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An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization

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A Radical New Model for Unleashing Your Company’s Potential

In most organizations nearly everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for—namely, covering their weaknesses, trying to look their best, and managing other people’s impressions of them. There may be no greater waste of a company’s resources. The ultimate cost: neither the organization nor its people are able to realize their full potential.

What if a company did everything in its power to create a culture in which everyone —not just select “high potentials”—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 Lahey (and their collaborators) have found and studied such companies—Deliberately Developmental Organizations. A DDO is organized around the simple but radical 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. The authors then show readers how to build this developmental culture in their own organizations.

This book demonstrates a whole new way of being at work. It suggests that the culture you create is your strategy—and that the key to success is developing everyone .

336 pages, Hardcover

First published January 5, 2016

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Robert Kegan

16 books125 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 108 reviews
Profile Image for Frank Calberg.
159 reviews38 followers
March 25, 2023
Passages I found particuly useful:

Being yourself
- Page 11: Research by Brené Brown shows that vulnerability is at the core of shame, fear, and our struggle for worthiness. Vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love.
- Page 136: If you are very insecure, try to speak up more, be more courageous and more optimistic. If you are overconfident, try to listen more, take more advice and be more vulnerable.
- Page 154: To be willing to be vulnerable, you must trust that the community will still receive you, include you, and value you.
- Page 185: People, who work for http://www.decurion.com/, are not different people at home and at work. They can be themselves.

The importance of purpose
- Page 8: We are seeing a rise of the need for finding purpose, meaning, happiness, personal satisfaction, and fulfillment of what is inside of us. This change, which has values at its center, is one of the largest changes we have seen in the last 100 years.
- Page 148: Leaders working for http://www.decurion.com/ hold the belief that people will grow and can do more when the right structures and conditions are available to them.

Examples of living the value "learning"
- Page 90 + 182: People, who work for https://www.bridgewater.com/, ask themselves this: Do I worry more about how good I am or about how fast I am learning? People are rewarded for being open about mistakes, because mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth.
- Page 105: People, who work for Bridgewater, distinguish between first-order and second-order consequences. An example: We may not like to exercise because the first order consequence is discomfort or lost time. As the second-order consequence is better health and more energy, regular exercise is a good choice.
- Page 116: The culture of http://www.decurion.com/ puts strong focus on learning. People participate in learning communities in order to grow / develop as individuals and seize business opportunities. Everyone is teaching and learning.
- Page 124: What would happen if we design our organizations for practice instead of only for performance? When many changes are happening around us, practicing becomes more important. When you say to people that you are practicing, you are not expecting - and others are not expecting you - to perform perfectly. By naming - what you are doing - "practice", you signal that you are experimenting, learning, trying something out, and working at getting better at something.
- Page 155: People continuously give and receive feedback.
- Page 155: The culture says "the best job is the one you don't yet know how to do."

Examples of living the value "helping"
- Page 55: The culture of http://www.nextjump.com/ puts helping others at the forefront.
- Page 89: Next Jump works with the formula "better me + better you = better us." This means that Next Jump wants the company to grow = better us, but its culture continuously says, "the way we are going to be a better company is by your working on yourself and helping others work on themselves."
- Page 275: To feel safe in a company means that when a person reveals one of his / her weaknesses, he / she experiences an enhancement of his / her place in the organization - not a diminishment. People around the person support him or her in being open and wanting to grow as a human being.
Profile Image for Diane Law.
348 reviews2 followers
March 27, 2021
I thought that this book would be right up my street for what I needed for work. I was disappointed. There are some good ideas but it takes a lot of wading through treacle to get to them.
I also felt that the three companies used as examples were too extreme to be relatable.
Profile Image for Darren.
1,193 reviews49 followers
February 22, 2016
The core idea of the book is intriguing: looking at how things might be if companies placed their focus on growing the capabilities of all of its employees through personal development and real company-wide teamwork, rather than paying lip service to the concept and building the business around a few alleged superstars.

It is just that the execution of the book felt a bit flat, leading to disappointment and a fair degree of frustration. It felt as if it was repelling the reader’s attempts to focus on the subject. The problem is not due to one single thing, such as bad writing or editing, but just a combination of many small factors that seem to have reached a critical mass. One could just not really warm to the book, which is a shame as the authors appear to know their subject!

