Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 44

CASEBOOK

FUJITSU'S EXPERIMENT WITH
PEER COACHING PAYS OFF
BY KENTARO IIJIMA AND KEN SENDA

Peer coaching is a powerful method for
organizational transformation. However,
we don't normally think as such, and
therefore, we often overlook one of
the most effective tools in a learning
professional's repertoire.
Peer coaching was put to the test, at a
large scale and over an extended period
of time, at Fujitsu SSL. The company's
business objective was to increase
alignment between its solutions group
and its systems integration group. This
improved alignment was crucial to
enabling the business to succeed at a time
of rapid change in technology.
Fujitsu's peer coaching method was
developed by Professor Henry Mintzberg
at McGill University. Mintzberg is one
of the world's most cited professors
of management, and he had become
increasingly frustrated with the flaws in
management education. So frustrated,
he wrote a best-selling book "Managers,
Not MBAs." While the book identified
what was wrong with MBA programs,
it did not provide a method that
organizations could use to improve their
managers' capabilities.
Friends
challenged
Mintzberg
to
develop a method that would make a
difference in developing managers. He
eventually launched a program called
the International Master's Program
for Managers (IMPM), and from that
program flowed a peer coaching
methodology called "CoachingOurselves."
This methodology brings together small

| 44

groups of leaders to meet for 90 minutes,
typically twice a month, to learn from
each other. In these learning meetings, as
opposed to planning meetings or status
meetings, the managers work through
prepared topics, such as "Becoming a
Visionary Leader," "Silos and Slabs in
Organizations," "Zen and Management," or
"Sources of Motivation."

WHEN YOU LISTEN TO A
PEER COACHING SESSION,
IT IS MORE AKIN TO
PROBLEM-SOLVING THAN
SITTING IN A CLASSROOM.

the point that systems integration and
solutions could no longer exist as distinct
service lines. They had to work seamlessly
together to meet client needs. To meet
the transformed need, Fujitsu SSL needed
change within its organization.
Learning professionals know how to
deliver training that increases knowledge
or develops skill, but how does the learning
function go from teaching content to
driving an uncomfortable change that
spans across the organization?
The answer was a sustained peer
coaching program that brought managers
together to learn skills relevant to the
transition while building relationships and
mutual understanding.
THE DETAILS OF THE APPROACH

Fujitsu saw that this method would be an
excellent way for managers to develop
their skills by discussing business topics
in the context of their own working
situations. Just as importantly, the
conversations in those learning meetings
could potentially provide a means for
building relationships, understanding and
trust within the team.
THE BUSINESS ISSUE AT FUJITSU SSL
Fujitsu SSL provides system integration
and IT solutions to large organizations. Two
separate units delivered these services:
systems integration and solutions.
However, the IT world had evolved to

The core of the change intervention was
to have teams of managers participate in
weekly peer coaching sessions. Having
the sessions weekly, rather than just twice
a month, ramped up the intensity of the
intervention to reflect the urgency of
the business objectives. Over the course
of almost nine months, the learning
teams would each complete 30 peer
coaching sessions.
The program was delivered by a Tokyobased consultancy, J-Feel. The facilitation
had a light touch. Peer coaching is quite
unlike traditional training where an expert
relays information. In peer coaching,
the facilitator simply ensures the groups
are moving through the material at the



Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019

Thinking More Broadly About How Adults Learn
Table of Contents
Mentoring: 4 Keys To Making it a Meaningful Learning Experience
Formalizing Informal Learning: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try
The Accidental Learner
Percolating Builds Depth
Coaching is a Cop-Out
Close More Deals With Story Selling
Partnering for the Power of Knowledge: How Can Knowledge Sharing Foster Collaboration Among L&D and Employees?
Organizational Resiliency: a Function of Leader Adaptability and Versatility
Rules of Engagement for by Laura Francis Mentoring Reverse
Steps to Formally Make The Informal Part of Your Content Strategy
The Play's the Thing': The Power of Story-Based Learning
Fujitsu’s Experiment With Peer Coaching Pays Off
How to be Authentic When Collaborating on Multicultural Virtual Teams
Making the Case for Informal Learning at Work
Formalizing Informal Learning to Improve Performance
Making Learning Fun Again
Investing in the Future of the Worker, Not Just the Future of Work
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Thinking More Broadly About How Adults Learn
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 6
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Mentoring: 4 Keys To Making it a Meaningful Learning Experience
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Formalizing Informal Learning: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - The Accidental Learner
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Percolating Builds Depth
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Coaching is a Cop-Out
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 17
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 18
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Close More Deals With Story Selling
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 22
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Partnering for the Power of Knowledge: How Can Knowledge Sharing Foster Collaboration Among L&D and Employees?
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 26
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Organizational Resiliency: a Function of Leader Adaptability and Versatility
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Rules of Engagement for by Laura Francis Mentoring Reverse
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Steps to Formally Make The Informal Part of Your Content Strategy
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 38
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - The Play's the Thing': The Power of Story-Based Learning
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 42
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Fujitsu’s Experiment With Peer Coaching Pays Off
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - How to be Authentic When Collaborating on Multicultural Virtual Teams
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Making the Case for Informal Learning at Work
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 52
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Formalizing Informal Learning to Improve Performance
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Making Learning Fun Again
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Investing in the Future of the Worker, Not Just the Future of Work
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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