Awesome Coach of the Week: Sergey Dmitriev

We honour Sergey Dmitriev as awesome coach of the week 50, 2011!

14 December 2011
Awesome Coach of the Week

My first acquaintance with Sergey has been a failure: at the amazing XP2010 conference in Trondheim, Norway, we agreed to share a ride to the airport to get home, but then lost touch... No harm done:-) Shortly after, we connected on Twitter as we had found a common passion: we wanted to create the first ever AgileCoachCamp in Norway!

Sergey Smiling

Community Compassionist

I had co-organised the AgileCoachCamp Germany and was in the middle of creating the first Play4Agile unconference, and was used to (what I’ve since called privately) the “German way of conference organising”: more than a dozen organisers, weekly conference calls more than one hour long, endless emails and huge mind maps... I’m simplifying, but Sergey’s style of organising was truly lean. We spent less than 10% of the overall effort by just letting things happen. We adopted this approach for the organisation of ALE2011—it scaled amazingly well, you can read more about it here. Sergey introduced us to Basecamp, the first ever website I’ve seen you can use without a browser.

Blackie’s lean approach didn’t stop there: the next thing that amazed me was his light-weight


of the CoachCamp’s open space. I’d attended a few open spaces before, all hosted by very experienced facilitators, but Sergey really astonished me. One reason for this is his sheer energy. It was January, in Norway, which means it was very cold. Most of the participants came from northern countries too, and we Viking-descendants usually need a bit of time to warm up and get enthusiastic about anything. Add a late night before with Uncle Bob and an early morning on Saturday after a full work week... Sergey started like a blast and took all of us with him. 

We are all used to handling flip chart paper, pens, stickies and tape, but watching Sergey handling the stuff made it look like art... 

We started with a coaching dojo, a session popularised by Rachel Davies (who also was there, happy to once not be the facilitator..)

Sergey Coaching

Sergey introduced the group to the GROW model, and immediately got us diving into the short coaching sessions. Read more about that event in my blog about the camp.

Insightful Humour

Sergey always has a happy and light stance, which puts everyone at ease. Nonetheless, he asks powerful questions, a combination that can get you out of your comfort zone quite effectively... Which I had the pleasure to experience in multiple Skype conversations we had this year (and should definitely do more often!). With the prospect of working together next year, I’m looking forward to share some of our mutual passions, like using LEGO for strategy co-creation, visual facilitation for the light-weight and quick conceptualisation for trainings, strengthening the ALE network... Lots of real options!

Awesome Coach

This is why we think Sergey Dmitriev is an awesome coach. If you can add an awesome experience with Sergey, please do so in the comments. We honour one Coach a week. Suggestions welcome!

By the way, registration for the next AgileCoachCamp Norway is still open, meet Sergey, Ralf, myself, and even Rachel, near Oslo... First weekend of 2012! 


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