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”.

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Articles by Sandy

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 Relational tensions? Tensions in Holacracy are the gap between what is and what could be, they are constructive discontent. They are that little niggle, that feeling of tension in the back of our mind that tells us that something is not as good as it could be. Holacracy provides mechanisms to pro... continue reading What is “Clear the Air”? Clear the Air (CTA) is based on an adapted version of non-violent communication (NVC). It assumes that everything anyone does is an attempt to meet positive, universal needs. A need is for example the need for acceptance, appreciation, autonomy, collaboration, growth, mean... continue reading Once relational tensions have been prioritised they are processed one by one using techniques from NVC and reflective listening. Processing a tension starts with the person feeling the tension grabbing a (turned-off) megaphone and the affected person a radio receiver (if it’s more than one person it... continue reading What now? I was a bit worried that the workshop would be too touchy-feely and tree hugging for my taste but thanks to the excellent facilitation of Georg and Jones and the sensible pragmatism of the workshop participants this fear didn’t eventuate. I am keen to practice some of the new things I hav... continue reading

Business Agility: How Self-Selection Lets People Excel

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 This article by Sandy Mamoli and David Mole has been featured in the Business Agility Institute's knowledge base and Sandy's 2019 talk has been filmed at the Business Agility Vienna conference.... continue reading Managerial Selection vs. Self-Selection Anyone who has ever been on a high-performing team will know what it feels like when a team begins to truly gel, when everyone is committed to and enthusiastic about a shared goal and when people know each other well enough to support and hold each other acco... continue reading The process starts with setting the scene as the desired teams are visualised on the walls and the product owners present their picture of how a team would align behind a shared vision. The key element to success is shown in the circle of Figure 1; the rinse and repeat function which allows people t... 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

Agile Amped Podcast: Holacracy - A Complete System for Self-Organization

Mar 10, 2019

For the upcoming Business Agility conference in New York Sandy has been interviewed for AgileAmped's Business Agility series. Sandy sat down with Agile Amped to explain Holacracy – a way to create a truly self-organizing organization – and shares examples of it in action. This episode of Agile Amped... continue reading Available on SolutionIQ's website, iTunes and Spotify.... continue reading Also, read my article series The Holacracy Trilogy.... continue reading

The Holacracy Trilogy: My Conclusion

Mar 04, 2019

Recently a friend was considering introducing Holacracy in his company. He asked me what my thoughts were and while I was tempted to run screaming from the room in the same way you want to flee to a remote island when your mum buys a new PC, instead I blinked, swallowed, and we talked through my exp... continue reading Focus on the principles! Holacracy has a huge number of rules and it is very easy to become obsessed with the system itself. In my view Holacracy is an implementation of Sociocracy: Sociocracy being the philosophy and Holacracy the how-to-do-it. For us it was important to do the first three months... continue reading This is one of three blog posts on Holacracy. Next up “Things that were great” and “Things we struggled with”. I’ll be giving a talk about my experiences with Holacracy at the Business Agility conference in New York in March 2019. I hope to see you all there!... continue reading

The Iconic's Experience with Squad Self-Selection

Feb 06, 2019

We have run Squad Self-Selection for two quarters in a row within ICONIC Tech and it has been wildly successful (99% of our staff either love it (77%), or like it (22%)). Our process included about 30 people and 5 Squads. We wanted to share our experience in the hopes of inspiring other organisation... continue reading -- by Jody Weir, Head of Agility at The Iconic This post was originally published on The Iconic's blog.... continue reading We decided to try Squad Self-Selection because we thought it might be a better approach to what we were currently doing which was having managers decide who was on which squad. We hire exceptional people and thought they could best decide what and who they worked with while keeping the interests of... continue reading Immediately After our Squad Self-Selection Process…those are genuine smiles!!... continue reading A bit about THE ICONIC and ICONIC Tech THE ICONIC is the largest online fashion retailer in Australia and New Zealand. THE ICONIC stands for benchmark-setting experiences (3-hour delivery, access to over 1,000 top brands, market-leading shopping app), for impassioned communities (connecting Australi... continue reading

Holacracy for Humans

Dec 05, 2017

How we created a networked organisation 5 Key take-aways Holacracy provides radical transparency and timely decision making at the right level. Decision making by consent is awesome! The freedom, autonomy and responsibility to achieve a clear purpose enables self-organisation. Holacracy will amplif... continue reading

How to Use a Meme to Increase Collaboration and Understanding

Aug 30, 2017

Empathy is a good thing and understanding what your colleagues actually do can be a very useful boost to collaboration. When we work in cross-functional teams or with people from other parts of the organisation it is helpful to get an understanding of what they do, how they can contribute and what w... continue reading

Modern Agile Principle Cards

Jul 02, 2017

I often teach Agile to people who have nothing to do with software development, such as leadership teams or organisations that operate entirely outside of the digital world. In this context I only teach the Modern Agile values (read more about the modern agile movement at I always... continue reading

#JAFAC 2017 - impressions of an organiser

May 09, 2017

This is the second year we have organised JAFAC (Just Another F#$%ng Agile Conference) and as I’m slowly coming down from the buzz and enthusiasm I’m reflecting upon the experience of organising and attending the conference. Here are a few things that stood out for me: 1. The #JAFAC vibe Several att... continue reading

Video: Self-Selection at Agile Africa

Nov 04, 2016

I gave a keynote at Agile Africa 2016 in Johannesburg earlier this year. You can watch the video here. "I like creating teams by trusting people who do the actual work to design the best possible teams. I believe that trusting people to choose who to work with and what to work on creates not only gr... continue reading

Multitooling: Kanbanfor1 with other productivity techniques

Oct 21, 2016

Kanbanfor1 gives you a simple visual overview of your to do list. It helps you keep an eye on your progress and get visibility over what you’re actually achieving—helping you to work more efficiently and become better organised. As a productivity tool Kanbanfor1 is great on its own—but it becomes tr... continue reading