Agile Coaching Lessons

These essays are a series of posts related to Agile coaching.

They are posted in service to Agile coaches throughout the world.

The guidance here is distilled from over 8 years and over 10,000 hours of advising, consulting with, and providing coaching to, Agile teams and organizations in the USA and Europe.

NOTE: If you find value in these essays and find yourself curiously drawn to them, you may also enjoy OpenSpace Agility. OSA is is a repeatable technique for getting a rapid and lasting Agile adoption. It works with what you are currently doing, and can be added at any time. OSA Workshops are listed here.

You might later consider following me on Twitter and/or joining the OpenSpace Agility group on Facebook. I hope that you do.


Copyright 2015-2018 Daniel Mezick. All Rights Reserved. Contact the author via to receive permission to reprint.


The French Translations:

You can find the authorized French-language translations here. (Special thanks to @FabriceAimetti and @PabloPernot for providing these translations.)


About the Author , Daniel Mezick






Books by this author include:










THE OPENSPACE AGILITY HANDBOOK (on Amazon now in print and Kindle editions) (content link)

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This podcast covers Agile, Open Space and Scrum in 1 hour.

It’s a pretty good summary of my thinking with respect to “enterprise Agile transformations”:

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Click the image to investigate the podcast…










Copyright 2015-2017 Daniel Mezick. All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author via to receive permission to reprint.


Lesson 01: Signal That You Have No Authority

Lesson 02: Positioning Is Signaling

Lesson 03: Use Your Body When Facilitating

Lesson 04: Self-Organization Is Self-Management

Lesson 05: Self-Management is Authority-Distribution-By-Consent

Lesson 06: Your Authoritative Style Kills Self-Organization

Lesson 07: Invite Facilitation

Lesson 08: Practices Change, Principles Don’t

Lesson 09: Start in Open Space

Lesson 10: Open Space Tells The Story

Lesson 11: Encourage Executives to Encourage Experimentation

Lesson 12: I Want To Write The Story (and be IN the story…)

Lesson 13: When They Say No, Reduce the Ask By Half

Lesson 14: Engagement is Everything

Lesson 15: Real Leaders Go First

Lesson 16: Help The Team Identify Their Core Values As Soon As Possible. Or Sooner

Lesson 17: The PUSH of Agile Creates “Trance Formations”

Lesson 18: Definitions Are Agreements

Lesson 19: Agile is a Game. Agree About The Rules

Lesson 20: Only the Engaged Can Actively Self-Manage

Lesson 21: Ending in Open Space

Lesson 22: Get It In Writing

Coming Soon:

Lesson 25: Most (Group) Behavior is Unconscious

Lesson 30: Read SPIRIT by Harrison Own. ALL of it

Lesson 35: All Learning is Change. Most Change is Grief

Lesson 40: Without a Coherent Story, Liminality Reigns

Lesson 45: Human Culture Abhors a Storytelling Vacuum

Lesson 50: Most Problems Are Problems with Authorization

Lesson 55: Only the Engaged Can Actively Self-Manage

Lesson 60: Forget Everything They Tell You on the Phone

Lesson 65: If It Works Small, It Might Work Big

Lesson 70: Use Invitation To Create Engagement

Lesson 90: Every KPI You Are Measuring Depends on Engaged Human Beings Who Actually Give a Damn

Lesson 100: The Authoritative Mandate of Specific Agile Practices Routinely Switches Them Off

Lesson 110: Don’t Say “Self Organization” to Executives, Say “High Performance” Instead

Lesson 120: Don’t Say “Play” to Executives, Say “Experimentation” Instead

Lesson 130: Nurture an Emerging Culture of “Committed Experimentation”

Lesson 140: Announce The Date You Are LEAVING

Lesson 150: Make the Cultural Advantages of Facilitation Blatantly Obvious

Lesson 160: Never Facilitate An Open Space Meeting

Lesson 170: Sharpen Your Rhetoric

Lesson 180: Teach Them Everything You Currently Know, But Be Discerning In Terms Of When, What and Who

Lesson 190: Embody The Spirit of Open Space

Lesson 200: Agile Adoption Is Very Triggering For Participants- Gird Your Loins

Lesson 210: Pay Attention to the Anxiety Iceberg

Lesson 220: Worried People Can’t Learn

Lesson 230: Be Predictable and Reliable

Lesson 240: Deliver Control, Progress, and Belonging

Lesson 250: Facilitators Must Be Authorized

Lesson 260: Let The Lessons from Open Space Guide You

Lesson 270: Attend a Group Relations Conference

Lesson 280: What No One Wants To Admit… About Open Space

Lesson 290: Never Win an Argument

Lesson 300: Reduce the Coaching Days

Lesson 310: Shut The Door

Lesson 320: Your Presence Cannot Trigger The Transformation, Only Your ABSENCE Can Do That

Lesson 340: Teach Them To Sit With It

Lesson 350: Let The Culture Take Care of It

Lesson 360: Everybody Knows

Lesson 370: Effective Use of The Silent Treatment

Lesson 380: Less is More

Lesson 390: Vacate the Circle







If you find value in these essays and find yourself curiously drawn to them, consider following me on Twitter and/or joining the Open Agile Adoption group on Facebook

Copyright 2015 Daniel Mezick. All Rights Reserved. Contact the author via to receive permission to reprint.