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An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization Hardcover – March 22, 2016
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This book speaks to the heart of what I believe: Our work environments are the perfect learning laboratories. Our focus needs to not just be on individual learning, but also on building the processes, tools, and organizational system for learning to take placeand stick.” Melissa Daimler, Senior Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Development, WeWork
If you want to stay on the cutting edge of how our culture thinks about work, you might browse Rob Kegan and Lisa Lahey's latest book, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, which will urge you to measure the meaning of your work not by how much you like or value it, but by how much it makes you grow up, and past the edge of your current limits.” The Advertiser (Australia)
Could it be that workplaces can become the ultimate forum to help people become greater than they think possible? Read this book to find out.” Conscious Company Magazine
This book is as much about realizing organisational potential, as it is about realizing human potential. No business leader, at any level, should miss this one.” Fin24 (South Africa)
Kegan and Laskow thoroughly analyze what they perceive to be the benefits of radical transparency through case studies on hedge fund giant Bridgewater, ecommerce company Next Jump, and real estate company Decurion.” Business Insider (businessinsider.com), Summer Reading List
Kegan and Lahey (Harvard Univ.) incorporate adult-developmental theory to enhance organizational profitability, improve honesty in communications, reduce political maneuvering, and increase solutions to intractable problems.” Choice magazine
Rather than seeking competitive advantage in a company’s products or strategy Kegan, Lahey, and their colleagues believe an edge can be found in the ability of corporations to develop adults as humans. they develop the argument by parachuting us into three existing DDOs, all of which serve as highly effective, day-in-the-life case studies.” strategy+business magazine
Some fascinating ideas about how to create an organizational culture that fits the 21st century.” Inc.
Their jottings and anecdotes draw you in, to join them in peering over the edge of what might just be a management revolution.” Forbes
A bold approach, one that requires a longer view of success and the patience to accept stumbles any person and any company can learn from the thinking behind the DDO concept.” Chicago Tribune
The lessons from those companies combined with the theory of Kegan and Lahey provide an exciting portrait of what’s possible, and hopefully what’s coming, in the workplace.” 800 CEO READ
Kegan and Lahey provide a fundamental look into a different type of organization that is both challenging and rewarding an approachable and easy read that's perfect for anyone interested in learning about an alternative take on people development and organizational culture.” TD magazine (Association for Talent Development)
ADVANCE PRAISE for An Everyone Culture:
Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company
An Everyone Culture is founded upon a simple yet powerful insight: that the best way to unleash an organization’s power is to realize the full potential of its individual employees. Kegan and Lahey highlight companies that focus on the continuous development of all employees and explain the steps needed to build this kind of deliberately developmental’ culture. In a world that’s changing faster than ever, and where Millennials are demanding jobs with development opportunities, leaders cannot afford to miss this book.”
Gary Hamel, professor, London Business School
An Everyone Culture is the most provocative recasting of human and organizational potential since the advent of the learning organization.’ It will transform how you think about work and workplace culture in the twenty-first century.”
Peter M. Senge, senior lecturer, MIT; founding chair, Society for Organizational Learning
Everyone talks about growing our people,’ but what if this were the true strategic core of an enterprise? By connecting the emerging science of human development to the art of building a successful business, Kegan and Lahey have created the book that developmentally oriented managers have long been waiting for.”
Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO, Egon Zehnder
Unleashing people’s potential is the biggest leadership opportunity and challenge of the twenty-first century. Kegan and Lahey convincingly argue that winning companies need to have a holistic approach to development that spans individuals, teams, and the organizationworking relentlessly to realize the potential of each and every employee. This book is a must-read for all leaders trying to find practical ways to unlock the potential of an entire organization.”
Howard Gardner, professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Our language and our experience suggest two distinct aspirations: how adults should develop, and what makes organizations successful over the years. This highly original book reveals deep connections between human development and organizational strength.”
Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone
This book should be as welcome as it is eye opening to organizational leaders. Kegan and Lahey demonstrate how workers’ search for personal development can be fused with an organization’s pursuit of better performance. This terrific book promises to usher in a new generation of workplaces of continuous personal and organizational growth.”
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Their basic premise is startling. In the ordinary business organization, most people have two jobs: the public one they’re actually paid to do as well as a very private one they do in secret—hiding their individual limitations and weaknesses, trying to look good. What if, these authors ask, your organization were to find a way to welcome the personal into the usually public realm of work and thereby recapture the tremendous energy nearly everyone wastes on hiding?
With probing and penetrating research, they played devil’s advocate to three very different but spectacularly successful business organizations that have actually found how to operate this way. What did they discover? Here’s the winning formula: For performance and profits to flourish, create a culture in which everyone in your organization flourishes by developing to their full potential. Make yours a Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO). Your culture thus becomes your strategy, the key to maximizing the success of your business.
