What is a spiral?

Many women across the Agile world are blazing trails, realizing dreams and accomplishing great things, but most of them have had to do so on their own, usually against great odds. How could it be if these women didn't have it struggle all by themselves? What could happen if every woman was supported by -- and supported -- a like-minded group of other women?

Spiral is the 'Lean In Agile' term for the support structures that are at the heart of this movement. Each spiral is geographically aligned (usually in a city or region) and consists of a group of women Agilists who support each other in learning and growing towards their goals.

The shape and the symbolism of a spiral is relevant in that it visualizes the intent of connecting women to each other in an ever expanding endeavour with the open end of the spiral indicating the opportunity to draw in the next woman.

Spirals differ from Agile meet-ups and other groups in that there are not simply a stand alone or isolated monthly meetings but insead serve as a catalyst and a medium for sustainable community engagement. They also enable self-organization and shared leadership by moving away from the one-to-many model of conveying expertise. Instead of having one experienced speaker sharing her knowledge as the hub of a wheel, the spirals will enable each woman to seek and to offer expertise to the other women to create a much stronger structure with multiple links to and from each women.

Why should you be part of a spiral?

Spirals are a support structure enabling you to advance professionally and personally in the Agile space.

Do you remember what it feels like to be part of an incredible team? Or remember what it feels like to have a group of friends who have your back?

To experience or re-experience that feeling and to use that bond as a springboard for pursuing your goals is why you should join a spiral.

To create a Team YOU -- women who will be your coach, mentor, facilitator, reviewer, and more is why you should join a spiral.

To coach, to mentor, to facilitate, to review -- to be part of other women's Team YOU is why should join a spiral.

To share your wisdom and your experience and to benefit from the strengths and experiences of other women is why you should join a spiral.

To inspire and to be inspired is why you should join a spiral.

To empower and to be empowered is why you should join a spiral.

What is the format and cadence of a Spiral?

The cadence is largely decided by the Spiral as the group is self organizing and self managing. Our recommendation is to hold monthly Spiral meeting to build and sustain the momentum.

The format of the Spiral is at heart an exchange of intent and support. Each woman offers what she can and each woman seeks what she needs thereby cementing our mutual support structure. We provide a facilitated approach to enable this exchange or the Spiral can create their own approaches that best meet their Spiral needs. In addition, each Spiral session might include a dedicated segment where members share their knowledge on a specific topic for mutual learning and growth.

How can I join a spiral?

When you join the Lean In Agile movement (see link to registration page), you will have an opportunity to identify a Spiral nearest to you.

How can I launch a spiral?

If you're joining the Lean In Agile movement and there is no Spiral in your city or region, you can be the enabler of a new Spiral in your city (indicate the same on the registration page)

If you wish to enable a new Spiral, we recommend that you identify 2-4 other women in this area to join you in this effort. Our experience has been that 3-5 women are the necessary core not just to launch but to sustain an effective Spiral.

Once you have this core group, please contact Lean In Agile, and we will work with you in launching the Spiral. We offer the help of an experienced Spiral enabler to visit your area and model the Spiral format in person; this ensures that the enablers have experienced the Spiral before facilitating it for their own members. Lean In Agile also offers you the resources developed by all the other Spirals -- a treasure kit of techniques and best practices that you can borrow from and/or contribute to over time.

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