In May 1976 the BBC broadcast a documentary based on the ground-breaking book by Tim Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis. Based on a handshake agreement with Gallwey, Sir John Whitmore launched an executive coaching practice in the United Kingdom.
Coaching subsequently began to enter the business vernacular and interest grew in the idea that a manager can be a good coach by facilitating employee action rather than telling them what to do. Blue chip company representatives from the likes of IBM and McKinsey & Co. began showing up on British tennis courts to learn about this new approach to management development. The Inner Game instructors included Chris Morgan and Graham Alexander. The Inner Game of Tennis was followed by Inner Skiing and in 1979 Chris Morgan became Europe's first Inner Game Ski Instructor. His tennis was always pretty lousy!
In 1988 Graham Alexander formed The Alexander Corporation to develop a business coaching practice, with Chris Morgan as one of the first partners. The firm's practice was further refined by our prestigious clients' thinking. We co-developed the GROW coaching model with McKinsey that Sir John Whitmore detailed in his popular book Coaching For Performance. The Alexander Corporation also broke with its purely facilitative roots to include multi-perspective feedback. At that time there was no company in the U.K. using this approach to validate coaching clients' goals. The Alexander Corporation developed a notable client roster and was ultimately recognized by The Economist Intelligence Unit as 'The U.K. market leader in business coaching.'
In 1993 Chris Morgan moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area and opened an office for Alexander. Three years later Morgan and Alexander agreed to an amicable separation and U.S.-based Morgan Alexander was launched. Twenty-one years later, the practice continues to thrive and innovate to meet our clients' needs (ListentoolSM is the latest demonstration of this innovation). In 2005 Alexander published Super Coaching and his publicist branded him 'the world's number one executive coach.' Morgan and Alexander remain close colleagues.