Transitions

Just a quick post re ‘transitioning’ – transition: – the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

The two articles attached really focus on leadership transition – ‘developing new capability and letting go of previously held responsibilities’.

The following two PDF’s (The Leadership Pipeline & The_First_90_Days) can be found at the following Dropbox link:

Although the articles are not recent, they do hold some valuable information on aspects of transition – letting go of the past, before moving forward.

Transition works in all areas of peoples / teams / organisations lives, same examples being:

  • waterfall to agile
  • manager to leader
  • tech lead to manager
  • project manager to scrum master
  • scrum master to agile coach
  • single to married
  • no children to children
  • start-up to SME
  • old job to new job

When you are impacted by ‘change’, what is your first reaction? How much do you hang on to old habits, hoping that things will ‘be the same‘? When a new team member joins your team, introducing new ways of working and the voices in the room shout – ‘we don’t do that here!‘ – How many times have you heard that…

I work with change and I coach through the change, to enable recognition of the transition and to exploit and enable growth through unseen challenges. It’s not easy for some.

I love the challenge and curiosity that comes from working with potential – even if someone or the team doesn’t recognise that potential in them.

Want to explore more want transition to could hold for you, your team or as a leader / manager. Please get in touch for a ‘free’ no obligation exploratory discussion – Skype / tel call or in person (if London).

Thanks for reading.

Change

Change is constant – change is inevitable. The tree in Roundwood Park, NW10, doesn’t hang on to it’s leaves from the Summer but gives way to the natural changing cycles of the seasons.

As people, we all have our own seasons, whether in our personal or professional life.

We transition when new life and old life walk through our lives.

We transition as we tangle and weave our way through work.

As in the tree, Autumn disrupts Summer and Winter disrupts Autumn. Each season in our life brings disruption and disorder, but out of this there is a choice to work with change by seeing what emerges and building a new relationship with that disruption.

Change allows us to breathe, gain perspective and offers choices, many choices. Work with change – breathe in to that change and nourish and give light to whatever emerges.

All the time in the world

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

– Alan Watts

We unconsciously make an assumption that we have all the time in the world and therefore don’t feel a sense of urgency of making the very most of the here and now.

An unconscious assumption that things, diets, goals, quit smoking, new business, new venture, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, can be put off till tomorrow, next week, the New Year.

Then we wake up and our whole life has passed us by.

Become mindful and aware, reflecting on your existence and an understanding of using your precious human life to the fullest.

The Flame of Life

Zen for everyday.

‘…vigilance, an attention, a wide-awakeness of every moment, because the flame of life lies in the heart of each passing moment‘.

Living Zen, Linssen, Allen & Unwin – 1958

How often do we miss these moments, these flames that are unwittingly extinguished from our now.

  • The small voice in the team that is never heard.
  • The silly idea that gets laughed back too it’s box.
  • The birth of daughter or son, missed because of a meeting.
  • The autumn leaves that paint an ordinary London street.
  • The aircrafts contrails drawn against a winter blue sky.

The taut, tense, insatiable, stressed, angry motorway of our 21st Century lives takes us away from the finite moments.

Practice meditation daily, whether for a minute or thirty and bring back a reflective sense of the Now by bringing a perception, an awareness too a hidden, pushed away reality.

Do you have the trust and courage to try this as a team?

Teams – High Performance and Transformation

#Leadership #Agile #Programme #Team #Transformation – working with teams to perform & focus through;

  • Clarifying, Commissioning, Connecting, Co-creating and Core Learning.

10 on-site days (excluding travel / hotel for outside London), over 4-6 months with Skype, email and phone support.

1-day pre-contract / discovery and 1-day, post-contract / review.

£15,000 exc vat

Compared to typical Agile / Team Coaching engagement:

  • 3 months @ £650 per day = c£40k
  • 6 months @ £650 per day = c£80k

I’m dropping Agile – I’m focusing on ‘coaching’

Been working on revising my #Resume #CV – http://bit.ly/2dDzo7S

Available for #Contract roles as #Team #Coach, using a #Systemic approach covering The Five Domains of Focus (Peter Hawkins): Commissioning, Clarifying, Co-creating, Connecting & Core Learning, in creating #highperforming #teams.
five-disciplinesI’m dropping the #Agile and bringing my focus on #agile #agility #adaptive #performance and #learning in teams. For me, too much Agile Evangelism has muddled and muddied the waters – it’s back to the core of what drives performance and coherence in teams.

I also want to start to use more of and explore the powerful, positive questions based approach – Appreciative Inquiry, here’s two documents that will help your understanding of Appreciative Inquiry:

As a coach, you’ve got to bring in principles of field theory – that is, people cannot be understood in isolation but only as an integral and interactive whole with the social cultural background and ecological environment.

