What if a company did everything in its power to create a culture in which everyone could overcome their own internal barriers to change and use errors and vulnerabilities as prime opportunities for personal and company growth?
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey have found and studied such companies - deliberately developmental organizations. A DDO is organized around the conviction that organizations will best prosper when they are more deeply aligned with people's strongest motive, which is to grow. This means going beyond consigning "people development" to high-potential programs, executive coaching, or once-a-year off-sites. It means fashioning an organizational culture in which support of people's development is woven into the daily fabric of working life and the company's regular operations, daily routines, and conversations. An Everyone Culture dives deep into the worlds of three leading companies that embody this breakthrough approach. It reveals the design principles, concrete practices, and underlying science at the heart of DDOs - from their disciplined approach to giving feedback to how they use meetings to the distinctive way that managers and leaders define their roles.
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"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." (Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company)
Read it and move yourself and your organization beyond the burnout the current work pace demands. Breathe new life into what it means to have a vocation rather than being employed. Behold what before felt an image of fantasy, a bridge between people development and work product results for real people.
It seems likely that the vast majority of companies would be completely uninterested in this approach. I'm pretty Kumbaya and it was often a bit too much for me. For one thing these companies are medium to large businesses, meaning that they can distribute extra overhead over a lot more sales. For another thing, this is a deep dive into psychological development. It is rare to find people with tolerance for this, much less whole companies that can inspire it.
Nonetheless, most companies should be interested in development at some level, even if it is only skills training, and this book lays out a framework for the meta structures that make a learning community more possible.
While this is unlikely to be an approach that most companies, especially small companies, will want to embark on, I have ordered a hard copy and will seek to undertake much of this in my small 10 person company, with the idea that it is best to set such cultural standards as early as possible.
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