How We Help

We utilize three ‘levels’ for our work:

  • Shu, or Level 1: for “beginners” to a new area, which involves instructional Teaching, Modeling, and Leading.
  • Ha, or Level 2: when the client has experience but is not yet an expert and wants to move into high performance territory. At Level 2, we are Consultant, Mentor and Advisor.
  • Ri, or Level 3: is for clients who have their own agenda and want to move to their next level. Here, we act as Facilitator or Coach, in the most fundamental, Co-Active sense.

Each level implies a different intensity and method of working. It also implies a certain relationship between Client and the Coach  or Consultant.  Deciding which relationship fits is done during our initial discovery work together.

The concept of Shu-Ha-Ri comes from the Japanese martial art of Aikido. The term was introduced to the Agile world by our friendAlistair Cockburn. Literally (and from Wikipedia), it is. . .

  • Shu (“protect”, “obey”) — traditional wisdom — learning fundamentals, techniques, heuristics, proverbs
  • Ha (“detach”, “digress”) — breaking with tradition — finding exceptions to traditional wisdom, reflecting on their truth, finding new ways, techniques, and proverbs
  • Ri (“leave”, “separate”) — transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural

Also see Martin Fowler’s blog or this martial arts version.