2019 & Beyond – Sharpening the Saw

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2019 & Beyond – Sharpening the Saw

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Every year I try to spend time on my own training. I usually start thinking about two things the year before:

  1. What are some knowledge gaps that I have that I’d like to fill, and

  2. What are upcoming trends that will cause me to become obsolete if I don’t get ahead of them?

Then I review the available courses, events, and actions and I’ll try to come up with 2-3 things that I’ll focus on for personal improvement.

I’ve posted a couple of “Sharpening the Saw” posts in previous years. Usually in March, but this one is a bit late.  I hope this becomes an annual post to remind me (and perhaps you) to plot a journey of continuous learning. And making it public also helps motivate me to actually DO what I say I want to do…

This year, I’ve planned on the following:

  • Agile Coach Camp in Raleigh

  • Evolving Scrum Alliance CAL-I content

  • Co-presenting, more & more…

  • Starting down the ORSC coaching path 

We’re hosting an Agile Coach Camp here in Raleigh this year.

I’ve attended events in NYC and Ann Arbor, MI in previous years and I’m excited to be part of the volunteer team bringing this to my “backyard”.

The ACC is an Open Space for folks who are coaching or interested in coaching. I love peer-level learning and am looking forward to this event in early September 2019.

Here’s my readout from the 2017 New York City ACC.

One of the centerpieces of my coaching practice is my Certified Agile Leadership class. In this case, it’s CAL-I. 

Each time I’ve delivered the class from 2017 – 2019, it’s evolved and changed. And I anticipate that to continue during 2019 and into 2020. As my leadership journey (coaching, observation, study) continues, I keep learning things that I want to include in the CAL. 

I’ve incorporated Patrick Lencioni’s 5-Dysfunctions of a Team in the CAL, particularly the notion of creating a first team for leadership. This year, I’ll extend that notion to include Lencioni’s work on The Advantage. In it, he explores leadership teams in much more detail. So, I’ll amplify those ideas in the class.

I’ve also been getting quite a lot of traction using the Leadership Culture Survey in the class.

As a side note, the Scrum Alliance has placed a hold of sorts on the CAL instructor approvals, so I’ll be deferring my CAL II offering development until later…perhaps 2020. In the interim, I’m also investigating teaching the Scrum.org PAL/E class and plan on sitting on the class and a Train-the-Trainer exercise in August 2019 with Ryan Ripley and others.

I’m really excited about contrasting the two leadership training efforts AND getting a chance to become more familiar with the Scrum.org trainer and training community.

One of the things that I’m most excited about in 2019 is looking for more and more opportunities to pair-present with colleagues and friends. For example, from in 2017 – early 2019, I’ve presented three CAL-I workshops with my daughter Rhiannon Galen-Personick. She’s a social worker and brought a wonderful perspective to the class.

My intent for the CAL-I class is to always, if possible, pair deliver it. It just makes it all the better!

I’ve also been actively pairing with Mary Thorn, Shaun Bradshaw, and Josh Anderson across a variety of topics.

If you’re reading this and you’re interested in partnering/mentoring/pairing with me, please reach out for a discussion. But be real, it’s not a one-way street and you’ll need to work hard in the collaboration.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about for the past 3-4 years is amping up my learning around a more formal coaching framework or model. The two that I’ve been considering are ORSC, from CRR Global and Co-Active Coaching, from CTI.

My research and analysis basically boiled it down to ORSC being more focused towards business and organizational coaching. And Co-Active, being a more personal or general coaching framework. I spoke to people who had pursued each individually and many who had attended both programs. And both programs seem to be excellent next steps for agile coaches to acquire more serious coaching skills.

I just felt led towards ORSC and am going to start my journey there. We’ll see how it goes and where it takes me.

The first phase of ORSC training is going through a 5-class series over the course of 3-6 months. I’ll be starting my first class in September and finishing up in February 2020. Then joining a practitioner cohort for ~6 months to further sharpen my coaching chops.

I’m hoping to earn my certification before the end of 2020.

Some of you may be asking why did I share these posts? The answer is three-fold.

First, I want to inspire my fellow agile trainers and coaches to invest in their own continuous improvement.  I’ve written before about us needing to walk our own talk and this is a large part of that effort. It can be too easy to fall into the “revenue generation” trap. Literally, we can wake up one day and be extinct.

Second, I want my clients to know that I’m walking my own talk. That I continue to challenge myself to learn and grow. And that this “habit” is something that’s ingrained in me, my agile coaching, my coaching practice, and in my daily life.

And third, I simply want to share some topic or class (trends) that I think are interesting to pursue.

Here’s to my (and our) continuous and ongoing learning in 2019 & beyond.

Stay agile my friends!



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