What’s a Coaching Retreat

What makes the Coaching Retreat Special?

It spans over three days

Three days allows ideas to develop, learning to deepen and people to connect not just professionally but also personally. If to date you’ve only attended single day events, you owe it to yourself to experience the difference time makes.

Pause after opening

By holding the opening circle and building the initial marketplace on the Friday night – attendees start fresh on Saturday Morning straight into their topics when their energy is highest. Attendees get to sleep on topics before discussing them formally, priming their minds for more complex and meaningful discussions.

Mealtimes make it immersive

Harrison Owen the “inventor” of OST said that the idea came to him when he realised that the most valuable conversations at any event happened in the bars and restaurants. That’s why two dinners are a core part of the Agile Coach Retreat Experience. Eating together let’s you connect with each other and discuss ideas at a different tempo and mindset – re-energising you for the following day.

The History of the Coaching Retreat

The Agile Coach Retreat began in the UK over 10 years ago and was the birthplace of many people you might consider to be Agile Celebrities today. Many standard techniques were developed during these retreats.
The Retreat was originally not in London as you might expect, but Bletchley Park, yes, that Bletchley Park – a picturesque location of considerable historical and cultural significance, and perhaps most importantly somewhere that was definitely not near or like where anybody worked.
This marked the event as being a retreat and not just a conference, un-conference, gathering or tour.
Most of the hallmark attributes we see today were developed at Bletchley – taking significant time out, choosing unusual locations, creating the marketplace on the Friday night, the group dinners all became regarded as the fundamental factors that made this event such a success at creating meaningful outcomes and generating authentically new ideas.
As the Agile World grew, these success factors were copied by others and with the Scrum Coaching Community blending them with ideas from Scrum (Backlogs, Sprints & Teams) creating the Scrum Coach Retreat format held all over the world today.

Principles of Coaching Retreat

The retreats are based around a number of principles

  • Retreat: The event creates time and space for focused learning and growth
  • Scrum: Learning is done using an empirical framework called Scrum
  • Teams: Teams are the heart of Scrum and are a key differentiator at the Retreats
  • Deep: Teams go deep into single topics, rather than covering many broad areas
  • Long: Learning, collaboration, and relationships continue long after the event
  • Shared learning: The event is designed for deep, collaborative, shared learning
  • Two sleeps: Connections are made when our brains are quiet; the two nights of sleep allow for creative idea formation

Additional Questions

Want to know more or talk to someone who has experienced these retreats before, please drop a line at acrmel19@googlegroups.com.


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