Peer coaching formats are the hottest form of collegial exchange right now. You form a professional learning community with likeminded people, meet regularly in informal sessions, and ready is the development opportunity. However, we found that people in self-organized learning groups tend to fall back into familiar patterns if they are not constantly reminded to adopt a new attitude. The realization that innovation is an iterative process and can only be further developed through open feedback is more complex and takes much longer than expected. That is why we believe it needs more than a guideline and throwing people in randomly assigned groups. Instead we have come to learn that there is an absolute need for moderated elements in self-organized learning environments.
Of course, this takes more effort, but facilitated peer coaching formats solve all three major show-stoppers of conventional peer coaching formats: 1) They provide commitment and accountability. 2) They ensure that also the uncomfortable things are addressed, and 3) They ensure that things are not just announced, but actually put into action. This way we want to ensure that the group, through constructive impulses from the outside, is made aware of problems that the group itself is not seeing (anymore).