One of the afternoon sessions was about Developing and Deploying Internal Coaches. Research has shown that coaching in organisations is the second best form of learning (the first being on the job learning). The opportunity for staff development is only limited by the resources the business chooses to invest in a programme like this.
The key to making a programme like this work, is by having a group of coaches who are part of the business and not just from the HR/L&D functions. Simon Dennis from Fujitsu UK & Ireland, helped to reinforce this. He has a full time role in the business, and is a Coaching Ambassador for the UK. This means he does coaching and leads the coaching programme as well as doing his full time role. Fujitsu UK & Ireland are a company of 11000, and they have 45 internal coaches.
Once the idea of having internal coaches was sold, they developed an internal community of people and then developed their own internal model called the Fujitsu Coaching Continuum. Using the company logo (the infinity symbol), they created a process for how to give support and development of coaching. I like this reinforcement of the brand logo matched with creating an internal model. When companies do this well it only creates greater sense of citizenship and connection to the company. The other thing I like about their approach is how they give full training to their coaches and have an internal community of practise who come together and constantly look at what they are doing, how they are doing it, and what they can change/improve to make the coaching experience better for them, and the people begin coached. Usefully, they developed a word language template which helps give ideas on how to explain what language to use when in different parts of the coaching conversation.
Coral Ingleton from Kent County Council talked about how she worked with a partner to create a coaching network internally in the council. They created a network across organisations where reciprocal coaching takes place. Unfortunately she ended up talking more about benefits of coaching as opposed to how it is embedded and deployed. I like the idea that this is reciprocal coaching and not paid. Staff who want to be part of the programme, go through formal qualification process and become part of the network. This network is then available to individuals outside the organisation they work for, so they can be called on to be a coach for anyone requesting it from the network (and by default the organisation you are part of too).