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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Jan 14, 2022

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by Buyi‌ ‌Kalala‌ in today’s episode to explore the differences between Agile Missionaries and Agile Mercenaries, considering a missionary someone who is there to help and assist the team on its journey, and a mercenary, who is paid to “hit,” who can reinforce misconceptions, and even execute tasks that are not coherent with the Agile Values and Principles.


Key Takeaways

  • Agile Missionaries vs. Agile Mercenaries.
    • Assist the organization in knowing what they don’t know, leading them into a new direction, a new way of operating.
    • Sometimes organizations put all the responsibility on the Agile Coach when in fact it is their transformation, not the Coaches.
  • The reaction to change.
    • Planting the seed takes time, organizations need time to process and digest change.
    • Sometimes there is resistance to change and in other cases, there is change fatigue.
    • Sustainable change comes after a time-consuming process.
  • Well-taken decisions will be celebrated while poor actions will also be exposed.
    • Mistakes in the Agile Journey are opportunities to pivot.
    • Sometimes it is easier to identify the “wrongful” behaviors rather than having the ability to catch the right decisions to be able to encourage them.
    • Focusing on potentials and possibilities is the way to highlight the behaviors that are aligned with the Agile Culture.
  • One-on-one conversations are crucially important.
    • Introverts can have a hard time dealing with the face-to-face approach.
    • Showing interest in the other person is necessary to achieve a common goal and be successful together.
    • Think outside of the box and try to connect from the other person’s perspective.
    • Practice patience and be curious (instead of judgemental).


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