Interview with Joanna Bown
Executive Business Coach

Based in London, Joanna is a professional integral corporate coach through USA-based New Ventures West and the University of Cape Town, South Africa’s Graduate School of Business’ Centre for Coaching. She is MCC accredited through the International Coach Federation (ICF) with over 2,500 hours of coaching. She coaches individuals and teams in the UK and across Europe. Using focused and measurable outcomes that are linked to the client’s business objectives and organisational goals she uses integral coaching techniques to help clients develop an understanding of their patterns, unearth latent potential, and learn how to go about using that potential to achieve their desired goals. Ultimately, coaching is a way of working with people so they are able to contribute positively to their organisations and find meaning in what they do.
Hi Joanna! Could you please introduce your work with Distinctions Executive & Business Coaching and what led to your founding the consultancy?
Hello my name is Joanna Bown. I am an Integral Executive Business Coach and I'm based in London in the UK. I'm originally from South Africa. I've lived and worked in three countries South Africa, Milan in Italy and now I live in London in the UK. I've been coaching for 17 years. I'm a master level coach and MCC with the International Coach Federation or the ICF. What led me to found the business was that, I was a senior vice president corporate banker with an international bank for many years, and I decided to switch and to start working with leaders around behaviour change, and helping leaders globally through working and coaching back into global multinational businesses. I coach both face to face and virtually, to help leaders grow their own self-awareness around their leadership behaviour.
What separates Integral Coaching apart from other coaching methodologies?
I would say what separates integral coaching from other coaching methodologies that are available, is that integral coaching is working with the client structure of interpretation with their lens and their view of the world. As well as working with a leader's body, language and emotion for sustainable behaviour change and to build up new habits and beliefs over a period of time. For example, this could be developing new leadership language with an underlying coaching methodology, building up impact and presence and gravitas in a leader's body. As well as developing a leader's IQ or emotional intelligence in how they lead, how they think strategically and how they make decisions.
What are some of the main challenges faced by senior managers during times of transition? How do you help to coach them through these situations?
Some of the challenges that are being faced by both senior managers and leaders today who are facing vast transition, is the fact that we live in a VUCA world. We live in a world today both politically, financially and climatically, that is in a vocal state, it's a constant state of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity with an ever increasing pace of change and the consistency of the change. All of this creates high demands that are pushed on the leaders as they are expected to deliver extremely good revenue results, with fewer resources. I coach leaders to develop the agility and the flexibility to respond to situations in the world more effectively and have the ability to respond to the complexity of the world that we live in today.
What's next for your work with Distinctions? What will be your main focus for the next year?
What's next for me and for my business over the coming year? I currently coach for four international coaching associations around Europe. For me, over the next year I'd really like to build up my own business more, that's Distinctions Executive Coaching at My business will be around in the UK and Europe as well as globally, to deliver a combination of both face to face and virtual one on one team and group coaching, to executives, leaders and senior managers in global multinational organisations, smaller organisations, commercial companies and smaller businesses across different geographies. I'm also a channeller. I'm an advanced Enneagram practitioner and I work quite a lot with energy mapping in my leadership coaching, around clients' energy and channelling Enneagram practices. I'm also accredited in systemic constellations for teams and groups and am able to constellate systemic issues and resolve challenges through the use of systemic constellations for one on one clients, teams and groups.