Taking responsibility for the impact of agility

A guided 1:1 mentoring program with Eric Willeke

Agile Sponsorship is the acceptance of responsibility for leading a company through the change and disruption required to see the full impact from agility. This responsibility will push you further from your comfort zone than you’ve likely experienced any other time in your career, because you are now in a role where you must be an exemplar of a new way of working, as you learn a new way of behaving as a leader while trying to get every other leader in your company to learn those new ways at the same time.

If you’re like most agile change sponsors, you’ve led significant organizations in a variety of executive roles, and you’ve built a reputation for successfully navigating the most challenging initiatives the company takes on. Few of these, however, have touched as many different parts of the organization in as many different ways… demanding changes in behavior, mindset, culture… breaking down siloes that have stood for a decade, bringing people together around customers and value in a new way… changing the finance, strategy, and HR functions’ roles towards technology development in significant ways… all while introducing a new set of language, mindset, and behaviors that needs to be embraced by the managers across a number of disciplines.

You’ve likely seen what agile looks like before, and know what it feels like to have it working well. You’re not likely to have led people through the adoption and change, so you’ll bring on an experienced agilist to lead your change team, somebody who has led change. Unfortunately, most of these people have only helped change the technology and product value streams, and don’t have the breadth of organizational change experience to understand all the functions you need to engage for sustained, effective change… they have blind spots.

You need somebody to help you and your change leader connect the different pieces… a person who has led the broad change, has a deep experience of what’s possible with agility, and has the expertise in the frameworks and methods to provide fast, reliable advice on implementation decisions. You need somebody who can point out the risks, potentially crippling mistakes, and the opportunities to get to impact even faster. You need a mentor that helps you charter, shape, and lead your agile change team in the right direction.

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Program Goals

Create capability – Every topic is focused on helping you build your individual skills, knowledge, and mindsets around leading agile change. I’ve found this focus on capability-building in leaders pays off over and over again.

Focus on impact – We will explore a structured set of core topics addressing needs that every transformation will encounter, accompanied by an elective set of deep dive topics that expand on critical issues within the core topics. We will select and prioritize the topics together to meet your individual goals during the first planning session, and will change that selection as needed if we learn together.

Integrate learning and application – Training detached from application is a low-leverage learning approach. We will select and sequence topics such that you have the best opportunity to immediately apply the concepts from each topic in the two weeks following, in your transformation, with your team. Indeed, we will jointly identify specific “homework” as part of each topic’s exploration based on a set of example actions other leaders have taken, and reflect on the impact and experience of applying the new ideas at the beginning of the following session.

Provide Flexibility – You will frequently face challenges outside the topic sequence. Each session provides intentional time to explore your current situation and challenges, without having to forego the important lessons within the topics. Why make tradeoffs when you can have it both ways?

Intended Audience

This program is solely available to executive change leaders attempting to create agility in organizations with 500+ technology creators. Typical roles include:

  • Executive Sponsor (Agile Transformation)
  • General Manager (of a Business Unit going through transformation)
  • SVP / VP of Transformation
  • Agile Transformation Office leader / LACE leader
  • Digital Transformation / Product Transformation executive

Program Shape

The mentorship program is a 13-week program of 1:1 engagement with Eric Willeke.

Week One

Kickoff (90m)

Establish connection, set goals, define success indicators, commit to engage, and select topics.

Week One
Week One

Topic One (90m)

Structural overview, topic-specific deep dive, open discussion

Week One
Week Three

Topic Two (90m)

Previous topic reflection, topic-specific deep dive, open discussion

Week Three
Week Five

Topic Three (90m)

Previous topic reflection, topic-specific deep dive, open discussion

Week Five
Week Seven

Topic Four (90m)

Previous topic reflection, topic-specific deep dive, open discussion

Week Seven
Week Nine

Topic Five (90m)

Previous topic reflection, topic-specific deep dive, open discussion

Week Nine
Week Eleven

Topic Six (90m)

Previous topic reflection, topic-specific deep dive, open discussion

Week Eleven
Week Thirteen

Reflection (90m)

Identify new Capabilities, summarize growth impact, identify new goals, develop going-forward plan, mentoring continuation decision.

Week Thirteen

Program Cost

This exclusive 13-week program is $35,000 USD.

My belief is that the advice in this program routinely saves companies $500k+ in directly misapplied spend, and tens of millions in cost of delay from slow, ineffective transformation. For comparison, a Principal Consultant from a typical consulting organization would cost you this much in two weeks, and a skilled senior agile consultant for 13 weeks might run $150k.

If you are not completely satisfied with the insights you are receiving after the first week (kickoff and first session) I will provide a 100% refund.