PMI (Philip Morris International) Ltd – Developing a Coaching Culture

PMI asked us to partner them in a global coach training programme in 2010. They required a programme which could be rolled out to senior managers all over the world , in order to enhance leadership skills and ensure that coaching becomes the accepted management style throughout the business.

Developing a Coaching Culture at PMI


We consulted with PMI to design a Manager-as-Coach course which could be rolled out across the world and in local languages, to provide a consistent approach to global coach training.

The structure of the course is:

  1. Five-day Manager-as-Coach course spread over three months.
  2. Participants are paired to practise face to face and by phone in between sessions.
  3. Participants are set practical assignments to carry out in the workplace and reading assignments.
  4. Assessment for ILM Certified accreditation.

Shorter courses are sometimes delivered.

Support materials include a comprehensive student manual, and intranet coaching forum and a cheat card.


Since 2010 we have been delivering global coach training at PMI to over 2000 participants across 33 countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dubai, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, and in local languages including Russian, Spanish, Brazilian and Japanese. The courses are attended by middle and senior management, including C-Suite, and our feedback from PMI is that it is regarded as the best management course ever run in PMI.

“I’ve experienced dozens of trainings… only three matter because actionable: MANAGER-AS-COACH was one of them. Years after, I still use the process and tactics at work and at home.!” – Dr M’Bayang Thiam, PMI

“I have received the feedback that the first training session had quite a big impact on the participants! They were very pleased with you [James Wright] as a trainer (open, good examples and demonstrations, knowledgeable). And also they were very happy with the content of this first session: pragmatic. One feedback was even that it was the ‘best training ever’. And PM employees do have quite often the opportunity to attend a training, so this is absolutely a compliment.” – Joyce Heijgen, Manager HR Business Partner, Czech Republic PMI.

“With an engineer education, I quite naturally built my understanding of the world through a rather scientific and technical approach. The years have taught me that the world is above all made of people who, as individuals, have their own way of seeing the world. And obviously, they do not all have an engineering background. With the time, I had the opportunity to move from engineering to managerial positions, from pure technical skills to people management, with all the diplomacy that is required. The years have allowed me to increase my interpersonal understanding and leadership skills supporting and developing people who work around me. And yet, it has always been a challenging and difficult task to encourage, motivate and guide people, sometimes leaving me with a feeling of helplessness. Then, this year came to me with a gift, a precious and immeasurable gift: Manager-as-Coach training. None of the previous courses around people management I ever attended has brought me such a powerful and impactful method to help people reach their own goals. It has been a real eye-opener and a revelation of what a coach is”. – Dominique Andrey, Manager Quality Assurance, Philip Morris Products SA, Switzerland.

“The coaching sessions I held were transformative for me in terms of what coaching can bring to individuals and that, when done correctly, coaching is truly about ‘self-directed learning’ and the coachee having the answers.” – Michelle Chavaillaz, Manager Corporate Learning.

 “The MAC program helped me to build the right mindset; not because it made conceptually sense to me, it is because I could implement my learning right away and see the impact on people. After five years, I regularly coach people from other functions, and the good news is, I still enjoy it and feel proud of myself – not something small 😊. At the same time, I could also use this program for my organization i.e. to enhance my team’s managerial capabilities and effectiveness by applying coaching leadership style. I must say, I am happy with the progress we had as HR Services organization. I take this opportunity to thank our partners for their super professional and effective coaching – it works and worth the effort.” – Can Kullukcu, Director HR Services PMI

 “What I most valued was being together as a team, confirmation of boundaries and how to deal with the line between coaching and telling. A positive, enjoyable and insightful course. Four years later I am still using coaching almost on a daily basis, but have to admit that it doesn’t feel like coaching now, just a good way to support people.” – Charles Larkin, Director Finance, Planning and Administration – Nordics Cluster

 “As a Manager HR within PMP SA organization I would like that a coaching culture is embedded in every leader starting from the top management down to the level of our front-line leaders who have the big responsibility to drive our employees towards the same direction maintaining a good level of engagement and motivation. These drivers will allow us to continuously improve our performances.” – Simona Robotti, Human Resources PMP, Neuchatel

 “Follow-up and perseverance are not always easy with the busy agendas we all have … however I can see more openness and willingness to invest the necessary time for coaching. Overall, the first steps towards establishing a Coaching Culture are being done and we are ready for the journey ahead of us. My personal learning objectives have been met and are now part of my formal objectives for the rest of the year: I am applying attentive and active listening more often and effectively and I have improved my capability and dedication to the true role of any manager – to develop others and help them to GROW! There are nights when I think ‘I did a real good job today’. A big ‘Thank you’ for that!”  –  Sandra Silva, PMI Leadership Institute

 “Overall, a wonderful experience. A structured way of approaching coaching with new experiences, relationship building, personal fulfilment, content, tips, sharing. The Coaching Training was not only useful at that time, it is still the case today – with a lot of practice, it helped me boost my coaching experience. James was superb, thanks a lot!” – Graciela Borasio – Global HR Director of Finance and IS

“For me “manager-as-coach” was one more training. At the beginning, I was sceptical about what could that bring to me on top of the OPEN culture we have in place, the different leadership trainings I took in the past and the one to one session already in place with my direct reports. At the same time, most colleagues who have participated were pretty unanimously positive about how it changes the behavior. I have to say that very quickly I’ve been convinced about the approach and the benefit it can bring me, my team and the full organization. Personally, I’m very satisfied to have attended to the training, because it definitely help me to be a better leader, coachee and coach.” – Javier Saiz, SC Planning & Controlling Manager, Philip Morris Products.

Developing a Coaching Culture Developing a Coaching Culture Association for Coaching
Developing a Coaching Culture with Culture at Work

At Culture at Work we provide global coach training and leadership development programmes at all levels, including C-Suite, for organisations in all countries and in all main business languages. We can provide in-house courses by webinar, open coach training courses in London, ILM Endorsed, Level 5, Level 7 and Diploma coach training qualifications, manager-as-coach courses, plus general leadership development and team building programmes. Read our article “Developing a Coaching Culture” here.

Develop a coaching culture in your own workplace

If you want to bring a coaching culture into your organisation,ILM Level 5, ILM Level 7, performance coach training
click for details of the following training courses and workshops:

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We deliver in-house programmes worldwide and in all main business languages
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