Agile Transformations are trending. The buzz in corporate boardrooms is about organizational agility. Sounds great, right? The trouble is the Enterprise Coaches serving those execs do not always know how to come to terms with the fact that increasing organizational agility is not so much a technical issue, as it is a leadership development and culture change challenge. For most Coaches, this is outside the scope they have been given or the training they have had. The Integral Agile Transformation Framework provides a meta-view of an enterprise undergoing transformation. Using the foundational principles of Integral Theory, the latest in leadership development research, and the most powerful model to understand culture, the framework provides a holistic set of distinctions that reveals viable pathways to organizational agility, and also reveals why in certain cultures -- and with certain leadership "styles" -- the task is so difficult. You will leave with insights about what can actually work in your company, and what likely cannot.
What do we mean by systemic consciousness? Systemic consciousness can be described as how a system -- whether team, group, or organization -- makes sense of its world: what its "rules" are, how one remains in good standing within the community, what it values, what it believes, whether (and why) there are blocks preventing the natural flow of the systems' energy into productive results. We can tap directly into this consciousness by tuning our own perception beyond our individual consciousness, learning to read and skillfully articulate the 'emotional field' in a room, the unstated assumptions, the collective mental models that guide behavior, and other dimensions of the systemic field. An advanced tool in this process is a dramatic new format called systemic constellations, which graphically depicts the effects of systemic consciousness on the system, allowing us to clearly see the relationship between key elements, including dynamic tensions, blockages, and disconnection. There are many implications to this ability, since we all work in systems. The first system each of us belong to is our family. When we tune into systemic consciousness, we see that our ancestors are frequently with us, influencing our decisions — sometimes in helpful ways, other times based on the anxiety they grew up in. Organizational systems are largely the same. Organizational leaders -- and Enterprise Agile Coaches -- can expand their own effectiveness by tuning into systemic consciousness, exploring the unconscious and entangled patterns within the organization they lead or influence, seeing their own entanglements, and seeing the emerging movement within the system, as it seeks greater flow with a natural movement toward greater self-organization and productivity.
Michael K. Spayd’s career in Agile began in 2001 as one of the leaders of the largest (at the time) full-scale adoption of Agile XP. Subsequently, Michael led and coached Agile transformations in a wide variety of contexts; as part of his practice, speaking, and teaching, he has endeavored to bring in key disciplines from fields external to Agile, such as professional coaching, systemic management, Integral Theory, organization development (OD), organization culture and change, and approaches to develop more effective sensemaking in leaders. For over 10 years, he has brought that thinking into helping define the ICAgile tracks for both team-level and enterprise-level Agile coaches. In 2010, Michael co founded the Agile Coaching Institute, where he trained thousands of Agile coaches. In 2020, he founded the Collective Edge (www.the-collective-edge.com) with some dear colleagues, to help expand consciousness at the critical edge of our collective needs. Michael describes his style of working as systemic alchemy. His first book (coauthored) is Agile Transformation: Using the Integral Agile Transformation Framework™ to Think and Lead Differently, published in 2020 by Addison-Wesley.