What business coaching and space travel have in common

Feature photo:Photo Courtesy NASA

Written by Ak Sabbagh.


An article in the Weekend edition of The Australian Financial Review by Chief Executive of CSIRO’s Data61, Adrian Turner got me thinking about the work we do with our clients at Beckon Business.

We are often asked about how we “do” business coaching and what are its benefits.   This is relatively hard to articulate as each client uses business coaching in a different way. When they really take advantage of what we offer, it is not uncommon to measure average economic returns on investment somewhere between 7-13 times. The non-commercial and personal benefits are often immeasurable, with comments like “I’ve got my life back in balance” or “I am spending more time with my kids and family” or “I don’t get as stressed out anymore.”

Turner’s article was about the world environment and the threats we as a species are facing.  He suggested that we take an astronaut’s perspective of the situation.

What is Turner talking about? It is a phenomenon called the “overview effect” – described by space philosopher and author Frank White as “seeing the Earth from a distance, and realising the inherent unity and oneness of everything… The viewer moves from identification with parts of the Earth to identification with the whole system.”

I was unaware that this was a “thing” despite having had the opportunity some years back to sit at dinner with Captain Dan Brandenstein who flew four shuttle missions.  He described how seeing the Earth as an entire system, it’s fragility, the intensity of the stars, etc. as a life-changing experience.  It gave him a new perspective on life.  The Overview Effect.

It’s the same perspective that we give our clients.

In many ways the role of a business coach is to help an entrepreneur and his/her partners gain the overview effect on their business.  We regularly get comments like “I’ve never seen my business this way before.” “It’s like the fog’s been cleared…”

How do we do this? We use a coaching style to help our clients sit above it all and consider the context of their situation – rather than sitting in the situation itself.  We use proven frameworks and tools to engage in discussions that elevate our client’s perspective of their business, processes, leadership and communication styles, people, goals and aspirations to new levels.  We are always innovating new approaches to help our clients get the “overview effect” they need to realise that the solution was always with them – it’s just that they were standing too close to see it.

Why do we do this? Because, regardless of the size or style of their business, we love working with the highfliers in business who want to enhance their experience of being “in business.”



Share this article: