Creating Agile Environments and Transforming People

Photo by James Walsh

Photo by James Walsh

Back in June, I visited the Chihuly museum in Seattle, and during one of the short videos, the artist talked about how he wanted to transform the Citadel in Jerusalem with his exhibit so that people would be changed by being in it.  It struck me as incredibly ambitious and intriguing.  How can we change people by transforming the environment?  In agile, we often start with team spaces and post information radiators.  These affect how people interact and what they focus on—a great place to start.  But what would it look like to create an amazing workplace that changes everyone who enters it to become better versions of themselves? 

When I am coaching managers on creating more agile environments, they learn to look beyond the physical space to see how existing processes, structures, and values are affecting teams’ ability to deliver the right results.  It might mean redefining roles, introducing new practices, changing hiring and incentive policies, and using different vocabulary.  It takes vision and commitment to envision the potential future and do the hard work of making it real.  Like an artist painting a watercolor, the agile leader adapts his approach based on the results of his previous actions while staying true to his vision.  All of this to create an amazing workplace—the kind of place that he might not have seen firsthand, perhaps a place unlike anything else in the world.  Why?

To create something beautiful that helps people move past their differences.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.