16 Questions for Setting Up a Coaching Alliance.

As I have begun building a coaching alliance with the CEO and executive team of my clients in the past, I have found a very broad disparity of awareness, maturity of practice and level of depth in coaching needs.  So, I’d like to share some questions that I may begin conversations with, whoever may be engaging my services.  This kind of Fierce Leadership conversation (please see the book by the same title) is most useful when it is completed earlier than later in a business transformation consulting engagement.
1. Does the Enterprise Agile Coach’s activities include executive coaching?
2. Who does coach the executives?
3. How do the executives shift their mindset to become agile?
4. In what way do the executives go first in agile, to serve their constituents?
5. How do the executives continuously and publicly express their sense of passion and responsibility about the agile transformation?
6. How does each executive visually and transparently communicate to the workforce which structural impediments she is accountable for removing, has removed, won’t remove and can’t remove? (Do they commit to reading and responding in writing to the  Open Space Proceedings within 48 hours of publication?)
7. How does the executive know how effective they are in their attempts to inspire, support, guide, empower and collaborate with and innovate with the agile work force?
8. Jay W. Forrester says the Policies determine the behavior of the system.  How aware is the executive about the dynamics currently influencing the system, and how frequently do executives revise/update the work system, organizational structure or culture?
9. How do executives continuously improve themselves and stay engaged in life-long learning?
10. How does the executive demonstrate to the agile workforce the value and positive career impact of heightened engagement in life-long learning inside the organization?
11. How active a role does the executive play in the Agile Community of Practice?
12. What are the aspiration goals of the executive to reach their next level in leadership agility?
13. Exactly which of the 6 Types of agile coach do you hope I will be?  What are you willing to commit to, in service to my fulfilling on the role of Enterprise Agile Coach, to enable me to accomplish this level of coaching?
14. What’s at stake in this transformation?  How large are the potential upsides to its success, and down-sides to failure?
15. What makes you think you need to go outside the company, to get coaching for this?
16. How long do you think it may take for a truly exceptional Enterprise Agile Coach to mentor up his replacement?

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