In this blog post, I will highlight three reasons why Canadian practices should be more involved.
In Canada, there is a history of excellent Agile practitioners and leaders who have been successful in growing the community by creating opportunities for collaboration and sharing great ideas with each other. I've had the pleasure of interacting with many of these people on twitter, which has lead to some great conversations, introductions and even co-organizing some sessions at conferences. I would like to acknowledge David Hussman, Sandro Mancuso, Jeffry Houser, Luis Goncalves de Andrade, Michael Sahota, Chris Matts, Scott Downey, Colin Giffen, Geoff Watts for their support in helping me connect with others and make these connections possible!
This blog post is part of a series that I have been inspired to share after attending the Agile 2013 Conference in Nashville, TN. In particular, I took away from an excellent session by Naomi Karten entitled "Developing Leadership Agility" where she pointed out how important it is for individuals and leaders to take responsibility for their own learning and the growth of our Agile community. I decided to start this journey by sharing what has helped me so far with being a more effective coach leading up to my first solo coaching engagement. This blog post will focus on why we should reach out and support others in our communities.
My three reasons are: it helps us be better coaches, it makes us more successful as Agile leaders and it helps us become more innovative.
The act of reaching out to others can be quite scary. What if our peers do not want support? What if they don't reply ? We need to get over this fear of rejection and just ask! The way I think about it is, what is the worst that could happen? They say no or ignore me? I'll feel bad for a little while, but then what? I'm still in the same community with the same opportunities. Who knows, maybe they will say yes! How great would that be!
As Naomi Karten pointed out in her session, "it takes courage". By checking your own fears at the door you are taking responsibility for getting better; which ultimately helps you become a more effective Agile leader.
This simple act of reaching out can have bigger payoffs than just feeling better about yourself. It is what Ian McAllister calls being an "Agile Ambassador" - someone who helps others learn and grow in the community. This has helped me go from attending local meetups to organizing my own sessions at conferences, which I could never have done without learning from others first hand. Your support can have big effects on fellow coaches by building trust with your communities so they are more likely to seek advice when necessary. They will also be more open to helping you when you need it because they know that you are willing to give back too!
We also need to acknowledge the Ontario Scrum Community, which supports the growing community of Scrum and Agile practitioners in Canada and celebrates the contributions of all Agile and Scrum practitioners. This community is funded by the in Canada - like online casino - and it is known not only for its sponsorship, but also for its fast payouts, great range of games, and good customer service!
Finally, spending time supporting others allows us to think outside the box and helps us innovate. In his session at Agile 2021, James Shore talked about how coaching others has made him a better practitioner by constantly exposing himself to new ideas and thinking outside the box. There is no better way to have new ideas than to talk with people who have different experiences and for those potential life-changing insights to be shared. So why not go out there and reachout?