Leadership “Coach Approach” Program Wins ICF Prism Award

Ontario Library Service and Big Cheese Coaching Honoured Together with Tribute of Excellence

Image of PRISIM Award winners on screen

On June 14, 2023 the Ontario Library Service (OLS) with Eileen Chadnick, PCC, of Big Cheese Coaching were awarded winners of the annual International Coaching Federation Toronto Prism Awards, in recognition of a two-year “Coach Approach” integrated component of the Advancing Public Library Leaders Institute (APLL).  The Prism award, now in its 23rd year, celebrates excellence in organizational and leadership coaching.

Championed by Anne Marie Madziak (recently retired), the former APLL lead, and OLS executive recognized the potential to bring coaching skills into APLL’s leadership development curriculum.  Designed and facilitated by Eileen Chadnick, the multi-modality “Coach Approach” program was delivered with a hybrid of live workshops (virtual and in-person), videos with online discussion, peer practice, reflective assignments, and a plethora of resources.

41 emerging and aspiring leaders participated in the 2021-2022 cohort, representing 32 public libraries in Ontario. Focused on coaching in the library leadership context, the training highlighted the coaching mindset, and various coaching skills and approaches to amplify potential for collaboration, engagement, and capacity-building.

Image of Anne Marie Madziak at podium.Anne Marie Madziak (program champion) said she saw enormous synergy in the coach approach with the organization’s mandate: “The focus on coaching is well aligned with many of the Institute’s nine leadership practices, including developing individuals, embracing strategic change, reaching for exemplary service, and creating a learning environment. The Coach Approach initiative, with its sharp focus on practical coaching skills and a coaching mindset, is aligned with the learning objectives of the Institute, resulting in many current and future important coaching conversations across Ontario’s public library sector.

Image of Eileen Chadnick at podium.This is the second Prism award for Eileen Chadnick, who said: “It is an extraordinary honour to receive an ICF Prism award. Working with OLS and seeing the transformation amongst the 41 leaders was even more gratifying – seeing the leaders develop new coaching skills and approaches to inspire, empower, and catalyze potential with their people in their respective libraries and communities.”

Image of APLL instructors and Big Cheese Consulting OLS CEO and incoming APLL co-facilitator, Mellissa D’Onofrio-Jones said: “The Coach Approach had a demonstrably positive impact on aspiring leaders in the 2022 cohort. Our aim is to provide leaders at every level in the public library sector with tangible tools for having people centred conversations that develop not only staff but a positive work culture where psychological safety is valued.  Coaching skills will continue to be a significant part of the 2023-2024 curriculum.

Lead ICF Award Judge, Lucy Shenouda, said, “Your delivery of a diverse and comprehensive program in meeting the needs of different types of learners and honouring the ICF competencies is an outstanding achievement.”

We continue to incorporate coaching into the APLL Institute with the current cohort already expressing keen interest in learning more about and practicing coaching skills as a part of their leadership tools.

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