A New Way of Working

By Oliver, Jason | Talent Development, May 2016 | Go to article overview

A New Way of Working


Oliver, Jason, Talent Development


An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization

By Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

Harvard Business Review Press, 336 pp., $32

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In most ordinary organizations, individuals carry out a second job that no one really notices. This second job typically focuses on covering up perceived weaknesses, "looking good" at all times, hiding vulnerability, and constantly working to manage the impressions of others. This is problematic because it is a costly waste of resources to both the individual and the organization. An Everyone Culture dives into how three successful DDOs-deliberately developmental organizations-have created cultures focused on developing all employees while remaining financially successful.

After providing a glimpse into the day-to-day activities of three real-world DDOs-an eye-opening experience-the authors present an overview of what they mean by development in terms of the DDO. They explore adult development and the three plateaus involved: the socialized mind, the self-authoring mind, and the self-transforming mind.

Next, Kegan and Lahey examine features that are common to DDOs, including the concepts of edge (height of development), home (development communities), and groove (development practices). An interesting characteristic common to DDOs is the consistent message from employees that working in a DDO is both painful and exhilarating. Basically, while it can be uncomfortable to face one's own weaknesses, it is extremely rewarding to socialize and develop those weaknesses.

Later, the authors present how being a DDO brings value. They also discuss the central question of whether the DDOs examined are successful because they are DDOs, or are successful and just happen to be one-you'll have to read the book to find out what they found. …

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