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RIP Coaching Commons


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The natural life of the Coaching Commons is ending.

As a social venture philanthropist, I’m accustomed to some of my projects coming to a conclusion or transitioning into another form.  The Coaching Commons isn’t disappearing entirely: its archives will be available at the Institute of Coaching.

It’s a fitting home, because of the coaching-related research done under the auspices of the Institute of Coaching. If future scholars chronicle the development of this field, the archives of The Coaching Commons and its predecessor, The Foundation of Coaching, will probably provide the most comprehensive overview of the times.

The archive of the Coaching Commons comprises several years’ worth of observations and aggregation, a contemporary history of coaching and the people who were shaping its practice.

I’m not sorry to close the Coaching Commons. We didn’t have enough True Fans to warrant the continued investment, and it’s crazy to keep deploying capital to create what’s not passionately desired in this format. We appreciate those of you who teamed up to pledge thousands of dollars, and you are free to redeploy that capital. 

Our True Friendraising goal was all or nothing.

When I first became interested in coaching and attempted to find out everything I could about the field, it was the dark age of information. In other words, pre-Wikipedia. 

There wasn’t much sophisticated material available about coaching online back then. Very few coaches knew how to find a webpage, much less create one of their own. 

Today, most coaches are web-savvy, and anyone seeking information on coaching can access more with one click that I found in months of searching in the early days. We used to scour the internet looking for references to professional coaches (not necessarily in sports). Now, it takes Linda Ballew’s deft and experienced eye an hour or so each morning to cull the hundred-plus Google Alerts and choose the three or four stories to post as daily news.

The independent space the Coaching Commons hoped to create back in the dinosaur days is a click away on Facebook now. Coaches can meet there, exchange news there. If a controversial topic in coaching arises, someone will create a Facebook page about it, and that’s where people will meet to discuss it.

The Coaching Commons is simply not needed – the void it was born to fill no longer exists.

So the natural life of the Coaching Commons is ending, but not without boundless gratitude to the readers, the writers, and those who provided the breath, the heart, and the soul of connection for all these years. 

That list is long and you will find it elsewhere on the Commons, but special thanks go to Linda Ballew whose caring attention and love for coaching and journalism shows in every word and every punctuation mark, to David Goldsmith who provided the model, inspiration, and guiding hand, to Andrea Lee who created the format, to Mark Joyella who offered an opportunity for professional journalistic coverage of coaching and coaches, to those who built it and those who came.

Everything is temporary, everything has a life cycle, and this ends the Coaching Commons.

About the Author

Ruth Ann is a Founder of the Coaching Commons, an IAC Certified Coach, and president of the Harnisch Foundation. Ruth Ann is one of the world's leading philanthropists in funding the field of coaching, and if you sell a coaching product, she has probably bought one. She is also a recovering journalist who occasionally bangs out a few passionate paragraphs for the Coaching Commons and for

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There are 11 Responses so far...

Ton de Graaf on January 12, 2011

Thanks for clarifying this Ruth Ann.

With the zillion bits of information freely available on the internet the Coaching Commons stood out as a quality resource for coaching professionals like myself.

The CC was the place to go to if I wanted to be informed about the latest developments in our profession.

We probably don’t know what we had until we loose it. And we’re loosing it today….and will miss it tomorrow.

What I take away from this is that in order to keep the coaching community informed we need a different business model. Time and money is not the real issue. We spend money on what has value and dedicate our time to what is meaningful.

The CC offered both value and was meaningful to me as a coach and for that I’m truly grateful. Thanks to all those who made this a very valuable resource for me and so many others.

I appreciate your decision but I hope you forgive me when I’m feeling a little sad today.

Looking forward,
Ton de Graaf
Chartered Business Coach™

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Elta on January 12, 2011

What else to say, besides a heartfelt and huge thank you? starting with Ruth Ann, all collaborators -those she mentioned and many more. And also those whose comments informed, questioned and encouraged.
Will the FaceBook fanpages stay at least for a while?

May the seasons be kind to you, may the rain fall gently on your crops and may the harvest be abundant!

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Mike on January 12, 2011

A natural life, everything comes to an end. When it happens with dignity and respect let’s be grateful for the life. CC is dead, long live CC!

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Kristiina Hiukka on January 12, 2011

So very sad. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Loved you every day!

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Christine Heinrichs on January 12, 2011

An important perspective. In many ways, this isn’t about coaching but about sharing information about coaching. How professional life has changed since CC emerged. All of us have learned so much over the years. Thanks for the opportunity.

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Tambre Leighn on January 18, 2011

Thank you for being visionary. I was happy to make a pledge as CC was my first go-to source since launching last year and I will miss this constant pipeline of valuable articles and information. Evolution and change is all part of life, so thanks to all who envisioned, created and produced CC. Wishing you all the best!

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Billy C H Teoh on January 20, 2011

I believe the Coaching Commons in its current format may not be a viable business model with the quantum leap in a wide range of technological deliveries available while the highest successes are those deliveries that include ‘inclusivity’ for the majority.

The Coaching Commons does meet the needs of wide segments of the coaching community and fraternity, though not at a level that caters for all.

It is really an appropriate strategic move when closing down the Coaching Commons since there are limited resources available to revamp the Coaching Commons structural, systemic, and strategic platforms to cater for total ‘inclusivity’ for all.

To me, the Coaching Commons is a temporary setback waiting to be revived and a new rebirth when the time is appropriate and when the business model is more concretely solidified.

I will await the day when that happens (in one form or another, or through other parties), and hopefully soon.

Till then, the Coaching Commons will still be an important archive at the Institute of Coaching.

Billy C H Teoh

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Rey Carr on January 29, 2011

With sadness we acknowledge that this is the end of the Coaching Commons in its current incarnation. To provide support to those spirited enough to make a pledge, we at Peer Resources, have created a special offer.

We’re willing to provide any person who made a pledge of $100 or more and who is not currently a member of the Peer Resources Network, a complimentary one-year membership in our Network. You’ll receive all the benefits and services associated with membership, including our non-commercial, advertising-free monthly magazine that focuses on coaching, mentoring and peer assistance. The normal fee is $99.00/year.

To sign-up (and read about the other benefits and services) go to (This offer is only valid from January 29 to February 11.)

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Billy C H Teoh on January 30, 2011

The Coaching Commons will come to the end within 24 hours?

Before that is it possible to confirm where and how to access the CC archives after 31 January?


Billy C H Teoh

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Stephan Wiedner on January 31, 2011

I’m sorry to see the Coaching Commons go. It was a great resource for quality information. Thank you for all your efforts.

Stephan Wiedner

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Martin Richards on March 15, 2011

The spirit of the Coaching Commons lives on. The not-for-the-money Global Coach Conference thrives on the input from coaches and other change leaders.

When? October 10th to 14th
Why? Because we want to hear and be heard (in that order)
Cost? None. You connect with us through your phone

Martin Richards
Visionary Organiser of the GCC

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