An Interview with William Strydom
Earlier this month I had the chance to catch up with our friend and AWA Coach Trainer, William Strydom who is based in Washington D.C. We got chatting about all things agile and coaching and what William is seeing as common challenges organizations are facing when moving towards enterprise agility.
Hi William – for those of us who don’t yet know you please tell me who you are what you like to do?
I am a coach who find myself working in the agile space. I used to be a mainframe developer and was part of the people who fixed the “Y2K” bug back in the day. Currently, I enjoy unleashing the higher potential of people, teams and organizations through coaching.
What do you most enjoy about the agile world?
I enjoy the variety of people, perspectives and thought provoking experiments happening in the agile world. Agile is ever evolving and incorporating new disciplines, e.g. executive coaching, organizational development, etc.
How did you first come to learn about Coaching?
I first learned about coaching from Lyssa Adkins, Michael Hamman and Michael Spayd when I attended their agile coach bootcamp. I then did a deep dive at the Co-Active Training Institute and CRR Global coaching schools, which resulted in me becoming a Co-Active coach, as well as an ORSC coach.
What can you tell me about the impact that coaching has had on the teams you work with?
I enjoy seeing how the teams grow from groups of people to teams to, occasionally, high-performance teams. How the teams create their own ways of working and have fun while doing it. I get satisfaction and fulfillment from the growth and maturity each person achieves in their own way and how each person has a profound impact on the teams’ collective and results.
What are the common challenges you are seeing with moving towards “enterprise agility”?
Some of the patterns I am observing are people not looking at the end-to-end value they are producing for their customers, aka still lots of silos in most organizations. Another is having processes that cannot evolve with the changing times the organizations find themselves in. Another is people looking for “the answer” instead of options and alternatives to exploit disruption and changes in their market sector.
What skills are you seeing that are becoming essential for bringing about real and lasting change?
We need to embrace our growth mindset, exhibit a beginner’s mindset at times of knowledge acquisition and blend our experiences and knowledge to create new ways of working. Continuous growth is the new norm and getting comfortable with the unknown is essential.
How can I learn these skills from you?
Feel free to attend any of our training classes and ask any of us to coach you or your organization.
If you weren’t working in the agile and organizational change space what would you be doing instead?
I would be traveling far and wide with my wife, hiking and biking as often as we could and experience the people and cultures around us wherever it maybe.
I work at AWA HQ looking after day-to-day operations, speaking with people, organising events and training, and thinking up the next cool thing we can do. Outside of work I’m probably in one of 3 places – at F45, on the mat practising yoga, or out in the countryside with my husband walking our whippet, Luna.