Organization Breakthroughs

After getting a taste of the difference Agile can make to our customers and teams, we naturally want the same thing for our whole organization. The problem is, organizations are complex human communities, with overlapping and conflicting drivers and desires. To believe that a monolithic approach — no matter how brilliantly conceived — can fundamentally change an organization borders on naive. Researching the success rate for organizational change initiatives, we find a sad story, similar to the state of software development prior to Agile (perhaps worse).

This fundamental failure in Agile transformation is vividly on display wherever we teach agile coaches, from those in Global 500 companies to independent coaches working with all manner of organizational clients. They are mightily disappointed, and so are we.

For an organization to flourish in its use of Agile, many stars must align. From the mindset and attitude of key leaders and team members, to the exacting discipline of the engineering and customer practices implemented; from the culture and shared values of the staff, to the scaling and organizational structures designed to make the transformation real. There is a temptation to simply embrace the latest trending method, but nothing short of a thoroughly comprehensive rethinking will help us realize the change we seek.

A new approach to transformation is called for, an Integral approach, one that combines multiple disciplines, fundamental perspectives, and an uncommon ability to collaborate across boundaries of all kinds. With a combined 30 plus years in the Agile transformation soup — boasting some significant successes but also humbled by some real disappointments — we are just beginning to articulate this new approach.

We know the work we are doing with Integral Agile is foundational, and we suspect that successfully implementing this new approach will require a coalition of multiple consulting entities, with their diverse cultures, skillsets, and unique fundamental mindsets, but knit together within a common framework.

ACI has developed an initial set of services and perspectives that help you start to align this puzzle, but we have just begun to scratch the surface here. Key to them all is the Integral approach outlined in Michael’s book, Coaching the Agile Enterprise (excerpt available here). Stay tuned (better yet, join in) as we start to create an Integral Toolbox of applications and approaches.

Our current service areas include developing internal capacity for your agile coaching, leadership coaching for your executives, and strategic transformational consulting to help you realistically assess what is possible given your organization and how to proceed.

Agile Coaching COE – Developing Internal Coaching Capability

    • Developing internal agile coaching capacity. We believe agile should flourish long after the consultants have exited the scene.  For this to happen, organizations must develop their internal agile coaching capability. With our position as agile coaching thought leaders, and our deep background in both agile and professional coaching, ACI is uniquely positioned to co-create just such a program with your organization.
    • Agile Coach Competency Self-Assessment.  As step #1 in your internal coach development program, or as a stand-alone session, the guided self-assessement provides agile coaches with a straight-line view of their competency in 8 areas critical to agile coaching success.  From here, they create their personal and organizational development plans.
    • Guru in the trenches.  by a master agile coach, in week-long blocks. Have our “guru” embed with your coaches for a week, providing on-the-ground detailed observation, mentoring and coaching for your agile coach practitioners at all levels of skill.

Leadership & Executive Coaching

  • Leadership coaching, when working with a professionally trained coach, can be a life-changing experience.

Strategic Transformation Coaching

  • Breakthough Coaching™ works at the systems level to address the interdepartmental and inter-level organizational impediments uncovered by agile. Or, if you are just getting started, Breakthrough Coaching™ increases departmental alignment, providing a solid footing to avoid future impediments.
  • Integral Organizational Assessment.