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Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 5: Learning to Learn

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Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 5: Learning to Learn

Learning is a key part of the Agile methodology. In this post, we discuss a few ways an Agile environment should be set up to promote continuous learning.

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To summarize: your Agile transformation is stuck. You’ve thought about your why, as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 1: Define Your Why. You’ve started to measure possibilities. You have an idea of who you might talk with as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 2: Who to Approach. You’ve considered who you need as allies and how to enlist them in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 3: How to Create Allies. In Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 4: Determining Next Steps, you thought about creating win-wins with influence. Now, it’s time to think about how you and the people involved (or not involved!) learn.


As an Agile leader, you learn in at least two ways: observing and measuring what happens in the organization (I have any number of posts about qualitative and quantitative measurement); and just as importantly, you learn by thinking, discussing with others, and working with others. The people in the organization learn in these ways, too.

The Satir Change Model is a great way of showing what happens when people learn (learning is a form of change). Here’s the quick intro to the Change Model:

  • We start off in the Old Status Quo, what we did before. Along comes a Foreign Element, where someone introduced some kind of change into the environment. We have uneven performance until we discover our Transforming Idea. Once we have an idea that works, we can continue with Practice and Integration until we have more even performance in the New Status Quo.

In an Agile environment, you have a chance to think alone with your pre-work, like when we drew ou map in Part 1, and to work collaboratively, such as working with coaches. One of the most important things to do in an Agile environment is to debrief all the activities just after you finish them. That way, people have a chance to articulate what they learned and any confusion they still have.

Every person learns in their own way, at their own pace. With interactions, simulations, and some thinking time, people learn in the way they need to learn.

We don’t tell people what to do or how to think. We suggest options we’ve seen work before (in coaching). We might help supply some options for people who don’t know of alternatives. And, the participants work together. Each person’s situation is a little different. That means each person has experiences that enrich the entire room.

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Topics:
agile ,agile coaching ,learning at work

Published at DZone with permission of Johanna Rothman, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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