Human behaviour cannot be attributed to any single cause that arises from the interlocking dynamics of the field. The field and the forces operating in the field are in continual flux and all aspects of the field are interconnected, therefore changing any part of the field is likely to affect the whole field.

Another important aspect of coaching is that of transformational coaching, especially work around sub-personalities. Whether you are confronted with that obstacle, challenge, the difficulty and whether that is either intra-or inter – personal and defines what part of you / team is reacting to a part of another.

And then the professional coach, when we are working with teams, leadership, organisations or 1–2–1, we must be open to aspects of system blindness. System blindness can be made up of the following, spatial – we see part of the system but not the whole. Relational blindness – we don’t see ourselves in relationship with one another, but see ourselves in autonomous roles, nor do we see how we unconsciously fall into patterns of behaviour (dance of the blind reflex) – turf wars, alienation, groupthink. And there is process blindness: we don’t see processes as whole which is part in our team or we don’t see systems as a whole just part of the system.

Specifically there are four consequences of system blindness – we make up stories about situations or we take it personally or we react to it, and the relationship is over.

Agile has a set of values, principles and practices and brings about a change for building software solutions that are more effective and sustainable. In my experience of agile, of scrum and of change in this area, I see too much isolation within product, software, engineering teams in the whole system – the organisational culture and system is not taken into consideration.

Maybe that experience is just related to the agile / scrum roles that I took on board. Maybe, the frustration I feel with agile roles, is that you have no control on how you contract with the client. I think in essence there is a miscommunication between client, agent and contractor – there are expectations on all sides but it seems there’s not room to level and baseline expectations.

Recruitment agencies, clients and agile transformation journeys seem to be filled with the SAFe, DAD, LeSS, SOS, and other certified, more ‘consultancy’ based approaches to coaching. Maybe this approach is not my style of coaching, because consultancy is NOT coaching.

There are many barriers to behaviour change and this is what is really needed for people, the teams and the leaders to embrace what agile really means. Here are some examples of barriers to behaviour change: motivation, confidence, understanding, remembering, support, negative thinking, competing beliefs, problem solving deficits, strength of habits, willpower, energy levels, fears, burnout and overworking.

When you look at the behaviours outlined above, there is transpersonal psychology that can offer another view of how people can work with motivation and change. I am referring to the concept, of “The Will”, this term is used in psychosynthesis and draws its conception from Roberto Assagioli – the Will is a dynamic part of the Self that has a role in directing the other energies and psychological forces.

The proposition around the Will allows the coach to expand the coaches awareness of how the Will can work as a resource to support them, or teams, to access their own Will more successfully.

For more information on the Will, please follow this link – Nature and Aspects of the Will

  1. Strong Will
  2. Skillful Will
  3. Good Will
  4. Transpersonal Will
  5. Individual Will identified with the Universal Will

star-diagram

Above is a picture of Assagioli’s Star-Diagram, and we can use this to help us in our teams to understand the relations between these functions (thought, sensation, etc) are complex and will drive us to patterns, habits and preferences. If we identify ourselves too much thinking or too much intuition, or too much emotion then what are we leaving out when we are under identify with some of these functions.

This blog started out as a revision of my resume, my CV but as I contrasted the skills of an agile coach versus team coach, I found I was being drawn to all those things that I’ve mentioned above. I’ve left a lot out of this blog, as there’s so much to bring into individual, team or leadership coaching.

I love coaching. I love what the coaching relationship brings to individuals, teams, leaders and organisations.  As a coach, there’s an awful lot to play with and it should be fun.  The last three (expensive) years of my coaching journey, both professional and academic, can be summed up in the following areas:

  • Foundation coaching skills
  • Creating insights
  • Applied positive psychology in coaching
  • Coaching leaders
  • Transformational Coaching
  • Systemic Coaching within Organisations
  • Coaching Teams and Groups
  • Coaching Mastery
  • Coaching and mindfulness
  • A Gestalt approach to coaching
  • Advanced embodied systemic coaching
  • Advanced coaching teams and groups

But all these are just words, just text in a WordPress blog and maybe they mean nothing to you, maybe they hold some meaning. The coaching journey is in all of us; whether you recognise that or not, only you have that answer.

Thanks for reading.

Grab your parachute

You are at the airport, your original starting point. It’s all very exciting with lots of places to go, exciting destinations lie ahead of you.

You picked a flight, it’s a safe flight and it’s been flown many times before with people arriving at very similar destinations.

You board the aircraft, carrying all your baggage, some for the hold and some under your seat and some in the overhead lockers.

The aircraft was given permission to take off and the aircraft starts taxing, joining 27R the departure – your Career Land! It has all your hopes, your dreams and your expectations – it’s all there.

