AgileCoachCamp Norway – Day 2

Last weekend I went to the AgileCoachCamp Norway 2011 (#accn) which I organised with Sergey Dmitriev, Geir Amsjø and a few others… We made it happen. It was amazing. I wrote about the first day of the unconference here.

AgileCoachCamp Norway

AgileCoachCamp Norway

Open Space—Continued…

The morning started after a short night’s sleep with an awesome breakfast—are all Norwegian hotels that good? Or is the Agile community just lucky in choosing the best ones? Anyway, we started with the last round of sessions. Before lunch, there were two slots…

OpenSpace Agenda

Our Awesome OpenSpace Agenda

Coaching Organisations

Ken Power—whom I already had had the pleasure of delving into the topic of Coaching Coaches with the day before—raised the stakes and we tackled the interesting questions of how to make an organisation agile. How do we ensure an Agile transition is successful? What can we do to support that? We quickly agreed that management buy-in and support is a must. But how do we get that? How can we get managers to learn that the old style of management, forged a century ago by Taylor, Ford and others, is not suitable any more for the conceptual age of the 21st century? Step by step, was my lesson learned. We can’t go in there and say, “well, you built up this great company here for the last 30 years and now I’ll tell you what you did wrong all the time”… But we can, occasionally, ask good questions and get them thinking.

A story from my own experience: I was discussing tool functions for resource management with a department head. He said he wanted to see what his people were doing, and what my advice was on planning techniques and reports. I asked, “what is your goal, what are you aiming at?” And he answered, “I want that every one is working to full capacity.” Upon which I said, “ok, let me rephrase that in my own words. You lead a service organisation with quite a few customers. What you’re telling me, is that when one of your customers calls with problem, you want to make sure that none of your staff is free to solve her problem?” Upon which he looked at me, astonished. Then we started to talk and found out together what the true goal was.

The session was a lively discussion which Ken Power facilitated in that very calm and assuring way he has. Additionally, he took notes, so that I expect him to post the sessions results in more detail than I currently can, from memory.

StrategicPlay—Take-away from the event

This was my second session with Lego, and the second time I did an OpenSpace session with this topic (I had done it at XP2010 in Trondheim, see the post on Day 1). As in the first session, we warmed up by building bridges:

Bridge with a Tricky Bit

Bridge with an Interesting Path

Bridge with an Interesting Path

As you can see, the outcome was quite diverse… As I asked the builders to bring their own view of the community at the conference and a personal bit into it.

The second exercise—designed to give hesitant participants confidence in their building skills—was the ever-so-lovable turtle, which this time we changed into our ideal peer coach. This turtle parade is the outcome:

Turtle Parade of Ideal Peer Coaches

Turtle Parade of Ideal Peer Coaches

The actual exercise then was, as promised: “Build what you take away from this conference.” I liked this model a lot, which depicts the stair path the builder is progressing on and shows that after continuous improvement on a round on the stairs you get to the same place as before, but have reached a new level.

Take-Away Stairs

Take-Away Stairs

As promised, I’ll cover the science and mechanics behind StrategicPlay in a later post, until then, watch this prezi for an overview.

Closing and Feedback

After these two sessions, the Open Space was closed and we had an amazing feedback session with lots of reported learning and some good improvement suggestions. We all were quite sure that this first AgileCoachCamp Norway has not been the last one! See how happy our facilitator smiles:

The Agile Coach Facilitating

The Agile Coach Facilitating

After an amazing lunch, people started to leave. I was requested to run another Lego session, which started after a short break and will be covered in another post (have to save a few pictures). Our flight was not due until late afternoon, so we could take our time to continue a few discussions until we left and went home.

What a weekend! Count me in again for the next one!.

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