Business, But Not as Usual | Teachers College Columbia University

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Business, But Not as Usual

A joint coaching program with Columbia for corporate executives reflects the new direction at CEO&I
Editor’s Note: This article is one of a series of occasional features focusing on workshops, programs and conferences sponsored by the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation.
Ask most people to describe the prototypical Teachers College graduate, and they’ll likely say teacher or principal—or perhaps, if they really know the College well, school psychologist or even nurse educator.
They very likely would not say “guru to business executives”—but that could change, thanks to the new Columbia Coaching Certification Program (CCCP), a joint initiative of TC’s Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation (CEO&I) and the Executive Education unit of the Columbia Business School.
No, TC faculty members aren’t leading seminars on mergers and acquisitions. Their focus is on something that actually falls very much within the College’s traditional area of expertise: enabling people to achieve excellence by making the most of their own potential. 
“What TC brings to the table in this partnership is extensive experience and deep, research-based insight in the areas of complex organizational systems, adaptive change, and strategic forms of learning in the workplace,” says CCCP Director Terrence (Terry) E. Maltbia. “Defining corporations and business leaders as our target market was a real challenge for us, because this group thinks of Teachers College as a place for K-12 development and not as a provider of executive education. Yet once people realize that the College has world-class programs in organizational psychology and workplace learning, it all begins to make sense. The co-branding with the Columbia Business School has really helped us establish ourselves in this new space for the College in a relatively short timeframe.”  
In fact, the program exemplifies the recent change in direction for CEO&I, the College’s continuing education arm, which—under the new leadership of TC Provost Thomas James—is seeking to reach new markets while working more directly from the core strengths of faculty, both at TC and across Columbia.
Launched in fall 2007, CCCP clearly has reached new markets. Many participants in the program’s first 20-member cohort that graduated in June 2008 were people working in corporations and other organizations as senior human resources executives, talent management professionals, learning and development managers, and chief technology officers. Some 120 people have participated in the six weeklong coaching intensives held to date, hailing from Cisco, LEGO, Mercedes-Benz, FranklinCovey, NRG Energy, Kimberly-Clark, McKinsey, Genentech, Wells Fargo and the U.S. Department of State. Others were independent consultants or principals for professional services organizations. In all, CCCP has drawn participants from 21 states and 13 countries ranging from Peru to Singapore.  
The program also “responds to the Provost and President’s goal of making TC and New York a place where people seek out professional development in the summer,” Maltbia says, noting that nearly a third of CCCP students came from other countries, including China, Vietnam, Britain, and Brazil. Global outreach through distance learning is part of the program’s platform.
While CCCP is very much applied in focus, it has a strong intellectual grounding. Its academic sponsors include Warner Burke, chairman of TC’s Department of Organizational Psychology, who is an expert on organizational change and performance, and Victoria Marsick, Professor of Education, whose specialties are strategic organizational learning and learning in the workplace. Among the core team that designed CCCP were TC faculty members Caryn Block, Debra Noumair and Patricia Raskin; in addition Professors Marsick, Eleanor Drago-Severson and Sarah Brazaitis teach in the program.
With one foot in the academic world and another in business, Maltbia himself reflects the program’s hybrid nature. After spending over 20 years in various corporate positions ranging from sales and sales management to leading the organizational development function for industrial packaging products company, he came to TC and earned his M.A. in Organizational Psychology and his doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership, both under Marsick’s guidance. Now a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Organization and Leadership, Maltbia also coaches in a number of executive education programs for the Columbia Business School
The eight-month CCCP program begins with a one-week residential coaching intensive. Participants learn foundational coaching skills and competencies, as well as the research and theory that underlie them. After the first week, they can apply for the eight-month certification program, which features a practicum that includes participating in online small group coaching supervision sessions, logging coaching hours with real clients, and an independent research project in an area of personal interest—for example, executives in transition, coaching executive women, or the role of trust in coaching. The program culminates with a 1-week residential intensive focused on advanced coaching skills. Throughout the entire process each participant is matched with a “coach supervisor” all these program elements combine for, what Maltbia calls “the scholar-practitioner model.”
CCCP also is the flagship program for the newly established Columbia University Coaching Center of Excellence (CCCE), for which TC is helping develop new advanced workshops for the summer. For example, the two-day workshop “The Neuroscience of Executive and Organizational Coaching,” which includes certification in the use of Neethling Brain Instruments (NBI), was developed by Tony Hacking, a Ph.D. student in TC’s Social and Organizational Psychology program, and builds on emerging neuroscience research in collaboration with Michael Morris, a professor at Columbia University Business School.
“From a branding standpoint, Columbia Business School is obviously extremely strong, with name recognition across the globe,” Maltbia says. “TC, too, enjoys global recognition—hence our branding statement for the program, ‘Two strong schools join forces.’”
Which, as the business folks say, is a win-win.
To learn more about CCCP and CCCE, visit

Published Monday, Feb. 9, 2009


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