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UK Coaching Team
Coach Developer

Coach Developer Conversations (S3) (EP 5): Kirk Vallis

Kirk Vallis, Head of Creative Capability at Google shares with us his principles for creative problem-solving

In this discussion, Kirk shares five scenarios with UK Coaching Senior Coach Developer Tom Hartley that people who support coaches might encounter and explores a range of ways for creating "one more option".

Access the complementary graphic below to help you navigate the conversation and consider how some of Kirk's principles might play out in your own environment.

These questions might help you frame your thinking:

  • Where are you when you do your best thinking?
  • What are you doing when you have your best ideas?
  • Do you create space in your organisation for people to be themselves?
  • How can you design moments into your practice or workshop, rather than just designing content?


  • Where does risk live in your organisation?
  • How do you embrace failure and mistakes in your organisation?
  • Do you have a space where you can try out ideas, where they are safe to fail?
  • Do you have an opportunity to test the premise of new ideas?


  • What mode of thinking do you find yourself in when someone comes to you with an idea?
  • Are you able to offer time and care to new ideas?
  • Do you create an environment to be playful and ask, “what if”?
  • Are you able to frame your meetings and interactions with people, signalling what you want from others?


  • Do you have an opportunity in your organisation to completely reinvent the way you do things, or is incremental innovation important?
  • How do you challenge your thinking for new ideas?
  • Who in your network might be able to support you to see an idea or approach from a different perspective?
  • What do the problems you face look like if they were exaggerated? Would this help you think differently about how you approach the problem?

Take time to consider what these questions and the strategies shared by Kirk mean to you. It may feel uncomfortable at times challenging your own thinking, or even the thinking of other people you coach with, but it may lead to finding new and more effective ways of approaching the challenges you face in your coaching environment.

Related Resources

  • My Journey Through Coaching and Coach Development

  • How to Bring Creativity into Your Coaching

  • Understanding How Reflection Can Help You


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UK Coaching Team