COF (Culture Orientation Framework)

The « Cultural Orientation Framework » is described by Philippe Rosinski in his book Coaching Across Cultures. Philippe Rosinski is an expert in executive coaching, team coaching and global leadership development. His work has won worldwide acclaim.

The COF is a great tool that gives a systematic approach for clarifying the nature of cultural differences as well as similarities among them. It also provides a vocabulary to describe an ideal culture. It then becomes a matter of bridging the current culture with the desired one, avoiding the use of binary thinking. When using the COF with positive impact, coaches reconcile alternatives, look for contrasts, for opposite poles and viewpoints. It’s another way of thinking, called dialectics. New ideas, solutions, and options emerge.

The challenge is still great, but becomes manageable at least.

The COF helps coaches to work with cultural differences without judgement or even a fixed description. All cultural orientations have potentials merits and downsides. Coaches should encourage an ethno-relative attitude and led by example. Having in mind the universal challenges coaches and their coaches face, COF groups the cultural dimensions into seven categories :

  • Sense of power and responsibility
  • Time management approach
  • Identity and purpose
  • Organisational arrangements
  • Territory
  • Communication patterns
  • Modes of thinking

This so, COF provides a framework distinguishing Orientations (What do you prefer?), Abilities (What are you capable of?) and Behaviour (What do you actually do?).