Be the change

Gino Marckx
June 13, 2019
Reading time: 3 min

In context of our attendance at Collision last month, we published a quick survey to validate some of our assumptions about Socrates. While the survey is still open for everyone to provide us with feedback, this post summarizes the results of the first respondents.

Teams are left to their own devices

Socrates’ long term goal is to put affordable coaching in the hands of every team that wants to get better, addressing a big problem that exists today with software delivery teams.

While many organizations go through transformations of some kind (Agile, DevOps, Digital, name it…), many teams do no get the support they need to be effective in the new world that is set out for them. The scarcity of good coaching is one of the reasons for this, the perception of cost is another. Most organizations can only afford to hire coaches for a few of their teams, while the other teams need to find out for themselves how to be effective in their new world. The result is that this new world often doesn’t look as green and wonderful as anticipated, causes frustration and amplifies the challenges that existed in the old world… exactly the opposite of what the transformation intended to address.

What if the team itself could pay for a coach?

We wanted to understand what it would take to remove management from the decision to get coaching support for a team. If we can do this, teams who want to get better can take the initiative to hire a coach themselves and get the support they need. More teams will be supported and learn faster how to be effective in the new world, fewer would be frustrated and ultimately… the world will be a better place.

So we asked our participants the following question:

What are you PERSONALLY willing to invest in the following outcomes?

And listed these outcomes:

  • The team continuously challenges itself to improve

  • The team’s strengths and areas of improvement are visible to every team member

  • The team receives high quality and personalized advice

  • The team has measurable proof of its improvement over time

Team members want to invest in their own improvement

Of all participants, at least 80% is willing to personally invest at least 5$ per month for any of the outcomes, at least 35% is willing to invest 20$ or more.

When only considering personalized advice or measurable proof of the team’s improvement, more than 90% of the participants are willing to pay at least 5$ per month, while more than 55% if the participants are willing to pay at least 20$.


The ball is in your court

The willingness of team members to invest their own money into team support is very hopeful. It shows that they are not just talking about improvement, but are willing to put their money where their mouth is. It is also and indication that, once there is a solution that provides that kind of support for an affordable price, more teams will be supported and learn faster how to be effective in their new world. It shows ownership, leadership, empathy and determination, qualities that many of the transformations are aiming to bring out in the workforce. It reminds me of the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi this article has been named after.

So it’s clear the ball is in your court. As an energized team member who is willing to make a difference, while you are waiting for management to hire a coach for your team, you can check out Socrates and start nourishing your team’s continuous improvement mindset. Be the change!


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