Your parents and your friends, your college peers have all helped you choose the flight you’re now on. The engines rev up in the airport air. The aircraft starts to vibrate with the noise and the power from the engines. Excited, holding the arm of the chair you brace yourself and the aircraft starts trundling down the runway; full throttle, 300 people all taking the same journey, all sharing the same aircraft.

The same destination – manager, director, CxO… Was that really your choice?

You climb through the clouds, experiencing mild turbulence but that’s it. Maybe some heavier turbulence as you level out – thoughts and feelings and those internal personalities, that chatter and clutter our thoughts. You’re above the clouds, 40,000 feet above earth and once what was clear, has now merged to a horizon of everything, of what everybody else can see – the details missing and the departing airport miles behind you.

You’re at 40,000 feet, 300 souls / egos on board the aircraft all heading to their destination, cruising at 500 miles an hour –  this in flight for the next 12 hours; you are in it for the long haul.

Along the journey, you have some thoughts and you start to get hungry, homesick, worried and asking yourself: have I made the right decision. Doubt, fear, and lack of confidence served throughout as part of the on-board entertainment. Free films seen many times before, radio and the in-flight magazine with glossy advertising. The offer of complimenting nuts, crisps, and for those with more leg room – a glass of champagne.

Your spirits lifted by the odd pick-me-up and destination repackaged and painted in the new kings clothes. Hold on, others thoughts bubble up – things are just not right.

Other journeys have already landed, crashed, disappeared but they have got up and rescheduled, repackaged and purchased new tickets for new destinations. Their failures now being redefined.

You feel a weight getting heavier and stroll up and down the aisle of the aircraft. Other people are happy and others share your anxiety.

Looking overhead in your locker, you search for those magazines that you purchased at the start of your flight. You flick through the glossy pictures promising open, is traffic free roads for those brand-new cars, glimpsed in the posh avenues of your destination city.

You flip through your bag some more and you find a parachute. It has some writing on it; some words written from when you were a child, from those early aspirational thoughts about what you wanted to be when you grew up. A few other words start to make sense: purpose, dream, destiny and opportunity.

What happened to the artist, painter,  pilot,  singer,  writer, author, poet, composer, dancer, photographer, explorer?

You start to look around you and ask – What is around you? your peers, the person flying the plane and it doesn’t bother me when he says, it’s all on ‘autopilot’ – it just takes me and it does what is required, and I stay within the rules and obey what I’m told. My head is telling me but my intuition should be guiding me.

The parachute is getting heavier and heavier, he tries it on before it gets too heavy. You put it on and it feels right to put on, and you’re starting to do something about those feelings – it feels right, it feels good.

It’s scary but it’s exciting and new, as you shuffle to the door and hold the handle. Your fingers clenched around the handle, tightness around the knuckles and the muscles tiring in the arms and the back but still you hold. You look around, you speak, seeking that last-minute advice. Don’t do it, the grass is greener, as someone shouts, you’ve got a great career ahead of you and only six hours to go and you could make it to the top, top of the career ladder: pension, car, your own office, private bathroom and expense account.

You notice your hand pushing the lever down, it feels so easy and the door opens. There is no loss of pressure, a slight whoosh – some gasps and some office gossip.

The door is open and you jump. The relief that hits you as you bump the clouds on the way down, the freshness of the minute. It’s clean and alive, all that expectation in those early aspirational thoughts. The coldness of 40,000 feet wraps your skin and for once in your life, you are alive and you are living.

The parachute is working because you’ve opened it and all that was once hidden and cooped up is now shaping your destiny. Your parachute glides and drifts, knowing the flows and currents of the belief that were always there.

Slowly the shape transforms, as you drift to and the realisation of the detail, that you were once blinded to, lies before you. Closer and closer and with searing clarity, focus pulls together, the beams of refracted light and thought.

This is it and the fulfilment is harnessed – this is just the start of your new journey. Your Will, the strong Will has been used and your first step has been made. You have opened your parachute and with the guide ropes, you have the control and focus to land where you want to land.

Your original destination has changed and no longer holds the magic it once did. It’s overcrowded and you would have been another member on the payroll heading towards the Nineteenth.

The destination is not important, it’s your journey Now and appreciation of how it’s making you feel. The present is always now and not the future..

ferringto-blue-hole_cropped21152

Wake up, grab your parachute and jump.

Agile / Team / Projects / Delivery Coaching Professional

In my role as an Agile / Team Coach, I work closely with teams to enable them to work more collaboratively, efficiently and productively, promoting best practice and shared learning across teams through core learning and reflective learning.

I will help teams, groups and individuals to work better so they can learn, create and innovate. Working in partnership, we will design environments and processes that make it easy and natural for people to collaborate and connect. This could be as a group, as a team or more focused one-2-one coaching.

