Kari Kelly

Kari Kelly

Enterprise Agile Coach and Evangelist, Organizational Transformation Leader, Behavior Science Expert, Change Catalyst, Boundary Spanner, Agile HR and L&D Expert, Trainer and Facilitator, and Instructional Designer

My passion is bridging the gap between Tech and the business so your organization can thrive in this new paradigm of work. My experience includes work in the nonprofit sector as well as an array of industries such as insurance, biopharma, brewing, and technology, the most notable being Apple Retail.

Using lean and agile methodologies plus behavior science, I can tackle large-scale structural and culture change, boundary spanning, and leadership development so that teams stay aligned with business objectives and organizations can thrive. My main interests are in Agile transformations, scaling agile, transformational leadership, and team development initiatives to cement goals and drive competitive growth. I have extensive experience in partnering with organizations as a Coach, HR Leader, Trainer, and Facilitator.

Specialties: Making strategy obvious and actionable and designing ways of working for people to get aligned and move forward together. Spotting behavioral patterns holding teams and organizations back from maximizing their potential. My greatest gift is using behavior science to transform theory into concrete practice in a way that scales from the individual to the organizational level.


  • Agile Coach (Enterprise & teams)
  • Individual Coach (ICF)
  • Organizational Transformation Leader
  • Agile Learning and Development Manager
  • Trainer & Facilitator
  • Instructional Designer

Methods and tools I bring

  • DevOps Leadership DOL
  • Kanban System Design KMP I
  • Scrum@Scale Certified Practitioner
  • Professional Coach (ICF)
  • Certified Disciplined Agilist CDA (PMI)
  • Training from the Back of the Room
  • Leading SAFe 5.0
  • Agility in the Enterprise ICP-ENT
  • Coaching Agile Transitions ICP-CAT
  • Agile Coaching ICP-ACC
  • Professional Scrum Master PSM I
  • Certified Change Manager CCMP (PMI)
  • Strategic Doing Practitioner, Trainer, and Facilitator
  • Masters in Human Resource Development

Business Areas

Insurance, Tech, Bio-Pharma, Brewing, Non-profit

Fields of Work

Enterprise Agile Coaching, Agile HR, Transformational Leadership, Workshop Facilitation, Project Management, Change Catalyst, Business Restructuring, Process Development & Process Implementation, Agile Training Design.


OKRs, Scrum, KanBan, Agile Portfolio Management


English (Mother tongue)

Education and certification

2013 – Certified Change Manager, CCMP

2014 – Masters in Human Resource Development, MSC HRD

2018 – Behavior Design Coach (in partnership BJ Fogg from Stanford University)

2018 – Crucial Conversations Facilitator, VitalSmarts

2018 – Certified Professional Coach, CPC (in accordance with ICF standards)

2018 – Professional Scrum Master, PSM I

2018 – Organizational Behavior Studies

2019 – Agile Coaching, ICP-ACC

2019 – Agile Talent, ICP-TAL

2019 – Management 3.0

2019 – Training from the Back of the Room

2020 – Strategic Doing Practitioner, Trainer, and Facilitator

2020 – Certified Master Coach, CMC (in accordance with ICF standards)

2020 – DevOps Leadership, DOL

2020 – Kanban System Design, KMP I

2020 – Scrum@Scale Certified Practitioner

2020 – Certified Disciplined Agilist, CDA

2020 – Leading SAFe 5.0

2020 – Agility in the Enterprise, ICP-ENT

2020 – Coaching Agile Transitions, ICP-CAT

Jim Petersman, Development Manager at Apple Retail
Jim Petersman, Development Manager at Apple Retail

"One of the things that impressed me most about Kari was her passion and energy around helping others be successful. Kari analyzed Apple’s use of the Lominger Competencies and it’s own in-house selling model to create a master training plan for teams. Her agenda was well thought out and she was able to personalize it to each employee’s own natural strengths. This allowed her to communicate the correct selling behaviors in a way that was both relevant and engaging for each employee.

The results were astounding! Kari was able to communicate her vision in a compelling way and she provided specific, actionable steps to assist everyone in achieving their goals. The “magic & mystery” of selling were dispelled and employees could easily tie back their results to their behaviors. Not only did the sales of those she mentored drastically improve, but so did their engagement in the store’s success.

