Aligning throughCulture Renewal
Ensemble Enabler is proud to be a certified provider for CoachingOurselves© – the company which was inspired by Professor Henry Mintzberg of McGill University in Montreal. This Peer2Peer Learning concept was launched in 2007. Over the years, CoachingOurselves© has developed an extensive library of content for use in Peer2Peer Learning sessions in conjunction with world renowned experts and business leaders in their fields. For instance, Professor Philip Kotler – a distinguished Professor of Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago – has written modules on the subject of marketing for CoachingOurselves©. Professor Edgar Schein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has written modules on leadership and organizational culture. An extensive overview of the content provided by CoachingOurselves© is provided in the blogpost “Content is King”.
Given the breath and quality of topics available in the CoachingOurselves© repertoire, most companies will easily identify several modules which are indispensable for their specific learning objectives. Despite the richness of the library of available modules, the moment inevitably arises when an organization says: “We have a special need and would like a learning module on topic XXXX (fill in your topic request) which is not included in the CoachingOurselves module library.”
No Problem! Ensemble Enabler specializes in conceiving, designing and producing customized modules to meet customer unique needs.
The example of a custom-designed module can be illustrated by one family-owned medium-sized business. A German automobile part supplier, one of Ensemble Enabler clients, was recently acquired by a Japanese company. This client was faced with an unusual challenge. One of the key strategic business principles at the heart of the way Japanese companies organize their operations and other key business processes is the concept of “Monozukuri”. This term refers to a sense of pride in the work which is done by every employee and their personal dedication to the pursuit of continuous improvement. How could this company make this concept not only understandable to all of their employees but also integrate it into its operating strategy going forward?
To meet this challenge, Ensemble Enabler researched and wrote a Peer2Peer module on the topic of “Monozukuri”. In keeping with Peer2Peer guidelines, the module was written for groups of four people coming together for a 90 minute learning experience. This is an ideal length of time during which individuals can easily focus on a topic.
This “Monozukuri” Peer-to-Peer module was offered as a voluntary learning experience to 3000 employees of this automobile parts supplier. In the first year of it use in the company, nearly 2000 employees attended a Peer-to-Peer learning session on this topic (and others). The results of this P2P Learning offering have been visible in all of the company’s factories and offices. Ask a random employee in any factory what “Monozukuri” is and they will be able to explain the concept. Plant managers now often speak about “pride in your product” as a component of the manufacturing process. This is a key principle of “Monozukuri”.
In the process of conceiving and developing modules on new topics, Ensemble Enabler utilizes the fundamental principles of effective adult learning practices which include:
• Explain why participants are learning something
• Foster “Learning by doing”
• Integrate new ideas with existing knowledge
• Provide social interaction as the key component of the learning experience
• Use and connect the participants’ life experience to the learning process
• Demonstrate an immediate use of the learnings from the expereince
All of these elements were integrated into its concept design of the module “Monozukuri”. To start the discussion, the purpose of the module is presented and explained. This is followed by a presentation of a similar concept from Western culture - “Craftmanship” or in German “Wertarbeit”. The concept of “Wertarbeit” encompasses such qualities as reliability, functionality and lasting value. Participants are encouraged to share their own experiences about “Wertarbeit” with their colleagues as part of the discussion in the P2P module. The Japanese concept of “MonozukurI” is then introduced and correlated to the concept of “Wertarbeit”. In order to make the concept of “Monozukuri” more accessible, two videos of Japanese companies are shown which highlight practical examples of this concept. This information forms the basis for a discussion among the participants about the distinctions and similarities between the two concepts. This learning is consolidated with a group activity: participants collaborate on a tower made out of wooden blocks. The team’s objective is to reconstruct the tower to the best of their ability using the principles of “Monozukuri”. The final portion of the P2P Module is dedicated to the participants who reflect and share with each other about how their learnings are applicable to their everyday work.
Ensemble Enabler’s know-how to design a learning experience for your workforce provides a significant value added for your organization. We collaborate with select team members from your company to understand a key issue. As needed, we consult with subject matter experts to help inform and shape the module’s content. All of this collaboration and information form the basis for the conception and formulation of an appealing adult learning experience. All P2P modules are designed to allow employees to easily absorb the key content within a 90 minute timeframe.
One topic specific module was developed for the P2P module “Monozukuri” for the German automobile part supplier. However a series of inter-connected module topics can also be developed. One example is a current P2P module initiative to develop a series of modules on the impact of digitilization in the workforce. Our plan is to develop 3 to 6 modules to deal with the multi-facetted aspects of this on-going challenge for organizations of all sizes. This example illustrates how similar series of P2P modules on company specific topics can be developed. These customized can be offered to employees over shorter time periods (3 or 6 months) or longer over the course of a year or more.
Peer-to-Peer learning offers a novel new approach to provide powerful learning process for your organization. Not only does it support personal and team development but also fosters a lively learning culture in an organization. Customized Peer-to-Peer module offers an addition value to this approach by creating learning experiences on content customized to your organization’s specific needs. As a result, the importance of a business issue is promoted and an deeper understanding of its significance for your organization is strengthened in your employees.