Honoring the Past, Embracing the Present, Creating the Future…

Michael – Today is a day for us to honor the past, and look to the future. SolutionsIQ / Accenture just announced their acquisition of the Agile Coaching Institute. Lyssa Adkins and I founded ACI in 2010, then jointly decided to transition the company in August 2016, to let ACI reach a larger stage. With Trans4mation (T4) launching in June 2016, I had also been feeling pulled in too many directions. I realized that to activate my outcome creating leadership, I needed to be more aligned with my purpose: my core purpose, the purpose of my soul, was contained within Trans4mation, not ACI. So I made the decision to transition ACI to a worthy steward, SolutionsIQ.

That said, I am proud of my time as Chief Executive through December 2016. My colleagues at ACI helped shape my thinking and grew me as a leader; together, we changed the game in the Agile coaching space. Thank you all! With the sale of SIQ to Accenture, SIQ was able to magnify their impact in the world. Similarly, ACI is widening its impact by its willingness to be acquired by SIQ/Accenture. We wish them all the success in the world!

That fully behind us at last, it’s time for Michele Madore and I to acknowledge the present and look to the future of our relatively new venture, Trans4mation. We are excited almost beyond belief.  We hope we can convey just some of that excitement to you, our prospective clients, partners, workshop attendees, colleagues, and fellow travelers on the road of awareness.

Michele – In honor of the past, I am reflecting over the last decade, from the time I met Michael Spayd in 2006 during our Agile Transformation at Capital One until now….  We had quite a bunch of interesting and talented coaches back then, Michael being one that stood out as a thought leader.  We were really pioneers, emerging as an Agile community for large-scale Transformations, so we began to organize around new and innovative practices. We also had a lot of fun.  After Capital One, Michael went on to eventually start the Agile Coaching Institute with Lyssa Adkins (who I also met at Capital One) and I went on to continue coaching and training for Agile Transformations.

Throughout the years I watched ACI as they became the company that literally changed the game in the Agile Coaching space, lifting it to a higher standard, to become a more credible profession.  I was impressed by their focus and unwavering commitment to their purpose and vision.  I frequently referred coaches to their training and knew that if a coach that was interviewing with me had attended their Workshop, I should probably hire them!

So, today with this sale of ACI to Accenture/SIQ, I honor them for all of their hard work, their mindfulness to stay true to their vision and to their leadership in the coaching industry.  And, now for wanting to make a bigger impact in the world and finding the right partner to do that.  I am a big fan of SIQ, having done some Agile work for them over the years, I admire John and Charlie Rudd for their authentic leadership and willingness to do the work themselves.  I don’t believe a better partner could have been chosen!

During those years, as I coached and led many Agile Transformations and practices, I began to become disheartened with the way the industry was approaching this work.  I spent a couple of years studying Organizational Change & Behavior and realized that we were attempting to do the most difficult type of change effort there is, a transformation, but we were tackling it as if it were merely a developmental or transitional type of change.  Knowing that true Agile Transformations needed to address the human dynamics of change in a more rigorous way, I began searching for my purpose in this.   And then I ran into Michael as I had done at times throughout the years, and as we were sharing our stories, we realized we had a shared and (already unified) Vision of changing the way Agile transformations were going.   Michael’s leadership and business acumen, along with his thought leadership and uniqueness stood out to me and he was the first person I knew I could go into business with.  And that is how Trans4mation got its start.

I won’t say it was an easy start, it was difficult, there have been (and still will be) challenges; challenges that would like us to give up.  But what I do know is that I have been steadfast in my Vision for Trans4mation and this work of change, and I believe we are in the right place, at the right time, and with the right people.  I am so thankful every-day for the network of friends, colleagues, partners, past clients that are a part of my life, all a part of my journey and all have taught me so much about life and business.

I have spent the first 18 months leading Trans4mation and building what I believe to be a solid foundation that will carry us into a strong future.  It would have been very easy to get reactive and just get some revenue (any revenue) in the door, but through my own personal work and deep personal transformational journey, I continue to strive to stand in my outcome-creating stance.  It’s a daily (sometimes hourly) activity!   Along the way I have also met many mentors, teachers and guides; people that changed my life, sometimes with just a couple of words.  Bill Adams of Full Circle Group/The Leadership Circle coached me and said (and then wrote) two words to me a couple of years ago “You Matter”.  He had no idea how that would help me navigate the next couple of years.   As I continued “stalking my longing” (words from “Mastering Leadership” book) I became more and more “awake” to the fact that I needed to go deeper into my own shadows, my untapped gifts.  I was led to Dean & Linda Anderson of Being First and spent the next 5 months in their 4Sight program, an intense conscious change leader program that brought me to my breakthrough.  It has literally changed my life in a profound way.  And I have been able to bring this into our work at Trans4mation.