If culture is the key, what does it unlock? The secret to changing mind-sets—individual and collective. Create a safe HOME for supporting and challenging mindsets, formulate the growing EDGE that individuals and your organization aspire to, and create a stimulating GROOVE of practices and principles fashioned right out of the everyday routines and procedures of your business itself. That’s the Home-Edge-Groove incubation system that constitutes a DDO.
Another unanticipated discovery: To their surprise, Kegan and Lahey’s research revealed that DDOs are so profitable not despite but precisely because of the fact that their cultures are so developmental. People feel compelled to work there because they flourish—earning not just traditional incomes but the new ones they increasingly value such as personal satisfaction, meaningfulness, and happiness.
Finally, their painstaking research led the authors to conclude that, if your business challenges call for merely technical changes (metaphorically like adding an app or file to your computer), no need to go the DDO route. But if your business environment is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), the challenges you face may well be adaptive (like needing to change your computer’s operating system itself). Then a DDO, they maintain, is the way to go. Adaptive process meets adaptive challenge. The unimaginable gradually becomes achievable.
They’ve made a rich and rigorous case for DDOs. As a leadership development professional, I found it to be thoroughly convincing and tremendously stimulating. My only question is whether organizations in the public and not-for-profit sectors make just as promising candidates for DDOs as for-profit organizations do. Is profit the key, or concerted collective purpose?
If you are interested in organizational change and have been around the block once or twice, you may have found yourself a bit disenfranchised or frustrated by flavor of the month attempts at "change." Or, you may be mystified why most leadership development doesn't seem to stick. Or you may have read about concepts like "learning organizations," "integral theory," "employee engagement" and the like but have no idea how to implement such things. If any of this sounds familiar to you, then this is the book you've long awaited.
Here, you will hear a breathtakingly refreshing refrain--if you want your organization to be a learning organization, or get employees engaged, or "grow" employees, you don't need a program, a workshop, a training, a change initiative or any of the other things you've likely heard of, or tried, and don't stick. According to the authors, you need three things:
1. Home -- You must create an environment where people feel safe enough to grow and change.
2. Edge -- Each person in your organization needs to identify what, exactly, their growing edge actually is (everyone, no exceptions).
3. Groove -- You must embed practices in "way we do things around here" that actively support and challenge people to grow--on a daily basis.
A lot of books about change are based on beliefs and pet theories. Here's another refreshing change... this book is based on 25 years of adult development research by two Harvard professors. Further, it isn't solely academic research they are basing it on. They've studied three extremely successful companies who are already "there" as "deliberately developmental organizations." Further, they've helped other companies prepare for and begin that journey.
And for you, personally, the chapter on how to identify your own growing edge (Chapter 6 -- Uncovering Your Biggest Blind Spot) takes you through a powerful, four step process that will help you see in stark relief why you probably haven't been able to change the one thing that most holds you back. Do that exercise (as I did), and then imagine everyone in your organization knowing the same thing, and supporting one another in making their one big change. In that one step alone, you are going to realize what most organizations can't change, try as they might, no matter the good intentions they have.
And then there is Chapter 2 on adult development, the science behind it. It is fantastic. Clear. Accessible. There, the authors cover three stages of adult development--based on science and research--and the differences between the stages. And, guess what. Less than 2% of the population has reached the highest stage. You should know what that stage is, and you might want to consider--as I have--what achieving that stage of development might mean to you, your leadership, your life, your company. And, yes, the authors do tell you how to move yourself and others along those stages.
The personal development aspects of this book, alone, are worth the price of admission. Maybe you aren't that interested in organizational change, or don't feel you are in a position to effect organizational change, but are greatly interested in personal development and believe that by changing yourself, you can affect the people, company and world around you. If that sounds like you, Chapter 2 (adult development) and Chapter 6 (uncovering your blind spot) are immediately accessible, practical and potentially life-altering. Any person interested in their own personal development, and/or who supports others in their development needs to read, understand and apply those two chapters.
No, the book and the approach isn't prescriptive and doesn't contain a checklist. Your organization has its own culture, own needs and is at its own developmental stage. The authors understand that. One size does not fit all. So they give you a solid framework. They tell you how others have done it. And then you make it your own, working from where you are. That is the only way it truly can work, anyway, based on my experience.
In short, read this book.
Perhaps, like me, after reading scores of business books, leadership books, coaching books, organizational change books, personal development books over the years... you may conclude this is one of the five most important books you've ever read. And, perhaps, even THE most important one.
Truly life changing—this book is a gift to making your organization more productive and better for all! Each page is a treasure and offers hands on advice for growing your business as pathway—not just to increase revenue—but also to build employees internally so that they can thrive in surpassing all kinds of goals! Authors offer concrete steps to do this in every chapter. This book is a treasure of wisdom. It’s accessible and meaningful. The authors have blended lessons learned from Chief Leaders, who care—not just for revenue—but also, for all in their care. This is a must read for all organizations hoping to not just think about today—but to build stellar companies equipped for the implicit and explicit demands of the New Normal. Thank you for these groundbreaking ways to grow companies and individuals in our care.