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This article is intended for professional behavioral coaches, typically ICF (International Coach Federation) certified executive, leadership, team, organizational coaches who are considering to become professional process coaches as well, and vice versa for professional process coaches, commonly Agile coaches, Design Thinking facilitators and Lean (Lean TQM and Lean Startup) practitioners, considering to become professional behavioral coaches simultaneously.

Table of Contents

1. Why It Works: Behavioral Coaching + Process Coaching

2. Funny Things Happen in Organizations

3. Wanted: Organizational Learning Interventionists

4. Economics and Benefits of Becoming an ICF + Agile Coach

5. How to become an ICF + Agile Coach

6. Join the Tribe for the Joy of…

What is agile? Why agile? How do we do agile? What’s the difference between Agile, Scrum, Lean, Design Thinking? Tell me about Scrum. Is agile a fad? What’s the difference between Agile and agility? All answered, in a 33 minute video.

The Deck

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Hi I’m Coach Takeshi. Welcome to my agile 101 session. In this not so long video, we will go through a remarkably wide variety of complex topics, each brain twisting, perspective shifting contents on its own.

Yet what I want you to experience is that, despite this sheer complexity, you will find simplicity and even elegance in it. Nature is full of examples like this — things that work, however complex, are beautifully simple. …

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So you had some great customer interviews as part of your Design Thinking exercise. You felt that you empathized well with the customers and generated awesome insight. Wonderful.

Before your memory evaporates you’d want to write down your thoughts quickly and effectively, as we all know how painful it is to replay scenes later from memory alone.

This is where I’d like to share a tip. Free-style notes are already enormously helpful, but if you can have those thoughts put into a format that can be used immediately and directly as ingredients for the next defining the problem and ideation stage in Design Thinking, that would be awesome right? …

What to do when feeling overwhelmed.
What to do when feeling overwhelmed.

1. Breathe

Know to stop. Stop. Take a deep breath. Slowly regulate your breathing.

Our mind and body is an amazing system. Breathing is the most simple, immediate, no-need-for-tool intervention available to us in times of panic. By the time we are overwhelmed, our body has gone through a cascade of hormone releases and bodily reactions that caused the severe stress. Breathing reduces the production of stress hormones such as noradrenaline and cortisol, and brings us back to our normal state.

2. Check-in with your right brain: Feel

It’s important to check-in with the right brain first, before the left brain. If we check-in with our logical left brain first, we tend to over-rationalize and it fuels the overwhelmingness, which is counter-productive. …

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — Revised Pyramid and Ladder Visual Interpretation

Self-Transcendence — Beyond Self-Actualization and Theory X & Y

  • In introducing Theory X & Y in “The Human Side of Enterprise” (1960), Douglas McGregor made reference to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model by overlapping Theory Y managers as self-actualized individuals.
  • The success of McGregor’s book also propelled Maslow’s psychology to popularity in the management community, leading to the emergence of the ubiquitous pyramid visual we commonly see today. The pyramid visual is not a creation of Maslow’s.
  • Little is known that Maslow in his final years of his life, advocated self-transcendence as the top needs, beyond self-actualization. …

We practice the art of stopping — meditation, mindfulness, reflection, introspection, zen. Confucius says to stop, we first need to know to stop. Let’s see what he means by that.

This is the very first of my video series, and I’m pleased to select a topic that is close to my heart.

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Read the original article

Adapted from my original 2018 article:

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This article is an excerpt from the original piece “Organization Systems Integration” (

Agile and digital transformation projects are abundant today. The irony is that too frequently, they are planned and delivered in essentially waterfall project management style.

Waterfall is a linear, plan-all-the-way, phased execution style of project management. It is a productive project management approach, and in fact, we owe modernity to Waterfall because of its highly scalable attribute that produces predictable and replicable results.

However, it is an approach best suited for projects of certainty, such as construction engineering and production facility projects. …

Thinking about Training Support for Change Agents, Transformation Leads & Innovation Managers

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It’s a Special Job. And special jobs need special training.

Change Agents, Transformation Leads and Innovation Managers (“CTIOs” — change, transformation and innovation officers, for the sake of this article) are the civil equivalent of Rangers and Special Ops. They are top performers and exceptional talent hand picked by leadership to take on high stakes roles that will impact the future of the organization.

Meanwhile, unlike their uniformed counterparts, CTIOs are often dropped into their roles without dedicated training opportunities.

The special projects they are called into are typically of nature of “exploring uncharted territory,” where uncertainty and ambiguity prevails. And when the leadership team that commissions the project are unsure themselves of what it takes to carry out the mission, the directive includes “We leave it to your own devices to figure out what and how to do.” …

Because brainstorming & group thinking is notoriously ineffective

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Why brainstorming doesn’t work

That was fun, but… Why do we get that slight, lingering feeling of doubt and dissatisfaction after brainstorming sessions?

Here’s why:

Group dynamics: 80/20 rule applies.

  • Domination: The vocal minority dominate the space, crowding out the voices of the rest.
  • Judgment and hesitation: Our fear of being wrong and looking stupid makes us shut up.
  • Ideas evaporate: We can’t really listen and think at the same time, so our nascent ideas quickly dissipate while waiting for our turn to speak.
  • Social loafing: We become mentally lazy in groups — let others do the thinking!

Linear outcome: It’s so hard to do dissociated thinking (thinking of something separate — out of the box) during a group conversation. …

Because when we’re overwhelmed, we make simple and complicated situations, complex and chaotic.

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Complexity & uncertainty handling is starting to get recognition as a skill set, ability and aptitude associated to agility. A lot of my executive coaching conversations are indeed around this topic.

The interesting thing is that often through the coaching conversation, we discover that actually it was the coachee themselves that made the situation complex and even chaotic (a nice way to say that things got out of hand).

Consider the following. Airplane crashes are typically a result of unfortunate chain of events. Weather and mechanical failures are the typical triggers, but almost all statistics that I’ve looked up catalog pilot error as the ultimate cause of failure. In many cases, the trigger events were impactful but nonetheless simple or at best complicated incidents. Yet the pilots, working to take action under incredible duress, made fatal errors that let to the catastrophic consequences. …


Takeshi Yoshida

Complexity Handling, Enabling Conversations - Behavioral Coach (ICF ACC), Agile Scrum (PSM II, PSPO), Lean, Design Thinking Trainer, Facilitator -

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