In the 1990s, Peter Senge’s book, The Fifth Discipline, the Art and Practice of the Learning was ground breaking, and was instrumental in changing the world of organizational behaviour and development.
However, there is a new concept on the block that is taking organizational learning theory to new heights. It is called Deliberate Developmental Organization (DDO). This has been created by a team of authors and researchers who comprise an organization called Way to Grow Inc.* This team, which includes faculty members from Harvard and a doctoral student from Stanford-PGSP, has produced a book called, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization.
According to the research behind the book, the organizations that do well are ones that are deeply aligned with an individual’s greatest motivation, which is to develop within an organizational culture that supports growth. This concept expands on Dan Pink’s motivational theory that an individual’s greatest motivator is to develop.
The authors of An Everyone Culture posit that most employees devote a significant amount of energy to a second, unpaid, job – i.e., the work of covering their weaknesses and managing others’ impressions of them. They believe this is the biggest cause of wasted resources in most companies.
Their solution is the creation of an organizational culture that doesn’t waste energy, but focuses it on developing people. According to the DDO concept, employee weakness is a strength, and errors represent opportunities to develop.
Imagine working for an organization where you could truly be your authentic self and continuously improve on your weakness. Would that be a dream job or a nightmare? Something to think about!
— Having reviewed the extended whitepaper by Kegan et al., do you think you would like to work in a company with a well-developed DDO culture? Explain why/why not.
— Have you had an experience where you feel you had a weakness at school or work? What was the weakness? Were you allowed to expose it? Did you have support in overcoming it? If yes, what was the outcome? If no, what was the outcome?
* To learn more about Way to Grow Inc, visit www.waytogrowinc.com.