Real-life culture experiences


As an Agile Coach I want to learn about experiences of other Agile coaches (concerning motivation) to discover possible patterns

Clarysys, London, UK (Matt):

  • How to get internal work done?
  • Open culture—publishing transparency
  • Culture=behavior
  • Living the values (showing up)
  • Respect they have with one another
  • Focus on relationships
  • Scrum is running the company
  • Behavior reflects values

GDS, London, UK (Olaf)

  • List curated by people posted about the office “It is OK to…” (demonstrates their inclusiveness), testing boundaries, giving permission
  • Simple resonates
  • Let people collect what is OK, and maybe they can begin to challenge
  • Behavior effects values
  • Good first impression in design thinking
  • Open sourcing both code and how they work
  • Sharing how they work is part of their agenda

JP Morgan (Scott)

  • Essence of management was to value diversity
  • Promotion circle that reinforced inclusiveness, diversity, and recognition
  • Uniqueness is celebrated

Barclays (Paulo)

  • Value program:  courage, openness, respect, service/stewardship, excellence
  • Can thank anyone who demonstrates those values, and manager is copied in
  • Thank yous determine end of the year celebrations
  • Recognizes outside volunteer work
  • Teams are invited to innovation games
  • Mentorship program—everyone is invited to be a mentor and/or mentee


  • Teams elect their boss


  • Open space (every other Friday)
  • They can make every decision as needed on those days


  • Incentivize the longest support call (8 hours)
  • You will be paid $2000 when you leave within the first 90 days (so that incentive to stay is not $$)

Menlo Innovations

  • Pair on everything


  • Users demo software to the team


  • Mentorship programme

Philip Morris and Renault

  • Outside events for networking
  • Regular full company offsite (ImprovGMBH)


  • Leadership principles used in recruiting and on daily basis



  • Agreement between roles
  • Podcast (provide link if possible)


  • Lean Coffee


  • Dojo-intentional space to collaborate and learn

Mr. Rogers

  • Culture of empathy
  • Won’t you be my neighbor?


  • Culture of speaking your truth—saying what you mean in a caring and generous way, taking responsibility, making and honoring commitments, deep listening

Nowhere Group:

  • Culture on all voices being heard (circle where everyone spoke)
  • Hold tension of inquiry
  • Making beautiful things—honor for those to make those things

Mice, Norway

  • Total transparency
  • Whole company operating without budgets
  • No targets


  • Trust
  • Simple rules
  • Clear boundaries
  • Transparency
  • Willingness to change
  • Empathy
  • Pride
  • Sharing
  • Freedom
  • Fearless change
  • Personal responsibility
  • Recognition
  • Negotiation
  • Collaboration

Experiments (born from patterns):

  • Pairing
  • Lean coffee
  • It is “Okay” list
  • Leadership principles
  • Leadership as a team
  • Off-site events
  • Check-ins/talking circles
  • Dream ball
  • Open space frequently
  • Scrum
  • Open sourcing
  • Outcome based contracts


  • Focusing on metrics rather than value
  • Using agile metrics as a WIP
  • Relay on centralization
  • Roads lead to handovers—easy to avoid responsibility
  • No one has responsibility for end result
  • Standardized capacity
  • Blaming culture
  • Too financially successful to want to change
  • Standardization, specialization, centralization
  • Management resistant to change “cannot be touched”
  • HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion)
  • Heavily overburdened
  • HR surveys