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Agile Coach at Spotify – Tuesday

[box type=”info”] This blog post is part of a blog series about the Agile Coach role at Spotify. If you haven’t done so already you may want to read the introductory post The Agile Coach role at Spotify and the Monday post first.[/box]



I have started to block off a few hours in my calendar every Tuesday morning dedicated to writing. Besides writing on this blog and on the internal and public Spotify blogs, I am currently writing internal articles about culture and autonomy (they will probably be published publicly later) and presentations/talks for conferences and internal use. Today I spent some time writing this series of blog posts about the agile coach role.


Retention squad standup

The retention squad is one of the squads I work with. Retention’s mission is to keep people coming back to Spotify, for example through reaching out to users with relevant e-mails and notifications. When I started working with Retention a few weeks back they didn’t have a standup but several of the team members wanted to have one. We decided to try it for a couple of weeks and kicked it off with me giving a fifteen minutes introduction on the purpose of a standup and some useful tips and tricks to make it as effective as possible. We now have them daily at 10 o’clock.


Long lunch with the Mrs

My wife had a doctor’s appointment in the city today so I met up with her downtown to take care of our four weeks old daughter. I had a wonderful walk in the spring sun and later we had a nice sushi lunch together. Spotify is a very flexible employer that trusts the employees to manage their own time. No one has to ask permission to come in late, to go on a long lunch or to play FIFA in the middle of the day.


Planning an agile coach camp

Together with one of my newest agile coach colleagues, Viktor Cessan, I’m planning a three nights and two days agile coach camp in early September. The idea is to invite people seriously interested in agile coaching, with an emphasis on coaching, and possibly one or two particularly skilled/well-known coaches, to an off-site in a secluded hotel or “mansion” outside of Stockholm, for learning and practicing coaching tools and techniques. It would be open to coaches outside of Spotify too, for a self cost price. We’re thinking that the first day would be coaching deep dive with a lot of practice and the second day would be more of an Open Space-ish thing, maybe with a twist. It’s still on the drawing board, but we made some real progress in today’s meeting. (Please let me know if you’re interested in participating in an event like this.)


Chatting with engineers

During the afternoon I continued to get to know the Growth organization better by chatting with some engineers, for example the chapter lead (hiring manager) for several of the web devs.


Spotify Mind Awareness Program

Our mind awareness teacher
Our mind awareness teacher

Three weeks ago Spotify started an eight weeks Mind Awareness Program (SMAP), organized by colleague Sofia von Celsing in People Operations, to teach mind awareness and how that can enhance your productivity, focus and general well-being. I’ve been dabbling with meditation and mindfulness in the past and saw this as an excellent opportunity for deeper learning and for creating a solid habit. The program gives us the opportunity to practice mindfulness, breathing and energy enhancing techniques.

Every Tuesday we meet with our teacher Ratheesh Mani for an hour and a half of theory and practice, every other week we have individual coaching sessions with personal training and consultation. Ratheesh suggests individually tailored exercises and this week mine was to get up six in the morning and meditate for half an hour and not eat any bread for a whole week. The bread part was the toughest (Me: “But I love bread!” Him: “I know”), but I managed to pull it off. :)


Catching up on e-mails, planning off-site, etc

The last part of my work day was spent on writing some meeting minutes, catching up on e-mail, sending out practical details about Friday’s off-site and making practical arrangements with the venue, and so on. In the end of the day I also review my plan for the day and look at the calendar to see what, if anything, has to be carried over to next day’s plan.


5 thoughts on “Agile Coach at Spotify – Tuesday”

  • Hi Joakim,

    I’m an Agile Coach at AutoScout24 and reading your posts with a great pleasure. I would be very interested in joining the Agile Coach Camp you mentioned in the post. Please let me know when you have more concrete information or you need any kind of support

  • Jag skulle tycka det var roligt med ett coach-camp. När jag coachar coacher gör jag det i form av en open space. Vi börjar med att skapa en backlog med saker som deltagarna vill beröra, och så prioriterar vi den gemensamt.

    Sedan groomar vi den, genom att för de viktigaste bestämma HUR vi ska uppnå de mål som deltagarna vill. Resulatet blir några 45 minuters pass med lärpunkter och övningar. Sedan exekverar vi, har ett kort retro innan lunch, har en ny planering/grooming efter lunch, retro innan dagens slut. Rinse and repeat. (Jag har bara kört tvådagars, men det torde fungera för valfritt antal dagar).

  • Hi Joakim,

    your Agile Coach Camp idea sounds great. As an agile coach I’d love to join, especially since we are trying to adopt some of Spotify’s approaches like tribes at idealo – the company based in Berlin I am currently working for.

    Just let me know once registration is open ;)

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