The AHUM story

Kostis Tsounakis

In today’s noisy business world of constant change and increasing competitiveness, organisations continuously stretch their capacity to be efficient and creative. Mergers, acquisitions and restructuring create a context of successive transitions for professionals. The concept of a clear, pre-designed career has shifted towards an ambiguous path littered with frustrations and promises, as we often re-direct or even re-engineer our career, moving to new roles, teams, organisations, and cultures.

My own career has shifted a number of times between roles, disciplines and countries. During the journey, I often had to deal with conflicting emotions; enthusiasm, optimism, anxiety and fear of failure. It became clear to me that postmodern life is not a linear sequence of anticipated events moving towards growth and increasing stability; as it used to be for many years at least in Europe. It is more a process of mixed frustrations and fulfilments, opportunities and challenges, a constant exploration of unknown territories. Continuous change has become such an integral part of our lives that it is tremendously important to learn to flow with it.

As a coach in the fluidness of post-modernity, I was looking for ways to develop instruments and capabilities to comfort and support professionals in transition. To find ways to provide my clients with the courage and forethought to move forward. To create the space for them to imagine their future without limitations, boost their confidence and navigate change with the essential resources on board.

Wandering around these thoughts, I started to think more about the parallels with jazz music, a form that I love for its creativity and originality. Jazz musicians live in the unknown, depending only on their skills and ability to perform. Starting from a core theme, through collective improvisation, the musicians create a unique piece of music every time they play together. They constantly explore and experiment in a fluid context of discovery and enjoyment. Their inventiveness and courage to take steps into the dark was inspiring for my coaching aspirations.

I realized that when we feel confidence in our skills and abilities and we have the chance to unleash our imagination, unseen opportunities emerge. If a predesigned route is not available, improvisation around a theme is our only option: our core strengths give us the essential anchor of confidence and sense of grounding when we steer through unchartered waters. Rather than trying to overcome our weaknesses and shore up our handicaps it is much more effective, and far more joyful, to deliberately cherish our strengths, abilities and inner-resources. Even in unfulfilling situations of frustration and failure, there is always richness to be discovered and lessons that can be applied for the journey ahead.

That’s how AHUM coaching came to life. To shine a light on the bright side of a career in transition, which is full of possibilities waiting to be uncovered and nurtured. To help individuals and teams build on their assets, focus on their fulfilling and uplifting qualities and reach for their dreams. To enable a sense of purpose and optimism, determination and confidence as we face an enigmatic future. To highlight accomplishments and celebrate exceptional endeavours. Focusing on the fruitfulness of people, ideas, situations and relationships that are often overlooked. Paying particular attention to what is available rather than what is missing, what unites rather than what divides.