I found her strategy and implementation to be nothing short of brilliant! I learned a lot from watching her approach and I was truly inspired to live up to the standard she set."

Founding Team's Endorsement, VECTRE
Founding Team's Endorsement, VECTRE

"I highly recommend Kari and her group coaching course for existing businesses or small start-ups. The content of the course helped us learn about each other and ourselves which has positively impacted our group dynamics and productivity.

Kari’s course gave our team a solid foundation of respect and understanding for each other. Using these tools completely destigmatizes conflict resolution and creates an effective, repeatable path for working past issues that satisfy everybody.

The content helped us learn about each other and ourselves which has positively impacted our group dynamics and productivity. This helped bring up so many important things for our team as we start to work together. Kari was insightful and awesome.”

Fredrik Cederberg, Head of Nordic Core Insurance Solutions, Private & Commercial Engineering på If Insurance (If P&C Insurance)
Fredrik Cederberg, Head of Nordic Core Insurance Solutions, Private & Commercial Engineering på If Insurance (If P&C Insurance)

Kari has during the period 2021-02 to 2022-06 acted as agile coach within our Nordic Core Solution development unit with If P&C. It has been a true pleasure to have Kari as part of the core change team in our agile transformation journey to improve way of working for Waypont, Ifs Nordic xBA insurance core system. She has with her passion, positive energy and great knowledge within agile change management played a key role in driving our agile change journey forward to deliver the right thing at the right time and in addition aligned with If operating model. I would choose to work with Kari again if the context were to be applicable for her skill set.

Some of my assignments

Agile Enterprise Coach @ EQT 2020.08 – Current

I’m currently supporting the management at the growing tech department to find ways to lead the work in an Agile way using visualizations, pull based management, continuous planning and forecasting and other techniques. The goal is to find sustainable ways to manage work across and enable teams to be as self organized as possible while delivering on the overall strategy of the organization.

Agile Enterprise Coach @ IF 2020.02 – 2022.06

While at If, I was an Agile transformation leader where my primary focus was twofold: (1) decouple the strategic direction, visualized planning and progress follow-up by introducing Scrum@Scale, and (2) launch Agile Portfolio Management along with OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) for one of the Core Systems. The result was increased transparency and predictability so the highest prioritized work became the focus through ongoing joint, visualized planning and progress follow-up. Within 5 months we achieved over 80% predictability. I also helped to establish mechanisms for stakeholder conversations, coordination and prioritizations to facilitate shared understanding of problems and gaps through multiple interviews, focus groups, and collaborations at many levels. The result was a strong red-thread connecting operational level activities to business objectives through visualized delivery plans for teams to can be trace their efforts back to the OKRs.

Kari has been part of the strategic change team at Waypoint with an assignment to find new and more agile ways of connecting the strategic product focus with the work in the teams to support delivering the right things at the right time. Kari have among other things worked with coaching the management and setting up OKR process for Waypoint as well as a shared rythm for planning and delivery for all teams.

Below are two of the blog posts that Kari have written about the work she and Johan Wildros has done there.

Using the Grow/Plow coaching model in a large Scandinavian Insurance Company >

The Grow / Plow Coaching Model – to unleash more creativity and innovation >

Restoring Lives International – Agile Transformation and Team Development, July 2017 – August 2020

Working with leaders and teams to take this growing organization to the next level of effectiveness and impact through uncovering and overcoming organizational structures that were hindering communication, innovation, and productive collaboration. Helping operations and strategy teams transition from waterfall to Agile ways of working using Kanban and methods from Strategic Doing’s approach to Agile Innovation for promoting quick adaptation to changing market conditions and self-organization while increasing time-to-market. Coaching the executive team to adopt an Agile mindset (and how to coach those they lead to adopting an Agile mindset). 

Linden Avenue Baptist – Agile Transformation and Team Development, July 2019 – February 2020

Coaching the CEO in Servant Leadership and strategies for enabling strong teams and growing an Agile mindset while overcoming blockers that were hindering team development and organizational agility. Partnering to craft their mission and vision for reaching their next-level through storytelling and strategy workshops in ways that involved everyone’s voice and input so there was strong alignment. Redesigned the organizational structure so it was flatter and introduced Agile ways-of-working for increased autonomy, alignment, and employee engagement. 

