One of the core ideas that OSA is built upon is the idea that people feel good when they experience a sense of progress.
In gaming, “leveling up” delivers a sense of progress. In standard implementations of Agile, coaches might stay for years. This becomes a problem for teams who are looking for a sense of progress and specific events that punctuate that.
In OSA, periodic Open Space events serve to punctuate the end of one thing, and the beginning of another.
And so we may properly characterize the Open Space events as important rituals or ceremonies that define a boundary by time, and by experience. This is the progression of ceremony and ritual that we know from our school years. As we progress through the grades, graduation ceremonies punctuate the fact that one learning experience is over and a new one is beginning.
And so it is the same with OSA.
Coaches must continuously reaffirm that their role is entirely temporary in nature. The coaches must communicate to the executives, directors, managers, and teams that they must begin the challenging (and rewarding) process of learning how to reach a state of freestanding and self-sustaining Agility – for themselves. This means being able to continuously improve, without the need for an external authority called “Coach” telling them what they “should” do.
Organizations make progress in small steps and need substantial coaching to achieve it. This means the organization will continue to consume coaching for some time. In OSA we continue coaching even as we make changes in the role of the current Coach. So for example: the person in the Coach role may switch from coaching teams, to coaching only Scrum Masters and Product Owners (if Scrum is being used.) Another potential change is to bring in a new coach for coaching practices with the teams. In any event the Coach role changes as the organization completes Open Space events.
The entire purpose of shifting the role of the Coach is to deliver a sense of “leveling up” and progress as the entire organization moves through time.