A so-called Deliberately Development Organization (DDO) is central to the authors’ concept of doing things right, since the company will be organized and aligned around the strongest motive of individual employees, which is to grow, allowing individuals to prosper and work towards a common good for the company. The authors provide a deep-dive into three companies that follow DDO principles and seek to show how this can be transplanted into any organization if the desire for change is strong enough.

Certainly at face value the concept is something you’d surely want to examine. It is just questionable whether you will lose patience with the book and give up part way, or whether you will force yourself to stay the course. One key area for a desire to change is by making it accessible and hardly problematic. This book just felt as if it was doing the equivalent of putting the brake on things. Maybe a radical overhaul of the book’s style would help?

The publisher must take a bit of the blame here, since they have set a very high benchmark with their other titles, so when a book comes from the Harvard Business Review Press which appears to be lacking, maybe alarm bells should start ringing. However, it is still not a bad book. It can be worth a skim read if nothing else to see if you can align with it and will be prepared to put the spade work in to then go through it. It just did not feel like a Harvard Business Review Press sort of book…
Profile Image for Andrii Bas.
136 reviews13 followers
January 2, 2018
The idea of focusing on personal development and DDO (Deliberately Developmental Organization) is very good.
And advice and practices are great.
However, the style of authors is very boring, and IMHO the content could be cut in half without removing anything important.
Profile Image for Raphael Donaire.
Author 1 book31 followers
August 15, 2021
An Everyone Culture is a mind-blowing reading that focuses on how organizations should be structured to provide developmental opportunities for their employees.

Backed by a psychologist's theoretical background (adulthood mental development, wholeness theory) and a group of study cases, the book presents the concept of the Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO).

Some companies have developed cultures that are safe enough and demanding enough that everyone comes out of hiding. In which the relationship between realizing human potential and organizational potential is not a trade-off.

Instead of establishing a culture of fear and local agendas, organizations should use their systems as a platform to enhance people's potential. A DDO has three attributes: Edge, which is the development aspirations of the individuals and the Organization. Home, which is the way how Development occurs through Communities. Groove, which is the set of Developmental Practices in place.

The journey throughout this book is engaging, although not the easiest. At some points during the reading, I had felt a little bit skeptical as the theoretical background is out of my comfort zone. Yet authors demonstrated not only the concept is feasible but the business case behind this focus.

Next, I will list some impactful sentences presented in this book.
- Most people are spending time and energy covering up their weaknesses, managing other people's impressions of them, showing themselves to their best advantage, playing politics, hiding their inadequacies, hiding their uncertainties, hiding their limitations. Hiding.
- Human beings we're set up to protect ourselves — but it is just as true that we're set up to grow psychologically, to evolve, to develop.
- The distinctive quality of business challenges in a VUCA world is that they are as often adaptive as technical.
- But what is happiness? The definition most in vogue, fueled by the positive psychology movement, is one of happiness as a state, characterized by pleasure; a banishing of pain, suffering, and boredom; a sense of engagement and meaning through the experience of positive emotions and resilience. This is the dominant version of the new incomes sought and paid in the most widely celebrated "great places to work." Think of flexible work hours, pool tables and dart boards. The second definition sees happiness as a process of human flourishing. This definition, whose roots go back to Aristotle and the Greeks' concept of eudaemonia, includes an experience of meaning and engagement but in relation to the satisfactions of experiencing one's own growth and unfolding, becoming more of the person one was meant to be, bringing more of oneself into the world.
- In each of these DDOs — Next Jump, Decurion, and Bridgewater — we see a seamless integration of two pursuits as if they were a single goal: business excellence and the growth of people into more capable versions of themselves through the work of the business.
- Mental complexity is not about how much you know or how high your IQ is.
- DDOs continuously stir things up, troubling the waters; ordinary organizations continuously try to calm things down, instituting repeatable routines. Ordinary organizations don't move you into a new role as soon as you've mastered the old one; instead, they commend you for having mastered it and call you reliable and dependable, appreciating the way you can be counted on now to keep performing the role indefinitely.
- In all three organizations, people talk about the sheer relief of not living a divided life, of bringing their full humanity to work.
- Culture — among other things, a set of routines and practices for getting work done, a unique language, and shared deep assumptions about how the world works, how problems can get solved, and what is valued.
- People in all levels of the three companies have told us stories about the excitement and challenges of constantly working on redesigning the conditions of your work (something that's considered above your pay grade in many other organizations).

