Amplio Development: The Path to Effective Lean-Agile Teams contains over 30 topics on how to coach. While most approaches train in the approach and then require separate training for coaching, Amplio integrates the two. The rationale is that it does little good to know something if you can’t convey it to your associates.
This page lists the audio segments of the coaching chapters in the order they are in the book. You can subscribe to the podcasts for all of the chapters from any one chapter. Click on the chapter titles to go to the chapter.
Table of contents
- What Is a Professional Coach?
- Starting an Engagement
- What’s the Difference Between Experts and Those With Less Competence?
- The Pickup Sticks Model of Creating Curriculum
- What to Say to Someone When They Just Don’t Get It
Detailed table of contents
A professional Lean-Agile coach is a person who understands how to help teams and organizations improve with the theories of Flow, Lean, and the Theory of Constraints while also understanding the basics of human learning and interaction. Coaches need to play an active role in helping teams improve. ‘Active,’ doesn’t mean they tell people what to do, which is not effective. This is not because people may resist when told to do something. Sometimes people want to be told what to do. But if you tell people what to do, they may do it without working through the details of what is involved. If they run into problems, they may not know what to do. This lack of understanding may have them abandon the suggestion. This creates the mantra of a coach as a guide.
No consultant or coach ever walks into an organization fresh. Those that came before you have left tracks on the minds of those present. This podcast discusses how to clear the elephant in the room in starting an engagement so you can be in partnership with those you are working with.
Experts do not always have more experience or intelligence than those who are less competent. I suggest the biggest difference is what they look at and what they ignore. These “distinctions” provide them with insights on how to solve problems. For example, an expert skier will see many types of snow while I will just see dry, powder, wet, and good snowball-making snow.
The Pickup Sticks Model of Creating Curriculum
The order in which you present new concepts is important. People can only learn what they already almost know. Yet very often what they need to know is like the stick buried underneath a pile of things they don’t know. But at the top, is something they already almost know. The metaphor of how you take sticks from a pile can be used to determine the order in which you convey concepts to people.
It’s Not a Debate
When people know a useful concept, it is normal to try to convince other people of it. Even if this is done with good intentions, it feels uncomfortable to people. It reactivates times they have been talked down to by arrogant people. Trying to convince people of something is not an effective way of creating new possibilities for people.
Instead of debating, we need to have a discussion for discovery. The reality is that none of us are right all the time.
What to say to someone when they just don’t get it
The prior topics provide us with an understanding of distinctions, the order in which they must be conveyed, and that we must undertake a discovery, not a debate. We can now use these to have a conversation with people who look to be belligerent but are really more open to learning than we might think.
Many Agile coaches complain about management’s lack of wanting to truly understand Agile. This topic is about how to talk to management in a way they will be interested in learning about the value of Agile. The trick is to talk to them from their perspective and to take advantage of what they know and care about.
Many in the Agile community criticize a company’s leadership for not understanding Agile. However, much of this lack of understanding is due to many agilists not talking to them in a manner that executives are interested in. Executives often don’t want to learn Flow, Lean, or the Theory of Constraints. I suggest a better way of communicating the value of Agile is by talking to them about value streams and value stream networks in a way that makes sense for them. This chapter presents an example of how to do this.