Agile Lessons from the Ski Slopes

Lessons learned from being a ski instructor - and how it made me a better Agile Coach

The challenges of transforming a team into Agile are the same as teaching someone new to downhill skiing. The skills are the same - its just a different environment.

Here’s the challenge as a ski instructor: you are getting a group of students for 60-90 minutes. You are going to be asking them to do things completely outside their comfort zone. You are going to be asking people to do things they have never done before. It’s strange. It’s different. It’s feelings and behaviors they have never done before. The students look at these strange things on their feet: they are heavy, unwieldy, difficult to work with. How are they supposed to work with these strange things? Somehow in a very short time, you need to transform these students.

Sound familiar? Right now I could be talking about downhill skiing. Or I could be talking about Agile. As different as these two things sound, the basics are really the same.

So how do you do it? That’s going to be our conversation.

- Building trust
– Remembering what it’s like to be new at something
– Situational awareness
– Reading your students or your team
– Recognize the “Ah Ha” moment
– Being coachable
– Tailor your approach

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