Reflections on Agile Coach Camp
I’ve been reflecting on my Agile Coach Camp US West experience (April 10 to 12, 2015), remembering how hopeful I felt throughout the weekend. Now that it’s been a week, I want to capture a few of my takeaways, hoping that it will contribute to a wider dialogue surrounding the weekend. My guess is that given the diversity of people attending, there are as many perspectives as there are people.
1. My top “aha” was around the power of games to stimulate creativity through play, and how important this is for Agile teams. The theme was so prevalent in the Open Space sessions that I wasn’t able to attend them all:
- Bryan Beecham’s teaching Test-Driven Development (TDD) through Legos
- Zach Bonaker facilitated a “Fax” game, with alternating drawing and word descriptions to see what results at the end
- Jason Kerney had a session that used Story Cubes to help teams write User Stories
- Sue Johnston used Lego’s to get creative around several topics in her sessions
- I used Grok cards to facilitate a group check-in for silent empathy
I noticed that some of our more technical colleagues had a difficult time getting creative.
2. Several of the topics related to the importance of self-care for Coaches involved in Agile transformations (aka. Sue’s “renovations”)
- Allison Pollard held space for a session on “Sustaining Energy for Agile Transformations”, which generated three pages of strategies (see photos):
- I facilitated a session covering the importance of a daily practice for cultivating presence through self-empathy from Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and how empathy/honesty are essential skills for coaching Agile teams — and staying connected to ourselves, making us less likely to react instinctually in “fight/flight/freeze.”
3. At the closing circle, I noticed how again and again, people celebrated that we’re finally making it okay for organizations to be human. “When we get to bring our full selves to work, the business wins, people have lives with meaning, autonomy and we all have more fun doing it.”
After camp, I was explaining to my son Alex what the weekend was about. I started up the iPad version of Story Cubes, shook it up, and within moments he completed his first story. He excitedly asked me to time him for his next story — which he completed in about 30 seconds. Then he told me to try. My story came in at a minute and a half. With a big grin on his face, he announced that he was faster than me! Given the opportunity to play, he demonstrated how to become Agile. My takeaway is that we have to re-discover and invite our inner-child to play along side our technical selves to be Agile.
I’d love to hear how this post lands for you. Would you like to add anything to the conversation?