I’m so excited to be working with Michael and seeing our purpose come alive and bring about the change we intend to see.  As our Mission Statement says, we truly do intend to be a mecca of transformation.  And I personally believe that starts with me, that I have to be a mecca of transformation.

Here are some of the things we are up to:

  • “Transforming Transformations” – We believe Conscious Integral Leadership is the path of success for a Transformational Leader.   So, we’re taking a “Conscious” and “Integral” approach to Agile Transformations AND we are personally becoming more and more conscious about what we are doing and how we are doing it. For example:
    • We stop and deliberate about our co-design process; we work to read each other’s rhythms and work styles, especially when the other’s is different than ours.
    • We introduce mindfulness practices into our workshops, into our daily scrums, and into our co-designing process. We’ve even begun to incorporate it into work with clients and partners!
    • We infuse everything we do with the Integral mindset.
    • We have FUN.

We are committed to pioneering a new way, one that begins with senior leader’s own transformation, having the conviction that this is the only path to genuine organizational transformation. In theory, we know this is the path. In real life, we are both humbled by what a deep personal transformation process is like from the inside: scary, ungrounded, even disturbing; but it is also heartfelt, rejuvenating, humbling,and healing…. And this is the work that needs to be done.

  • Michael’s book — originally titled Coaching the Agile Enterprise, and languishing due to life events — will now be co-authored with Michele and will have a new title: “The Integral Agile Transformation Framework™: Using Conscious Integral Leadership™ to Catalyze Breakthrough – Inside and Out.   This title aligns closer to the book’s purpose, and Trans4mation’s vision, goals and services.  We have created a clear intention to have a draft of the book to the publisher by May 2018, aiming for publication in late 2018.  Michael – Michele is the first co-author I considered who has a genuinely unique voice and one complimentary to my own.
  • Our Offerings are focused on Transformational Leadership, Enterprise Coaching and Agile Transformations using the Integral Agile Transformation Framework(™) with cross-functional teams comprised of Leadership, Organizational Transformation (Enterprise), Technical and Business Mastery Coaches called T4Pods.
  • Partnerships – Interestingly, Trans4mation is not only built on a strong partnership between its founders (individual level), but has a solid base of partner organizations (organizational level). These partnerships started showing up right from the beginning. Most foundationally, our relationship with The Leadership Circle /Full Circle Group (TLC/FCG). TLC’s purpose is: “We exist to evolve the conscious practice of leadership, to steward the planet, and to awaken us all to our inherent unity.” Imagine our excitement to find a company whose primary tool, the Leadership Circle Profile, “is the first leadership assessment and development system to integrate the development of the leader’s competency and capability with a system that evolves consciousness.”

In our first meeting with TLC/FCG in August 2016, we both saw (and felt) the potential in forming a strategic alliance: first, to establish our credibility in the executive coaching space, since TLC/FCG is a partner well known in executive suites; secondly, to become their trusted partner, so they would feel comfortable referring client executives to us when they are engaged in an Agile transformation. TLC/FCG doesn’t have such expertise, making it an obvious and complementary partnership. At our first face to face meeting in August 2016 in Utah, after hearing our pitch, Bill offered us a genuine strategic partnership in the Agile space, saying in essence, we believe in what you are doing and the way you’re doing it; we will trust you with our clients.   We are really excited about our strategic partnership with them and the opportunities that are unfolding for us now.

Michael – I’d like to say how much I appreciate my partner in Trans4mation, Michele Madore. She calls forth the best gifts that I have to offer, drawing from the deepest part of my heart and even my soul. It can at times be a challenging process, but the results are worth it. Michele never lets me off the hook, accountability-wise, which is what great leaders do: form high expectations and leaven it with love. Her vision and mentorship have helped me find deeper levels of joy and fulfillment than I have ever experienced before. I am so glad that she is my partner in this work.

One day back in 2016, while working on our purpose statement, we came up with a version that seemed to us a bit audacious:  Our purpose is to help individuals and organizations elevate their consciousness, to bring forth an awakening to their highest purpose, and to amplify their impact in the world. We intend to be a mecca of transformation. It reveals the deep vision we share around altering and upgrading the use of the word transformation to the serious undertaking that it is, not the ‘installation of a tool’ as happens in many “Agile Transformations.” It reminds us that helping organizations reach their highest purpose is a purpose that we find deeply inspiring. We were boldly declaring that this was within our organizational scope. That is exciting! We clearly cannot do this by ourselves, but with the partnerships we are forming – and what we sense is our alignment with a force in the universe that wants this to happen – we will make a significant contribution to it happening.

Michele Madore
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