Coaching in support of the Mandela Bay Development Agency
Thesis (MPhil) --Stellenbosch University, 2015.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) was founded in 2003 to regenerate the central business district of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. The agency’s mandate has since been expanded to include urban renewal in township areas, the beachfront, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium precinct and Uitenhage, urban management in the upgraded areas, as well as the Helenvale Urban Renewal Programme (MBDA, 2014: 16). This has put pressure on the agency in terms of financial and human resources (MBDA, 2013: 13). The agency has had to juggle between complying with relevant legislation while at the same time responding to expectations to deliver innovative and creative urban development solutions that will stimulate economic growth in a multi-stakeholder environment. This requires leadership on managerial and operational levels in order to cope with all the complexities. At present, there is no tailor-made leadership support programme or tailor-made coaching intervention for development agencies in South Africa. In 2012, the agency facilitated a nine-month coaching intervention for all staff members, which evolved out of a change management intervention. This research assignment evaluated the effectiveness of the coaching intervention, identified future coaching needs, and recommended an updated coaching approach. The aim was to identify a coaching intervention that enables the agency’s staff members to deal with different levels of complexities and constant changes during the administration, planning and implementation of urban renewal interventions in the different settings. Findings showed that especially through the application of mindfulness practices, interviewees changed how they felt, thought and behaved. Where the coaching approach did not match clients’ expectations or was perceived as irrelevant for the line of work, the coaching intervention was not effective. Benefits in terms of dealing with team conflicts and dynamics and an impact on overall organisational performance were reported to still be lacking. Recommendations are made on how to improve a future business coaching process, in particular through applying a stronger systems perspective. MBDA and its team lend themselves to benefitting from other forms of coaching such as peer coaching, manager as coach, and a combined coaching and mentorship approach.
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