Together, we will actively develop an agile team culture to improve processes and co-creation. I will facilitate the way we want to work, to overcome obstacles, deal with challenges and encourage transparency, positive behaviour and interactions.

Working with the teams, I will proactively capture learning, providing the mechanism to share and empower everyone to take control and maximise their capability. I will be an evangelist for sustainable improvement, and a desire to want to get better every day, as we all learn more and seek to bring the whole team along the journey.

Summary Overview – Skills / Experience

  • Agile Team Coaching certification (IC-Agile Accredited: Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd)
  • Scrum Master Certification / Lean Kanban Practitioner
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Coaching & Development / EMCC Practitioner Accreditation
  • Systemic Team Coaching Certificate (AoEC)
  • Experience as a scrum master / coach in cross-functional / distributed teams
  • Client facing role as Agile coach / trainer
  • Experience with (transition to) Agile methodologies & tools
  • Full software development lifecycle experience
(including some aspects of DSDM)
  • Experience with Continuous Development, Planning, Estimating, Metrics, Release Management and
  • Process Improvement in projects
  • Plus active participation in LinkedIn Groups

I have over 20 years experience of working in blue chip organisations, including local and central government. In addition, I have valuable project leadership experience having worked for technology start-ups: IQdos, Celoxica, AdPoints, Verus360.

In addition, I have over 12 years experience in the Royal Air Force, working in operational, security and logistical leadership roles. I understand first-hand the cultural differences that global companies face having worked in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, North and South America. Especially with remote teams.

 

Agile / Team / Project Coaching and Delivery

In my role as an Agile / Team Coach, I work closely with teams to enable them to work more collaboratively, efficiently and productively, promoting best practice and shared learning across teams through core learning and reflective learning.

I will help teams, groups and individuals to work better so they can learn, create and innovate. Working in partnership, we will design environments and processes that make it easy and natural for people to collaborate and connect. This could be as a group, as a team or more focused one-2-one coaching.

Together, we will actively develop an agile team culture to improve processes and co-creation. I will facilitate the way we want to work, to overcome obstacles, deal with challenges and encourage transparency, positive behaviour and interactions.

Working with the teams, I will proactively capture learning, providing the mechanism to share and empower everyone to take control and maximise their capability. I will be an evangelist for sustainable improvement, and a desire to want to get better every day, as we all learn more and seek to bring the whole team along the journey.

Summary Overview – Skills / Experience

  • Agile Team Coaching certification (IC-Agile Accredited: Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd)
  • Scrum Master Certification / Lean Kanban Practitioner
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Coaching & Development / EMCC Practitioner Accreditation
  • Systemic Team Coaching Certificate (AoEC)
  • Experience as a scrum master / coach in cross-functional / distributed teams
  • Client facing role as Agile coach / trainer
  • Experience with (transition to) Agile methodologies & tools
  • Full software development lifecycle experience
(including some aspects of DSDM)
  • Experience with Continuous Development, Planning, Estimating, Metrics, Release Management and
  • Process Improvement in projects
  • Plus active participation in LinkedIn Groups

I have over 20 years experience of working in blue chip organisations, including local and central government. In addition, I have valuable project leadership experience having worked for technology start-ups: IQdos, Celoxica, AdPoints.

In addition, I have over 12 years experience in the Royal Air Force, working in operational, security and logistical leadership roles. I understand first-hand the cultural differences that global companies face having worked in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, North and South America. Especially with remote teams.

Are you drowning?

Do you confuse the world around you compared to how you describe it and think about it?

Do you practice meditation practice sitting trying to dig into the present and not to think about being a better place in the future, because thinking about the future whilst meditation misses the point of being in the Now.

Meditation is to be aware of what is – to listen to sounds as they are and not to put a name on them.

Do you feel as though you need to be mad, to lose it, to ‘come out of your mind‘. In coming out of your mind there’s a sense, a feeling that you ‘come to your senses’. As staying in the mind leaves you overthinking and over analysing; it’s good to come out of your mind.

In the organisational system, when the system is listened to and the reality is said, things change and you are no longer working with incorrect assumptions.

Do you have a feeling of being in water; you grab onto water – you squeeze it tightly and there’s nothing to hold onto, as it forces out of your hands. You try standing in that water and there’s nothing to stand on, feeling that sense of drowning. As humans, we are 60% water and when you relax and you let the water, that surrounds you, you let the water be you – you feel how your hands and feet move with the water. When you let what is and not fight what is, it is then that you start to swim.

  • Do you feel like you have nothing to hold onto?
  • Do you feel as though you are drowning in your thinking?

Coaching and shifting how you are, how you need to be. Whether you are an individual, a team member, a leader or manager, it’s all about the coaching relationship and building a ‘safe container‘ in which you can reflect on questions, to a reflect on the water [your water] around you, to find out how you can swim.

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