Culture, Leadership & Org Growth – The missing link in Agile?

I have been getting unbelievably positive feedback around my edition of the Scrum Alliance’s new Certified Agile Leadership Training (CAL1).

People tell me it’s like the missing link in Agile: How to grow people and organizations so that Agile may actually work.

We know from Version One’s fantastic survey that the #1 challenge with Agile is Organizational Culture. This is what we tackle head-on.


Anyway, here is what people are saying:

Praise from Executives and Managers

  • Invigorating, Rejuvenating, Thought-provoking. I gained valuable insights into self, value of consciousness and better understanding of how to start to consider transformation to organizational agility.” – Greg Fields, Managing Director
  • Mind-opening, Intense, Deep. I gained key learning around working with culture, leadership models and listening. I enjoyed the diversity of exercises, energy of the space and movement.” – Michael Sapp, Program Manager
  • Enlightening, Inspiring, Energizing. I learned about self-leadership, 4 A’s Leadership model, Teal organizations and a decision-making framework. I liked the balance of telling vs asking and the different levels of sollaboaration.” – Yashar Rassoulli, CTO & co-founder.
  • Insightful, Challenging, Informative. I learned about the importance of wholeness, safety and trust in an organization. It was fun and engaging, but also gave opportunity to reflect.” – Isaac DeSouza, CTO
  • Inspiring, Humbling. I found the following valuable: VAST (vulnerability, Authentic connection, safety, trust) model, communications, and focus. Excellent facilitator, fearless, makes it look easy, practices what he preaches.” – Mitch van Huuksloot, CIO
  • Enlightening. Uplifting. Transformational. Culture is king and is the most important metric/KPI for understanding the health of an organization and improving it.” -Frank Leong, General Manager, Aimia

Praise from Agile Coaches, Change Agents, and Scrum Masters

  • Impactful, Engaging, Relevant. I gained valuable insights around frameworks & tools for dialogue and my attachment to Agile as an end. I now know how better to see and bring awareness of reality. I liked the informal tone, hands-on activities and mix of small/large group work.” – Anthony Mersino, (Agile+) Coach
  • Pure Magic! I gained the valuable insight into models and patterns that are more helpful than best practices. Love the focus on people as a way to be more healthy. I likedMichael’s energy – being surrounded by openess and love by Michael. Also, movement between sitting, standing, circle, quiet, sharing, and pair. work” – Paul Heidema, Director Agile Transformation & Innovation (Agile Coach)
  • Awareness, Growth, Impact. I learned about focus on myself – listening and 4 A’s leadership model. I now have techniques to work with leadership. I liked the safe environment and the emergent, rich discussion.” – Josh D’Jelal, Scrum Master
  • Honest, Engaging, Thought-Provoking. I learned about the importance of listening – purely listening, standing in the truth and inviting others. I liked the varied methods, group discussions and visual materials.” – Laura Prieto Umerez, Operational Excellence Sr. Business Advisor
  • Enlightening, Engaging, Empowering. I discovered valuable ways of approaching leadership, and transformation through patterns. This subject holistically has opened up my mind to the possibilities of what I can achieve with organizations.” – Auzma Ahmed, Scrum Master
  • Inspiring, Beautiful, Empowering. I now see the importance of going beyond Agile and clarifying leadership’s desire for transformation. I now have patterns for experimenting with. The energy and charisma engaged me. I also like the fluidity and creativeness.” – Jem D’Jelal, Organizational Coach

Origins of my CAL1 Curriculum

My CAL1 curriculum is based on the work I have been doing for the last five years helping leaders with organizational culture. The 2 day training has been getting evolved and refined over this time so now it contains the most important bits across the elements show below:

SAFe vs CAL1?

I get a fair number of questions about how SAFe compares with CAL1. They are designed for very different things! Here’s my understanding:

SAFe is wonderful for getting elements of Agile to work without disrupting existing large organizations. It’s wonderful design minimizes turbulence from Agile mindset. So my perspective is that it great for Doing Agile Practices.

CAL1 is about looking at the broader picture of how our organization function. We ask: how might we foster a dynamic flexible organization with engaged workers? How do we bring an Agile Mindset to the whole of the organization? And not just teams. So it’s about Being Agile andliving the values.


Next Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) Courses in London:

New! 18th – 19th May with Olaf Lewitz and Christine Neidhardt.
This CAL course with Olaf Lewitz comes highly recommended from Michael Sahota and is the first and only CAL course designed and run by a pair. This course is all about how the way you show up sets the context for the results you want and how your inner game influences your outer game. Sign up here

19th – 20th June with Michael Sahota 
Following two sold out courses already this year, Michael will return to London this June to share his “Transformational, Challenging and Informative” course. This course is for people who want to learn key organization and leadership models that will allow you to understand how your organizational culture really works. Sign up here


Hope you can make it!