James Zhang - Can we set up a team for success before throwing them into a space together to solve business problems?

What is the background situation/context for your probe?

After observing many different teams and being in different teams, what I've always experienced is that teams with people who can show up as themselves whilst showing great care and respect for their teammates always end up working better together and are aligned on producing the best possible outcome they can give. Authenticity creates a foundation for trust and understanding.

What is (or has been) your hypothesis?

Before we can effectively collaborate with other people, we need to first understand each other as humans and build a stronger working relationship.

What would happen if we created a whole day to focus on setting up a team for success before throwing them into a space together to solve business problems?

If we just did this, we would see an increase in team happiness, engagement and trust with each other.

What is the experiment you would like to run (or you have run) and how can this experiment validate or invalidate your hypothesis?

I have run a mini-workshop (1.5 hrs) with 10 people who haven't worked together before to share stories on their upbringing, getting out of their comfort zone and play a number of improv games to create an environment that celebrates creativity and mistakes whilst working together to achieve a better outcome. The used for the session was a set of psychological safety questions - the score was out of 5 and overall, it went up from 3.27 to 4.44

What I'd like to experiment this time is spend an entire day focusing on building a team rather than just 1.5 hrs

On a smaller scale, the experiment I'd like to run is focussed on building trust with each other through an activity or two that will be measured by the "Trust Quotient" by TrustAdvisor - https://trustedadvisor.com/why-trust-matters/understanding-trust/the-trust-quotient-and-the-science-behind-it

Is there a specific skill/technique you would like to learn/explore at this coach camp?

If I could explore only one thing, it would be to get everyone to self-reflect and share their own unique stories about their upbringing and what events as led them to be the person they are today.

Other techniques we could explore may include:

  • Improv Games
  • Collaborative Problem Solving that involves everyone to play their part to win
  • Writing their own Identity card (what I value, my strengths, what I bring)
  • Share their failure moments
Call for Papers CLOSED
Ended on Jan 25 '20 05:29 AM IST

Interested in attending the Agile Coach Camp on Oct 11th in Bengaluru? Read on...

It's been 12 Years and almost 110 viral Agile Coach Camps since our very first coach camp experiment. This year, Coach Camp co-creator Naresh Jain along with Jutta Eckstein and John Buck will lead participants in this Coach Camp in Bangalore, organized as part of the Agile India 2020 Conference.

Coach Camp Theme

As a coach, you're often the one who needs to drive and sustain change. Yet, how do you do this? What has helped and hindered you doing so and how can you best pass your experience on to other coaches or how can you best learn from other coaches?

This is the theme for this year's coach camp. To tackle this challenge, we invite you to try something new:

  • Currently, we face the following situation: Constantly driving change is getting more and more important for companies to survive in this VUCA world. At the same time, it is (or should be) the core skill of every coach – no matter if you coach individuals, teams, or organisations. However, sometimes it seems every coach has to come up with her own experience on how to drive change successfully.
  • Our hypothesis is that for driving change, every coach uses so-called probes, that are defined by small, safe-to-fail experiments based on hypotheses derived from reflection on the current situation as well as on theory. So, probing allows discovering (based on the hypothesis) what's working and what is not through one or several experiments. This allows to make sense of both the current situation but even more important of the situation we are aiming for. And if we create a knowledge base of our collective wisdom on probes we used (or intend to use) we can learn from each other.
  • Therefore, as an experiment we want to invite this year's coach camp participants to jointly discover, share, create, improve, and finally publish probes that help(ed) driving and sustaining change. As in a typical coach camp, we will use the Open Space format to explore different topics for driving change and we invite you to use probes to focus the discussions on these different topics. We anticipate as a result that the discovered and created probes will provide a foundation for such a knowledge base.

Registering for the Coach Camp

The coach camp is free of charge (financially) yet, for registration we ask you for the following:

  • Please click on the Add Paper button and submit your position paper. In your position paper, you will be asked to share an idea for a probe, consisting of a background situation (context), a hypothesis, and an experiment. This can be a probe you've implemented before, one you've discovered/heard of others implementing it, or you intend to implement. The probe should focus on the coach camp's theme: Driving Change.
  • The discussed probes provide a basis for a free and publicly accessible knowledge base.

Final Note

Please note, we want to invite you to use probes for the discussion and recording of the Open Space sessions. This is by no means an enforcement. We are well aware that there might be situations where probes are not the right means for discussing or/and recording a particular topic - and that is of course fine. After all, using probes for this coach camp is a probe in itself (and we are open to possibly invalidate our hypothesis.)