The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

A tool for innovative change – peer coaching

cooperation2.pngI was reading a post titled: Peer Coaching as a Tool for Culture Change, in the context of the post on innovative change I made last week and technical leadership in general. In the article it states:

“Given the complex nature of global organizations today, as well as their growing reliance on full-hearted engagement of human talent, culture is increasingly recognized as the nub of challenges resistant to logistical fixes.”


Although the article states that “peer coaching was most widely used by educators”, it has been part of my career almost since its inception. The constant reinforcement of goals, initiatives and personal responsibility are essential to getting a group to all row in the same direction. As organizations increase their span of control between the formal leaders and the individuals, spreading change reinforcement across the technical leadership is important – coaching both down and up the organization.


The technical changes underway (based on an abundance of IT capabilities) are facilitating a quite different world than just a few years ago, so a range of techniques will be needed for the culture to embrace them. Sure some of the same issues exist and the same solutions will work, but there are new options and an ever changing diverse set of perspectives and techniques will be required. Tapping into that diversity is one of the side benefits of this kind of peer coaching, since the bi-directional sharing of ideas is at its core.


What tools do you think are underutilized to enable change? Who have you talked to about this gap?

denise reed lamoreaux | ‎09-04-2014 02:27 PM

I also believe in the power of peer coaching; it is our peer group that can best assist us in making positive changes and enhancing current skill sets, as they see our work firsthand.  The most important thing to remember, however, when mentoring your peers is to provide constructive, not destructive feedback, as the purpose of coaching is to provide insights, not insults!

NLW | ‎09-08-2014 02:35 AM

We learn best from the people around us and the people we interact with on a regular basis.  Our world is not limited to just cubemates but the definition of teammates has changed and taken on a global community that is not limited to a physical space but a cyber space as well.  Peer coaching is a necessity to the on the job learning that enhances our current learning experiences.  We need to be open for coaching- formally or informally.  We also need to work together to bring out the best in one another. We also need to be willing to give advice and constructive feedback as well give it. The key is to do it with honesty, integrity, and professionalism.

Gavin | ‎09-08-2014 11:03 AM

I have found that peer coaching works best when the day-to-day processes support it.

Many technical governance procedures can be used to not only ensure quality, but 'educate' others if the organisation takes the right frame of mind.


For example, Architecture and Design Reviews can have an initial 'discovery' phase where someone can solicit feedback and ideas from their peers on a proposed solution. This can lead to follow up sessions with 'peer coaching' to bring someone up to speed in an area of their solution that may be week.


Another example that I've implemented is pair-Test Driven Development.

In this case one developer would write the unit test code to disprove the functionality the other developer is writing. Roles would reverse for each feature.


This not only greatly increased code quality and ensured we had a set of very good automated unit tests, by pairing developers they learnt off each other.

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