PT: What types ofissues will be discussed? E-biz talks to Nicholson McBride chief executive JackieKernaghan about why the new economy demands such a service Also the changing business environment, coupled with therise of e-commerce, has propelled a significant number of bright youngexecutives to the top of their organisations. JK: The currentgeneration is open and understands the benefits of coaching and continuallearning, but in many cases they don’t have time or access to it. Added to thisis a perception that sticking up your hand and asking for assistance could beseen as a sign of weakness. The privacy and security of the Internet enablesthem to receive coaching in an accessible yet less visible way. JK: We have foundthat senior executives are being put under increasing pressure to deliver byshareholders and their management teams, yet they are becoming ever moreisolated – they sometimes have no peer group environment in which they canshare issues and concerns. Coaching and networking groups provide criticalallies and sounding boards through which executives can discuss issues andconcerns. PT: Why do itonline – what is it about the Internet that makes it an appropriate medium forthis type of service? But the speed of their career development means that theyhaven’t had the opportunities to gather experience in the way that many oftheir older colleagues have. Coaching and e-networking can help to fill thisknowledge gap. The Internet also negates geographical disadvantage – mostnetworking events are based in major metropolitan areas, which limits theopportunities for executives working in, say, Milton Keynes. PT: Who has signed up for it so far? It is difficult to anticipate the specifics, but we wouldexpect members to use the networking rooms for advice on general problemsrather than sensitive business issues. For example, people might want advice onhow to manage a difficult board, or how to motivate a sales force. Previous Article Next Article It is also clear that many executives don’t have time forface-to-face meetings. The great advantage of the Internet is that it is aliveout of hours. Busy executives can find time away from the office to e-mailquestions and concerns through to their coach. Comments are closed. PT: Why do youthink executives need a service like this? JK: We held a focusgroup when designing the service and it is clear that, in the first instance,people will be drawn to the coaching, the case studies and the informationsources. As the network builds and people become more familiar with each other,the discussion groups will come into play. Related posts:No related photos. PT: How does itwork exactly? Business psychologist Nicholson McBride is using theInternet to create a coaching and networking forum for senior executives.Called Zenith, it is a joint venture with Peer Assisted Learning Systems, andaims to build a virtual peer group of around 150 board-level executives who canshare information and experience and seek advice on business issues. In time, it is probable that other services – perhaps legalor financial advice – will be offered. PT: Do you thinkthe Net will be used increasingly for this kind of thing? Virtual links give senior executives on-line alliesOn 5 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today JK: Members pay anannual fee of £5,000, increasing to £6,000 from November, payable in twoinstalments. They have an initial face-to-face coaching session with aNicholson McBride consultant and thereafter have unlimited access to onlinecoaching. Through chatrooms, executives will be able to network freely witheach other and will have unlimited access to corporate case studies, articles,book reviews and other information on the database. JK: With pressure onexecutive time increasing and the senior management cadre becoming moreNet-savvy, the Internet’s influence will increase dramatically. But onlinecoaching and networking will never replace face-to-face interaction. That said,there is a whole new generation of people who do business on the Internet –people who prefer to respond to e-mail than written correspondence. JK: Although theservice was only launched in May, we have signed up members from largecorporates and medium-sized companies. In order to maintain the quality, wewill apply rigorous selection procedures. The service will only be of value ifit is able to link like minds that are addressing similar issues. For thisreason, we are offering it to senior executives in large organisations andmanaging directors and board members of small to medium-sized companies.