Sandy Mamoli

Sandy Mamoli

One of NZ’s leading Agile coaches, Sandy is an accomplished presenter, published book author and former Olympic athlete. A force of positive energy, Sandy is hands-on, no-nonsense and steeped in Agile. She’s the co-author of “Creating Great Teams – How Self-Selection Lets People Excel”. Sandy is an international keynote speaker specialising in High-Performance Teams.

Contact Sandy

Where it all began

Sandy started her career as a professional athlete playing handball. In addition to playing in the European leagues, she also represented her home country of Austria at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

After her highly successful sporting career, Sandy got her masters degree in Natural Language Processing and went on to a technical role at Sony Ericsson. With a focus on sysadmin and telco, she honed an agile, team based approach to work as early as 2003, all whilst zooming around Copenhagen, Stockholm and Amsterdam.

Sandy's third career as an Agile Coach began after moving to New Zealand in 2007 when she co-founded Nomad8 and started working with companies to inject her own unique flavour and style of Agile.

Sandy has coached and consulted to a range of impressive companies like Trade Me, Snapper and Southern Cross Health. Her repertoire includes coaching technical teams, executive teams and whole organisations. In addition to every flavour of agile you can imagine she has coached teams and companies on things like Holocracy, high performance teams and Business Agility.

What she does

Sandy is one of NZ's leading Agile coaches and is accredited by ICAgile to teach Agile Team Facilitator, Product Ownership and Leadership in an Agile Context training. She has delivered literally hundreds of highly successful training courses across New Zealand.

Sandy has been a keynote speaker at some of the biggest Agile (and non-Agile!) conferences in the world. She has delivered the keynote address at Agile Montreal, Agile Brazil and is a constant feature at Agile Australia and the Agile Alliance conferences in the US.

In 2015 she authored her first book 'Creating Great Teams', co-authored with her Nomad8 colleague David Mole on the subject of high performing Agile teams and self-selection.

Articles by Sandy

Self-Selection: The ultimate booster of autonomy and engagement

Oct 02, 2022

Self-Selection: The ultimate booster of autonomy and engagement Imagine, just for a moment, that I walked into your organisation and asked everyone to down tools for a day and get into teams of their choosing. That I asked everyone to choose who they wanted to work with and what they wanted to work... continue reading

Are you picking your team wisely?

Jan 31, 2022

At age 15 I found myself part of a team I had nothing in common with: people were at least 10 years older, they were a lot better at playing handball and we had nothing in common except for a love of the game. I felt very alone and inadequate, and just tried to hang in there practicing harder than I... continue reading

Video: Should we measure team performance?

Oct 23, 2021

Why is it that we are still obsessed with the performance of the individual in our modern team-based organisations? Shouldn’t we measure and compare teams instead? Not for the sake of competing, but to learn from each other.... continue reading

5 Questions about Self-Selection

Sep 29, 2021

1. What is self-selection? Self-selection is a way of letting people choose which team to work in. It is a facilitated process of letting people self-organize into small, cross-functional teams. It is the fastest and most efficient way to form stable teams and is based on a belief that people are at... continue reading

Asked to Self-Select? Here's How to Pick your Team

May 12, 2020

“How do I know which team to choose and what guidelines I should apply?” “How do we make sure people make good choices, not just for themselves but for all of us?” These are the two most common questions managers and team members ask before any self-selection event. This post will provide guideline... continue reading

Individual performance is not relevant

Feb 10, 2020

The performance of an individual is much less important than you think it is. The way we measure, assess, evaluate and reward individual performance is no longer relevant in the modern workplace. We need to look at different behaviours and skills and instead consider the performance of the team. W... continue reading

Case Study: Self-Selection with Distributed Teams

Jan 22, 2020

How Travelstart used remote self-selection to create distributed teamsOnly five months after creating cross-functional teams Travelstart, a South African travel booking website, had a change in strategy and needed to rethink their team structure. From previous hackathons the company had experience w... continue reading

Video: Keynote Agile Tour Montreal

Jan 12, 2020

"Trusting people to choose who to work with and what to work on creates not only great teams but also great organisations. I have run self-selections since 2013 and have some stories to tell." In her keynote at Agile Tour Montreal Sandy Mamoli explores the idea of self-selection. Can it improve prod... continue reading

Gold Medal Me - Olympic Tips to Be the Best You Can Be

Aug 08, 2019

At Agile 2019 I shared 7 lessons I have learned during an Olympic career that have helped me be successful in business and life. In the world of professional sports innovation, resilience and rapid learning are everything! In this very personal talk I share key learnings from my professional and Ol... continue reading

Business is Boring Podcast

Jul 09, 2019

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. In this episode Sandy Mamoli talks to Simon Pound about her book Creating Great Teams - How Self-Selection Lets People Excel and an Olympic career that has taught her how to thrive in business.... continue reading

The Human Aspect - Holacracy’s Missing Piece?

Jun 13, 2019

Holacracy has great mechanisms to deal with governance and tactical issues. But what about the human side? What about relationships? What about our personal interactions in the workplace? Many have criticised Holacracy for not being complete, for being a system that only deals with the work and not... continue reading

Driving Business Agility with Self-Selection

May 27, 2019

The fastest and most efficient way to form stable agile teams is to let people choose their own team. This was a scary prospect when we in 2013 first considered handing over the decision making responsibility to the people affected. Fast-forward six years and self-selection has had a profound effect... continue reading

The Holacracy Trilogy: Things We Struggled with

Mar 21, 2019

Language We struggled a lot with the strange words and the weird legalese language. We decided to stick with it though because we realised that new concepts need new words. Otherwise we would impede learning. We did this in a way that we could still make fun of it though. This is part three of thr... continue reading

The Holacracy Trilogy: Things that were great

Mar 11, 2019

Roles Figuring out all the roles and how we would work with them was lot of work to define and incredibly tedious to figure out - but ultimately well worth it. It provided some valuable insights into what our team was actually doing - an unanticipated side benefit! This is part two of three of my a... continue reading