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Agile Leadership Academy Is Shaping The Future Of Agility

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The Agile Leadership Academy is organized into four quarterly, one-day workshops, each preceded by an optional day with arranged site visits to various lean and agile organizations and pre-event networking receptions. The delegate journey has been crafted by Agile Leadership Academy Mentors, agilists with years of executive experience, who train the program. Also supporting the Academy program are Agile Leadership Academy Ambassadors, who are notable agile experts, thought leaders and executives who have offered their expertise, personal case studies and agile tools to help shape the content, exercises and other aspects over time. Below is our interview with Arlen Bankston, one of the Agile Leadership Academy founders and mentors:


Q: Arlen, what makes Agile Leadership Academy a good choice?

A: Executives have long struggled with their roles in agile organizations, and while understanding how things work at the team level is critical, it is far from sufficient. To fill this gap, the Agile Leadership Academy is a hands-on, interactive workshop focused on dealing with real problems faced by the participants, rather than a unidirectional training session. With peer learning, practical templates for agile transformation and evolution activities, site visits, receptions, mentoring calls and more, the sessions are meant to be deeply practical and immediately actionable events that make the best possible use of executives’ scarce time.

Q: Tell us something more about Agile Leadership Academy and your ambassadors?

A: Ambassadors are fellow agile experts, thought leaders and executives that have agreed to help promote the academy and tune its content, exercises and other aspects over time. Having experienced practitioners around the world contributing to the program and sharing perspectives from different clients, industries and geographies will help to ensure that the content is as relevant as possible to the broad range of agile deployments we’re seeing today.

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Q: Could you tell us something more about your upcoming workshops?

A: The Agile Leadership Academy is organized into four quarterly, one-day workshops, each preceded by an optional day with arranged site visits to various lean and agile organizations, pre-event networking receptions and more. Participants also get free access to our Lean+Agile DC and Agile Executive Summit conferences, and ALA Certified Graduate credentials after the first four workshops.
The first workshops will be:

· Foundations of Lean & Agile Leadership, focusing on what an agile organization entails and how leaders can build, guide, tune and support them.

· Scaling Agility, helping leaders broaden and deepen agile principles, practices and behaviors at an organizational level.

· Lean Product Management and Design, exploring the application of principles from the Lean Startup and Lean UX communities, as well as aspects of design thinking and innovation ecosystem creation.

· Business Agility: Holistic Agile Organization, guiding the integration of non-technology functions such as sales, finance, marketing and operations into a comprehensively agile whole.

The sessions are not necessarily sequential, as the topics largely stand alone. The first workshop and its associated events will take place on June 13-14, 2016 in LitheSpeed’s office in Herndon, VA. This first cohort will be facilitated by Agile Leadership Academy founders Sanjiv Augustine and Arlen Bankston.

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Q: What advantage does ALA have over its competitors?

A: While numerous organizations offer targeted orientations and workshops for leaders around the basic concepts of Lean and Agile methods, none of which we are aware has the same combination of long-term integrated focus, a cohort of executive peers, and practical planning tools. The ALA also has backing from industry leaders like Jeff Sutherland, and critically, classes taught by actual executives who have led their own organizations through these challenges. It is tuned to address the needs of both seasoned and prospective agile executives. Finally, the site visits, evening reception, mentoring calls and general high standard of the event should make it a varied and entertaining experience.

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Q: What can we expect from Agile Leadership Academy in the future?

A: Evolution in the agile spirit, of course! We’ll be listening to our executives and ambassadors to help guide our next steps. That said, we do plan to launch additional sessions on further topics over time, starting with another quadrant of classes next year to keep our original cohorts entertained. Also, the original sessions will morph in various ways that keep them fully relevant even for return participants. We’ll no doubt have plenty of other ideas going forward, but for now our focus is on making the first sessions stunningly great.

To find out about joining the 2016 cohort, check out

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