The efficiency and sustainability of climate change adaptation projects depend on appropriate models and tools to take climate-smart practices to scale. This paper presents the “Building assets and agency” approach taken by the Accelerating Adoption of Agroforestry project whose objective is to scale the adoption of context-specific adaptation and mitigation options. Through the approach, communities are encouraged to identify, mobilise, and use their existing assets to define community plans that are responsive to their identities, interests, and preferences. This innovative approach combines conscious selection of project staff and partners, group capacity and agency training, cocreation of skills in self-selected agricultural practices with an emphasis on business skills, and tools for sustainable scaling through farmer-to-farmer extension. The paper addresses challenges and solutions, and case study data justifying proof of concept. While developed in a climate change context, and being sensitive to a number of factors, the approach can support effective, efficient, and socially appropriate action in any sector.