Workplace: Developmental

Developmental concepts have been top-of-mind due to a government organization sharing its work with the book “An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (2016). They even brought the authors on site to coach the organization on the how-to of the process.

Based on their enthusiasm for and commitment to the work, I ordered and have read the book. Having worked for many decades in the human development and organizational development fields, it strikes me that this book could be written as a result of a decades-long societal culture that accepts counselling as valuable and has individuals who are willing to talk about personal development, to be vulnerable, and to learn and grow as individuals. Without these precursors, it is my opinion that, this book could not have been written. Here are some take-aways.

  • The Three Plateaus in Adult Mental Complexity and Development (pages 62-63) is a great model: Socialized Mind, Self-Authoring mind, Self-transforming mind. This is definitely worth the time to learn more about.
  • “How might I be wrong?” is posed on page 80 in the discussion of disturbing the thinking loops that each of us can get into, thereby preventing ourselves from making progress.
  • Home, Edge and Groove are the three dimensions of a Deliberatively Developmental Organization. Chapter three presents helpful information and examples for understanding this model.
  • Chapter four’s expanded discussion of the Groove provides helpful tools. Such as the Wallet Card for self-development that presents tips for Better Me, Better You. This is also worth checking out. Also, table 4-5 on page 157 provides the developmental benefits of continuously receiving feedback. For individuals and organizations to develop, receiving feedback is a part of the equation.
  • Uncovering Your Biggest Blind Spot is chapter six because this is the starting place to gain understanding about what you will focus your developmental efforts upon and build work performance improvement plans. You may be surprised by the Immunity to Change questions in this chapter.

Adults are capable of performance improvements. Some organizations support personal development relentlessly while others seem willing to accept high-turnover and repeatedly letting people go because of not emphasizing development. Organizations can create cultures of deliberate development among employees say authors Kegan and Lahey. Their book provides a plan and plenty of tools.

In many youth education and development arenas there is an “Ages & Stages” model for understanding and working with children and youths. This model helps all of us understand what is reasonable to expect from a child at different ages. It also provides tools for recognizing when a child may be behind typical development and therefore in need of additional supports, assessments, and/or scaffolded learning which might include Individualized Education Plan supports. K-12 education has many tools at the ready to provide positive development for students. Some school districts and individual schools also provide excellent professional development for their teachers.

Continuous learning and ongoing professional development go hand in hand. Ongoing personal development has both personal and professional benefits.

What development are you deliberately pursuing for yourself? For your organization?

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work

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