An Everyone Culture is a relevant reference for the Organization of the future as we have built adaptive structures and lifelong learning-oriented experiences.
Profile Image for Beige Alert.
186 reviews2 followers
April 27, 2023
It is going to take me a while to figure out what I thought about this one.

Is it a field guide on how to turn corporations into cults?

Is it just another in a long line of books designed to sell consulting services of the author(s) to CEOs?

The only thing I think I might be sure of is that it is a paean to what the kids are calling "late capitalism" where this book serves as a rough blueprint on how to make even the immaterial dimensions of employee's inner selves company property, paid for not with money, but with the "new incomes" of "personal satisfaction, meaningfulness, and happiness".

What it is not is a guide for training and development professionals.

I've started Immunity to Change a couple times, and since this is the year of the two-fer apparently, I guess I'll dive into that soon or next.

Once that is over with, I might have an idea of what I think I think of DDOs.
24 reviews
March 12, 2019
I resisted reading this for a while because I wasn't truly ready to bring ALL of me to work. I'd experienced - too often - negative repercussions of being too-real, too-honest, too-vulnerable in unsafe work spaces. Recently, I dusted her off, and fell in love with the first paragraph:

"In an ordinary organization, most people are doing a second job no one is paying them for ... spending time and energy covering up their weaknesses, managing other people's impressions of them, showing themselves to their best advantage, playing politics, hiding their inadequacies, hiding their uncertainties, hiding their limitations. Hiding.

"We regard this as the single biggest loss of resources that organizations suffer every day."

Phew. Sifting through the concrete ideas of home, groove, and edge in a deliberately developmental organization painted a clear picture of what it could look like to lay inauthenticity down.
Profile Image for Najwa Sahmarani.
36 reviews8 followers
February 22, 2020
Ancient wisdom says ‘When the seeker is ready, the teacher appears!’. This book has been my teacher for the past month. It had been in my personal library for two years but i picked it randomly a month ago and it was the perfect timing! I had been looking for a while for models and tools to ensure my team is an incubator for human potential. This book has been a savior! ✨
Profile Image for Tõnu Vahtra.
539 reviews77 followers
November 17, 2019
After first chapters did not really know what to make of this book and at some point it started explaining the Immunity to Change framework application. Only towards the end did I realize that the author of this book (Robert Kegan) ja also among the authors of the Immunity to Change framework. Immunity to Change is definitely a very important but difficult to read book, this one seems to be easier to grasp so it's useful for recalling the full methodology, but as first read some important context might be missed. Secondly majority of the book was taking three companies as case study and only Bridgewater was widely known from my perspective (which is already well covered in Ray Dalio's own books). The book did remind me about some important concepts like the three plateaus of adult's mental development (socialized mind, self-authoring mind, self-transforming mind), introduced and explained the difference between technical and adaptive challenges (such that require mindset shift).

DDO integrated goals: business excellence and the growth of people into more capable versions of themselves through the work of the business.

Most powerful ways to develop the capabilities of people at work:
Imagine so valuing the importance of developing people’s capabilities that you design a culture that itself immersively sweeps every member of the organization into an ongoing developmental journey in the course of working every day.
Imagine finding yourself in a trustworthy environment, one that tolerates—even prefers—making your weaknesses public so that your colleagues can support you in the process of overcoming them. Imagine recapturing the full-time energies of your employees now joined to the mission of the enterprise.
You’re imagining an organization that, through its culture, is an incubator or accelerator of people’s growth: a deliberately developmental organization.

