Why are we doing this?
For a while now SolutionsIQ has been producing and co-leading courses of the Agile Coaching Institute (ACI), developer of the world’s leading program for Agile Team Coach training. These courses are different from typical professional training. The program is not only about skills acquisition, but about developing our adult cognitive capacity. It is transformative experiential learning. I have the great good fortune to find my deepest personal and professional values coming together in this work – supporting the continuing development of human consciousness and presence.
SolutionsIQ has taken a strong position advocating the need for human development as a critical success factor in today’s business climate and challenging world. Our mission aligns well with this direction:
We believe in the boundless potential of people.
We unlock the creative power of organizations to transform uncertainty into opportunity and continuously renew competitive advantage.
Today’s unstable business (and world) environment, as we know, is characterized by high uncertainty and rapid, unpredictable, often disruptive change. Even the most respected leaders cannot see very far ahead. Competitive advantage doesn’t last long, but needs to be reinvented over and over. How do we do this? By building flexible organizations that know how to experiment, research, make small bets, deliver quickly, learn, and then do it all over again. And again. This is how uncertainty is transformed into opportunity. This is the learning organization of the early 21st century. And it is made possible by human beings who know how to work creatively together.
Supporting the emergence of this kind of collaboration is a natural fit with the spirit of Agile and the mission of SolutionsIQ. We have had great success in taking these courses to public settings and private clients, and are bringing this perspective to consultants, managers, leaders, and teams throughout the organizations we work with, as well as our own. We have made the foundational ACI courses – The Agile Facilitator and Coaching Agile Teams – part of the required core professional development curriculum for SolutionsIQ coaches and consultants.
Investing in People
I believe that people are not resources, not fungible human assets. We are each here in the uniquely meaningful and valuable story of our life. At our collective best we gather in organizations to amplify our ability to pursue worthwhile goals. As knowledge workers, we contribute through collaboration – exploring and sharing ideas and jointly creating new solutions to ever-changing, emerging challenges. It seems clear to me that this is all supported when we can show up in our full human complexity, bringing our full humanity to the workplace. We have learned that our capacity to do all this is more about who we are than merely what we know.
As you look around you (and possibly within yourself), chances are you will see many people who don’t fully embody these capabilities. The courses developed over many years by the Agile Coaching Institute support both the skills acquisition and the human development that are needed for movement in this direction. As a faculty member and leader in this program, I have seen transformational impact on students first-hand, and have been richly challenged to continue growing along these lines myself. I have had to learn, for example, to more deeply trust the outcomes that follow from allowing myself to be vulnerable.
Complexity Demands Continued Individual Growth
What do we mean by human development? Again, we’re talking here not just about professional skills, but personal, internal development. This means advancing the complexity of our minds and mindsets: developing the cognitive, whole-person capacity to better hold and deal with contradiction, ambiguity, discomfort, conflict, uncertainty, and increasingly complex systemic challenges. As a foundation for this, we develop our self-awareness and capacity for self-management, our presence, our ability to be at choice in challenging situations. This means gradually freeing ourselves from the habitual ways of thinking and reacting that limit our ability to work effectively with others and show up in a creative way.
Hear From ACI’s Lyssa Adkins
SolutionsIQ offers the ACI curriculum through a specialist team of highly trained facilitators. Lyssa Adkins, founder of the Agile Coaching Institute, has set a high bar to maintain the quality standards that ACI has set for this transformational curriculum. I invite you to read Lyssa’s recent blog post for a deeper understanding of what this means. Lyssa continues to lead many of the courses and serves as senior mentor to the SolutionsIQ teaching faculty.
Lyssa, Accenture Agile Coach John Borys, and I had some fun recording an In-Depth Agile Amped podcast yesterday at Agile2017. Have a listen!