Construct Connect – Mastermind for People Development Leaders, February 2020

Partnering with the Chief People Officer to create and launch a multi-day facilitated group coaching experience designed to help People Development leaders team uncover and leverage and unleash their capabilities as well as those whom they lead across the organization. Leaders who participated reported an increase in self-awareness and understanding of how their capabilities can be used to increase organizational effectiveness. 

Rivertown Brewery – Executive and Culture Coaching, 2017-2019

Coaching the Executive Director (who later became the CEO) on servant leadership strategies and the critical role that an aspiring vision plays in organizational transformation. Creating organizational development strategies, brand make-over, attracting top talent, and launching culture change initiatives that increased internal and external customer engagement and morale through reimagining what’s possible.

O’Keeffe PR – Executive Coaching and Agile Advisement, December 2017 – May 2019

Coaching the Vice President of Operations on organizational development and agile ways of working which led to increased autonomy, alignment, and engagement at the team level. Focusing on organizational behavior and strategies for unleashing the brainpower of an organization through very intentional conversations, interactions, and organizational structures that support creativity and innovation while minimizing risk through discipline and consistency.

Vectre XR – Executive and Team Coaching, January – May 2018

Coaching and training a cross-functional Agile start-up on strategies for transforming into a high performing team with a strong brand that could execute on their vision while leveraging their unique capabilities. The result was a solid set of team working agreements that could support their vision and strengthen their brand, an understanding of leadership and team levels of the conditions required for launching and sustaining a high-performing team, and coaching strategies for sustaining success. 

Private clients and masterminds – Entrepreneur women looking for breakthrough results

Coaching leadership B2B and B2C clients who want to increase productivity and happiness while accomplishing goals and dreams they never thought possible through powerful 1:1 coaching that adheres to the ICF (International Coaching Federation).

Apple Retail – Sales Expert, Mentor, and Genius Admin, 2010 – 2013

During my time at Apple, I wore multiple hats. I consistently outperformed company sales goals by 20% while coaching and mentoring new and seasoned sales associates. I developed and implemented a sales training curriculum that we used in our store and spearheaded sales team development strategies to achieve 14% increase in sales metrics. I was also part of the leadership team that oversaw the team of Geniuses (technicians), performed software and hardware repairs as needed, and worked with customers to create Apple promoters. 

Alkermes Pharmaceuticals – Learning and Development HR Leader and Coach, 2016 – 2018

Oversaw all site-wide learning and development endeavors and coached cross-functional teams in Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) wanting to move from forming to performing using Agile approaches. Leading a team of Instructional Designers and Learning Management System Administrators, I also spearheaded site-wide change management efforts and partnered with department SMEs to create customized learning and engagement solutions.

Construct Connect – Training and Development HR Manager, 2013 – 2016

While at Construct Connect, I designed and launched multiple Culture Development initiatives in partnership with the VP of HR to promoting personal and professional development as well as lead Change Management initiatives with IT during the Salesforce Zuora Integration. I also developed and managed on-boarding programs that improved new-hire’s time to productivity by 65%.

My open training and interesting projects

Emerald PublishingWriting book about today’s innovative talent 2020 (ongoing)

ABA TechnologiesUsing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to create a research-based tool for Agile Teams who want to move quickly from forming to performing –  2020 (ongoing)

Looker Data Sciences (owned by Google)Facilitated workshop on Collaboration and Neurodiversity in Today’s Workplace, August 2019

University of Cincinnati Facilitated workshop on Collaboration and Neurodiversity in Today’s Workplace, November 2019

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Facilitated workshop on Collaboration and Neurodiversity in Today’s Workplace,  April 2019

Agile People – ICP TAL-  Workshop Facilitator, March 2019 – March 2020

Cincinnati Chamber of CommerceWorkshop and Talent Pipeline Consulting December 2018-2019

Management 3.0Workshop Facilitator 2019

Pep Promotions Facilitated Workshops on Listening Skills and Candid Conversations, August 2019

PaycorFacilitated a Workshop on Wiley’s DiSC Agile EQ training, October 2018

Some of my popular blog posts

Learning Organizations, what it is, and why it matters

The 7 Conditions for effective Agile Leadership Teams

All my blogposts as a Dandy