Stuck with a customer challenge? No problem, let’s visualize it.

Sharing my Rapid Design Thinking Template that I frequently use in individual and team coaching sessions.

Rapidly going through the sequence of empathizing with the customer, defining the problem and challenge, ideating and creating building blocks for potential solutions, all on a one page visual; it’s an exhilarating experience that often takes less than 30 minutes and fits in within a one hour coaching session. And it’s not unusual that breakthrough solutions are born on the spot.

Here’s an example:

This is a one hour fifty minute condensed version of my otherwise one day Scrum Crash Course that I give to leaders and teams that are about to embark on a Scrum product development journey. Although it is hyper condensed, no corners are cut short as I insist: when we do Scrum, we do proper Scrum.

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Welcome to my Scrum Crash Course. Hi, I’m Coach Takeshi. If we’re going to do Scrum, let’s do Scrum properly. No “scrummy”, or “pick and chose” scrum, ok? …

Practicing Empiricism in Learning Interventions

As learning professionals, we coach, train, consult and facilitate our client teams to measure their activities and create feedback loops so that they can adapt and iterate to learn. We call it empiricism or evidenced based management.

It would be hypocrisy if we coaches, trainers, consultants don’t uphold ourselves to the same standards of inspection: we are accountable for measuring the efficacy of the learning interventions we provide.

The following are two frameworks that we use to help ourselves continuously learn from the quality and impact of our work at Agile Organization Development.

Phillips ROI Model

The Phillips ROI model is an extension…

OD is a Team Effort

Thank you for your interest in our tribe at Agile Organization Development. My name is Takeshi and I lead the tribe.

In my journey in becoming an Organization Development (“OD”) professional, I have come to realize the following:

  • OD is a practice of interventions; specifically, learning interventions.
  • OD is ineffective unless approached as a multifaceted practice:
  • Learning interventions come in many modalities — e.g. coaching, training, facilitation and advising.
  • Specifically for coaching, I find a hybrid approach between classic behavioral coaching (e.g. International Coaching Federation (ICF) style executive coaching) and process coaching (e.g. …

Directional talk, or dialogue?

Curious Active Listening Mindset as a Leadership Modality

Previously I shared CALM for receiving critical feedback. You can also have a Curious Active Listening Mindset for giving feedback.

In fact, from directional conversations to dialogue, CALM can be a #leadership #mindset and style of conversation entirely.

Curious Active Listening Mindset (CALM) For <Giving Feedback>

1. Set-up the stage for a dialogue

  • “Can I share with you something I noticed?”

2. State the facts — just the situation and observed behavior

  • Avoid making comments of character judgment

3. Invite their thoughts — calmly with curiosity, listen to understand

  • Suspend assumptions
  • Quiet the mind, no listening to respond, no parallel thinking
  • Listen with no interruption, no interpreting while listening

4. Playback what was said

  • Acknowledge what was heard

5. Offer support

  • Differences are ok, ask more questions for mutual understanding

6. Offer to speak again

Curious Active Listening Mindset (CALM) For <Receiving Feedback>

1. Calmly with curiosity, listen to understand

  • Suspend assumptions
  • Quiet the mind, no listening to respond, no parallel…

Receiving critical feedback is dreadful. Our defensive routines get triggered and however we might understand that the feedback giver is speaking with good intention, it’s still difficult to listen.

Try CALM — “Curious Active Listening Mindset“:

1. Calmly with curiosity, listen to understand

  • Suspend assumptions
  • Quiet the mind, no listening to respond, no parallel thinking
  • Listen with no interruption, no interpreting while listening

2. Playback what was said

  • Acknowledge what was heard

3. Ask for support

  • Differences are ok, voice back as necessary
  • Ask to co-create solutions

4. Agree to speak again

With a Curious Active Listening Mindset, there’s a…

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Welcome to Design Thinking. Hi, I’m Coach Takeshi. In this short video, I will explain what is Design Thinking, how we do Design Thinking, and most importantly, why we do Design Thinking.

Let’s start with clarifying the difference between Design Thinking, Agile and Lean. Well, consider them all the same.

Technically they all come from different origins; Agile from the software development world in the late 90s, and Lean from Lean Manufacturing made famous by the Toyota way, and Lean Startup after the first dot-com bubble burst again in the…

Here’s a rapid Design Thinking practice exercise that I do in my training sessions. It’s really simple. You pair up in buddies and by gifting each other an origami craft, you can go through the full empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test stages in just 30 minutes.

Origami Gift Exercise

  • Form pairs
  • Take turns interviewing each other; learn who your neighbor is, what they like, aspire etc. (Empathize)
  • Your gift to your neighbor will be something that represents them. What makes her/him/them special? Think of values, characters and other unique things about them. (Define)
  • Ideate what kind of paper craft you can build…

I use three mental models to describe my pedagogy (theory and practice of education):

Structured + Unstructured Learning

  • Lecturing, teaching, textbook learning fall into the realm of structured learning.
  • Coaching, mentoring, parental conversations are examples of unstructured learning.
  • Then in between, we have hybrid and blended learning which is everything else, or more correctly everything — learning is seldom completely structured or unstructured. Training, facilitation, workshops, practicing, debating, playing and work itself are good examples of hybrid and blended learnings.

Vertical + Horizontal Learning

  • Consider vertical learning as learning done in a planned, formal setting with a teacher or instructor. …


Linear thinking is our default: We are very good at planning and making lists

Linear thinking is our default. We are very good at planning and making lists.

Linear thinking is simple and great because it keeps us organized and it’s a systematic and intuitive way of doing things.

The problem is the opportunity cost associated to linear thinking. Are all options explored? Is that the only way? How do I know what’s missing? When we generate tunnel vision, we can’t see what’s beyond. That’s an opportunity loss.

Takeshi Yoshida

Chief Coach we are a tribe of ICF + Agile hybrid coaches for organizational change, agile & digital transformation, innovation program success

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