Coaching Beyond the Team: Influencing the Organization


Learn how to coach beyond the team

Agile coaches and Scrum Masters face many challenges. They have no authority to insist people listen or do, yet managers and executives expect organization-wide results from their activities. Furthermore, many executives see clearly how teams should change, but don’t see how the environment or their own actions impact teams. Handing those managers an impediment list isn’t a winning strategy.

In our Coaching Beyond the Team workshop, you will learn how to establish credibility and rapport to influence and coach beyond the team. You’ll learn how to use diagrams to create understanding, and share data in a way that enables managers to take action.

Course Objectives

Through simulations and small group activities we’ll explore common organizational patterns and dynamics. Through discussion and practice, you’ll learn tools that will help you communicate the changes needed to unleash productivity.

You will learn:

  • How the language we use supports or inhibits the changes we want to bring.
  • How to see the visible and invisible structures in the organization which sustain the current pattern.
  • How similarities and differences create change dynamics.
  • How problems extend into the organization.
  • How to discover and depict factors that affect the situation, and how they influence each other.
  • How to choose which actions to take first.


The workshop’s design and content will take your skills to the next level. You’ll learn techniques for understanding the real problem. New analysis tools will reveal the real company, which bears little resemblance to the chart hanging on the wall. Experiential exercises will make this part of your coaching DNA.

In this workshop we’ll cover.

  1. Laying the Groundwork
    • Workshop Philosophy
    • Forming a learning community
  2. Entering Groups
    • Activity / Debrief
    • Analysis tools
      • The language of change
      • Change Artist roles
      • Creating Client Connection
  3. Shape of the Problem
    • Finding Factors
    • Influence Diagrams
    • Other diagrams (as time permits)
  4. Organization Dynamics
    • Activity / Debrief
    • Human Systems Dynamics
      • Containers
      • Differences
      • Exchanges
    • Subjective Impact Analysis
    • Experiments
  5. After the workshop
    • Resources
    • Staying Connected


“Highly interactive and engaging activities followed by thought-provoking conversations.” …Andrew Saeman, Senior Agile Consultant at Centare.

“This is an exciting, eye-opening workshop that provided creative and innovative techniques for coaching teams while assisting participants in developing their Agile network.” …Kathleen Kannan

“This course is about helping individuals, teams, and organizations become more effective. The exercises and discussion with students and instructors let you personalize the material.” … Sellers Smith Dir, Quality Assurance

“If you have a chance to participate in Esther and Don’s workshops, do not hesitate and go for it. The style of learning throughout the workshop was amazing with its simplicity yet undoubtedly difficult to establish in such short period of time that two days gives us. The setup of the physical space not as much as the emotional comfort that their approach just emitted on its own. They have set up the emotional space for us to be as open as possible and vulnerable yet at the same time have the feeling of safety. I have not experienced that style of knowledge sharing/exchange in a long time. So much information was shared and exchanged without the feeling of material heavy session. It was all done through carefully thought out exercises that almost seemed to mask that this was learning and it didn’t feel like a torrent of data poured on my head, even that it was ;)” … Konrad Hajdukiewicz Senior Agile Consultant

Don & Esther talk about language in relationship to coaching and change.



Don & Esther discuss how to create rapport and rapport’s value .


  Esther Derby

I started my career as a programmer, and over the years I’ve worn many hats, including business owner, internal consultant and manager. From all these perspectives, one thing became clear: our level of individual, team and company success was deeply impacted by our work environment and organizational dynamics. As a result, I have spent the last twenty-five years helping companies design their environment, culture, and human dynamics for optimum success.

I’ve written over 100 articles, and co-authored two books–Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great and Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management. I write about management, leadership, collaboration, organizations and change (or another topic I’m currently exploring).

I’m an original founder of the Scrum Alliance and the AYE Conference, and I have served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Agile Alliance.

  Don Gray

My experience across a variety of industries, from small startups to Fortune 50 organizations, provides a solid platform for assisting clients through their transition to Agile development practices.I incorporate my study of communication, personality types, team styles, systems thinking, and human systems dynamics into my work and writing. You can find a number of my articles published at Better Software magazine and

I frequently speak at local and regional conferences as well as Agile Development Practices and the Agile 201x Conferences.