Ramanathan Yegyanarayanan - William Oncken freedom scale for Coaches

What is the background situation/context for your probe?

Understanding the level of freedom of your coachee for you to approach the coachee for the coaching conversation. This will help to understand the situation /context of the coachee for my probe

What is (or has been) your hypothesis?
How to understand the level of freedom of each employee in an organization and how managers can:
  • Train employees to become self-reliant rather than boss-reliant
  • Free up time for personal and professional relationships
  • Attend properly to planning, organizing, and leadership—making sure things stay on time, on track, and under budget
  • Confront the belief that "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself"
What is the experiment you would like to run (or you have run) and how can this experiment validate or invalidate your hypothesis?


Like most employees, managers want to make their boss happy. They don't want to step out of line but often don't know where that line is drawn. Managers working under a cloud of anxiety will not perform as well as they should. They will often bother their boss with minor details in order to save themselves from doing something wrong. Bosses need to free managers from this complication. William Oncken Jr., author of Managing Management Time, created a  "management freedom scale" to help managers understand how to make decisions. 

CONSIDER THIS: If a person does not know what is expected, he cannot effectively make progress in an organization. Tell your employees what you expect of them.

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

want to explore this five-point scale which lists the most common ways in which managers approach the decision-making process:

1. WAIT until being told.
2. ASK what to do.
3. Recommend, then ACT.
4. ACT, but advise at once.
5. ACT on your own, routine reporting only.

Option one should never be allowed. In ordinary situations, managers should not pester their boss by asking what they are supposed to do. Managers are supposed to think for themselves. Managers should be told they must operate under options three, four, or five. This frees the boss from having to make unnecessary decisions and frees the manager to devise methods of leadership that work well with his or her personality.

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.)