I almost didn’t publish this post since it felt derivative. People much smarter than I have covered this topic in greater depth and elegance than I ever could. Lyssa Adkins comes to mind. Nonetheless, I think André Gide sums up why we’re here:
Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, it must be said again.
Many–maybe even most–agile coaches aren’t operating as coaches and aren’t actually coaches themselves. Many of them are often operating as consultants or mentors and may not even understand the difference. That’s not to say they’re not offering a valuable service. Many are. However, this kind of disregard has led to autocracies like Dark Scrum and the Agile Industrial Complex, and we should work to mitigate the continued damage.
Isn’t it coaching 101 that teaches us that we can’t coach someone subversively? That we require explicit permission from our clients? Why then do so many supposed agile coaches impose their will on teams rather than invite them to be part of the process? As I work with teams, the scars of this are obvious, and the trouble it creates endless. So today let’s talk about how the roles of consultants, mentors, and coaches differ.[Read more…]