About Mark Richards

Whether you’re a people leader, a coach, or a consultant, you want to go home at night knowing you’ve made a difference. Lean-Agile change agents generate that difference by helping those they lead or support discover new possibilities and align in pursuit of them. I help them build the knowledge of what’s possible, the insight to shape the attainable, the curiosity to discover the unexpected, and the engagement to generate momentum.

I discovered lean and agile during my twenty years as a developer and architect. The most important lesson it taught me was that I had more impact working with people than working with code, so I transitioned to coaching. My scaled agility journey began in 2011, and it inspired endless learning as I evolved from mastering team agility to supporting executives and senior leaders as they mastered enterprise agility.

Picture of Eric Willeke

Activities

From 2012 through 2019, I led two SAFe Gold Partners as we supported organizations around the globe implementing SAFe.  I worked with companies spanning from a hundred people to tens of thousands, ranging from tech-talk in the trenches with the developers to portfolio strategy in the executive boardrooms. 

My favorite moments always came as I watched the people I’d coached take the stage to share their journey and inspire others.  I found that I wanted to grow my impact far more than I wanted to grow my company, so I decided to pivot.  Instead of expanding my team, I’d focus on helping organizations develop their own.

In April 2023, while on a writing retreat, a long series of conversations with Eric Willeke revealed that he’d reached a very similar point, and we began the collaboration that has become Shaping Agility.

My energy is currently spread across:

  • Synthesizing the insights I’ve collected and toolkits I’ve built throughout my lean-agile journey and sharing them as part of the Shaping Agility collective
  • Developing and teaching advanced content in the Product and Portfolio spaces with a focus on cohort-based programs, skill development, and practical application
  • Coaching and advisory services for organizations pursuing enterprise agility

My purpose: Why I care

I believe in a world where people are excited to come to work and fulfilled by the outcomes they’re a part of creating. My personal contribution lies in equipping leaders and change agents with the mindset, tools, and techniques to make it a reality.

I love being challenged and stretched while making a difference.  My greatest reward is seeing those I coach, teach, and collaborate with shine and grow their impact in their work and personal lives.