #CPF is good enough, but again it trains the candidates to make a difference, but not a difference that makes a difference.

And the same is beginning to happen with  #ChangeAgent, #TransformationAgent, #ChangeProfessional, ... I interpret the existence of different names being used to designate this professional territory as a sign that the "colonisation" of it by certification programmes is still in its early days. There is though a training, given by the #EastPointPeaceAcademy that shines with bright light, but you will not find there what you are looking for if you want a certification that will allow you to offer mainstream services to the mainstream market.

Looking backwards I see that I have been a change professional since I sent my first invoice in 1989. Now that I have maybe 10 years left of professional practice, I hope I will have the opportunity of training a couple of batches to promote, design, facilitate and host change processes the "make a difference that makes a difference", without succumbing to the mermaid songs of the mainstream market.

I took the photo during a walk in Stockholm. It is in Fjällgatan, overlooking the entrance to the harbour from the Baltic Sea.