The current crisis shows it in an unexpectedly clear and dramatic way: adaptability is probably the most sought-after and important competence at the moment. Curfews for weeks, compulsory masks when shopping, Easter celebrations without family – all this would have been completely unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Today it has become the new normality. Even if the current situation in its intensity and global spread is not comparable with the entrepreneurial challenges of the past few years, there are certain similarities.

For some years now, the term “VUCA world” has been established as a synonym for difficult conditions in companies. Just like the term “agility” as an answer to this: being agile means being adaptable, mobile, agile. Exactly what is needed now in the Corona crisis. Almost daily – or at least weekly – the situation has to be reassessed in order to be able to make the right decisions.

Agile processes and structures are manifesting themselves in more and more companies and divisions. What began 25 (!) years ago in software development is now “state-of-the-art” almost everywhere. As consultants and coaches we have of course also taken this development into account. Today, a large part of our portfolio is dedicated to the topic “agility”. New consulting formats have emerged, existing ones have been adapted.

One example of this is “classic” coaching. We asked ourselves the question: “What does it take for coaching in an agile environment to be effective, efficient and maximally helpful for the customer?

Based on our definition of coaching, which can be read on our homepage here, we recognize that coaching and agility fit together perfectly: The customer and his (current) issues are the focus of attention, it is about solution orientation, cooperation and finding new options (ways). So what is particularly important in an agile environment? I would like to emphasize 3 points:

  1. Clarification of objectives and tasks at the beginning of each unit
    Even though a coaching process usually follows a “red thread”, at the beginning of each session there is a clarification of goals and tasks for the unit. Especially in an agile environment it can happen that new topics arise at short notice and are then worked on in coaching. Here, a high degree of flexibility is required on the part of the coach to take up these topics in an appropriate way and to work on them together.
  2. Professional competence of the coach
    The professional competence of the coach is of great importance. The coach should know and master as broad a spectrum of agile methods as possible (such as SCRUM or Effectuation). It is not the coach’s job to explain to the client how these models work. Rather, it is a prerequisite for being perceived as a discussion partner at eye level.
  3. Attitude of the coach
    The third – and in my view the most important point – is the attitude of the coach. “Agility is a minimum” – this is probably the most important insight when you deal with the topic more intensively. Exactly the same applies to the attitude (the minimum) of the coach. A coach who has internalized agile thinking will be more effective in an agile environment than someone who lacks it.

Taking these points into account, coaching is the perfect consulting format in an agile environment. What are your experiences in this respect? I am looking forward to your feedback by mail to gl@coverdale.at.