In the ordinary organization everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for: hiding weaknesses, covering inadequacies, managing other people’s favorable impression. This is the single biggest waste of precious resources in organizational life. Its costs are staggering, and paid every day, both by the individual (who is unlikely to get any better while hiding out) and the organization (which must continue to suffer the employee’s limitations, while paying a full-time salary for part-time work).
Now imagine the opposite: a workplace where our weaknesses are as welcome as our strengths, where everyone (not just the “high potential”) experiences work as a place to grow, where the organization and its employees are each making huge contributions to the other’s flourishing. Such a workplace is what Harvard University Graduate School of Education faculty members Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey call the Deliberately Developmental Organization, which they feature in their new book, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, published this year by Harvard Business Review Press.*
A DDO is a place where people are expected to regularly manifest their limitations as well as their strengths (odd and uncomfortable as that sounds), and to regularly receive support to overcome them (just as they, in turn, are supporting others). Ordinary inputs to “employee development” are too infrequent, go on too far away from work, and are provided to too few. DDO inputs are constant and continuous, woven into the work itself, and provided for everyone, resulting in extraordinary employee engagement and business impact.
In this session, Kegan and Lahey will share research and examples of leading companies embracing DDO practices and guidance on how to build a culture of learning at all levels.
You will learn:
- The design principles, practices, and underlying science at the heart of DDOs
- Ways in which a DDO can contribute to the success of your business
- How to get started in developing a DDO as part of your culture
*Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016)
Educational Chair, Institute for Management and Leadership in Education Co-director, Change Leadership Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education