In the 1996, I attended the Amphibious Warfare School with about 300 other Marine officers to complete a one year program to prepare us for the next level of our careers.  One of the most valuable elements of that experience was the study group. Led by an instructor, our small group of fifteen students became extremely close, developed a group personality, norms and social interactions beyond the school.  I’ve maintained contact with several members of that group to this day.

The CSP Fast Pass program leverages Coaching Circles, a concept similar to my old study group. Through small group interactions guided by a mentor and facilitator, you will extend what you learn in the program through deeper conversations about the content and other students’ experiences and expertise.

As we launch the program, we plan to organize at least two Circles of six to twelve people guided by Carlton and me.  We will meet by conference call at least once a month for sixty to ninety minutes for the first three months of the program.  Everyone will receive instructions on how to prepare for the calls and how to reflect after each call to achieve the goal of two Scrum Education Units (SEU) each month.

As facilitators, Carlton and I will establish a framework for a safe exchange of ideas and learning.  Each Circle self-organizes the topics and structure of the calls.  Using Lean Coffee principles, for example provides a time-boxed, prioritized, adaptive structure that a Circle can try.

When Carlton and I collaborated to design CSP Fast Pass, we initially imagined discussion groups as a method to deliver more content and answer questions as instructors.  We now believe that Coaching Circles offer opportunities for a richer, interactive exchange to discover new perspectives and possibilities, to complete the CSP journey not alone but as a group, and to develop relationships that could last a lifetime.

We look forward to the initial Coaching Circle with the first expedition in April.  Then we’ll inspect-and-adapt and share the results. Onward!