"In an ordinary organization, most people are doing a second job no one is paying them for. In businesses large and small; in government agencies, schools, and hospitals; in for-profits and nonprofits, and in any country in the world, most people are spending time and energy covering up their weaknesses, managing other people’s impressions of them, showing themselves to their best advantage, playing politics, hiding their inadequacies, hiding their uncertainties, hiding their limitations.
We regard this as the single biggest loss of resources that organizations suffer every day. Is anything more valuable to a company than the way its people spend their energies? The total cost of this waste is simple to state and staggering to contemplate: It prevents organizations, and the people who work in them, from reaching their full potential."

“But what is happiness? The definition most in vogue, fueled by the positive psychology movement, is one of happiness as a state, characterized by pleasure; a banishing of pain, suffering, and boredom; a sense of engagement and meaning through the experience of positive emotions and resilience. This is the dominant version of the new incomes sought and paid in the most widely celebrated “great places to work.” Think of flexible work hours, pool tables and dart boards, dining areas run by chefs serving fabulous and nutritious food at all hours, frequent talks by visiting thought leaders, spaces for naps, unlimited vacation time. However, the research literature on happiness suggests another definition, one that is overlapping but significantly different. The second definition sees happiness as a process of human flourishing. This definition, whose roots go back to Aristotle and the Greeks’ concept of eudaemonia, includes an experience of meaning and engagement but in relation to the satisfactions of experiencing one’s own growth and unfolding, becoming more of the person one was meant to be, bringing more of oneself into the world.”

“Like the two other DDOs, Next Jump challenges employees by moving them into roles for which they’re not yet prepared to succeed and then provides them with steady streams of feedback to help them grow into those roles. In all three companies, if you’re completely able to perform your role, it’s no longer the right role for you; it has no ‘stretch’ left.”

Profile Image for Michele.
99 reviews
August 20, 2016
3.5 stars: I've always admired the Kegan & Lahey's research and I enjoyed this book as well. I do question their claim to have identified "A Radical New Model for Unleashing Your Company’s Potential." I've read a lot of books on organizational design, workplace culture, human behavior, and adult learning/development, and I didn't see anything particularly "radical" in Kegan & Lahey's book. Certainly, they've developed a model that is different and by giving it a new name (Deliberately Developmental Organization or DDO) they've coined a new way to view existing, timeless principles.

But, radical? I didn't see that. In fact, I recently finished Bock's "Work Rules" and the underlying philosophy used to develop Google's culture is quite similar (i.e. people first), minus the structured, consulting framework Kegan & Lahey uses to describe a DDO.

That said, "An Everyone Culture" is still a worthwhile read and offers practical ways to design a workplace where people contribute to doing meaningful work and feel valued for those contributions.
Profile Image for Michael Belcher.
141 reviews4 followers
July 30, 2016
Sophomoric repackaging of earlier scholarly works on the topic of constructive development (e.g. Immunity to Change). Disappointingly, Kegan's work now span the spectrum from mind-numbing intelligent (The Evolving Self) to the mind-numbing idiotic (An Everyone Culture) with a continued downward trajectory projected.
Profile Image for Elly Stroo Cloeck.
Author 28 books8 followers
March 21, 2021
Waarom doen we dit niet allang? was de vraag waarmee ik achterbleef na het lezen van het superinteressante boek ‘Een cultuur voor iedereen’ van Robert Kegan uit 2016. De aanpak is logisch, en er zijn bedrijven die dit doen èn heel succesvol zijn, waarbij Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater wat mij betreft de kroon spant. Iedereen is puur zichzelf op het werk, en iedereen is vrijwel continue bezig met zichzelf ontwikkelen.

In Een Cultuur voor iedereen wordt (mijns inziens terecht) gesteld dat het verspilling van energie is om op je werk te pretenderen dat je anders bent. Dat je geen zwakheden hebt, dat je niet onzeker bent. Ten eerste kost het veel energie, en die energie kun je niet aan je werk besteden. Ten tweede werk je niet aan die zwakheden en word je dus niet beter. Een Bewust Ontwikkelingsgerichte Organisatie (BOO) doet het anders.

De cultuur van een BOO is níét gericht op presteren. Vergelijk dat eens met je eigen organisatie: iedereen probeert goed voor de dag te komen, hun deskundigheid te laten zien, vergissingen weg te moffelen, zwaktes te verbergen. Ja toch? En ontwikkeling, dat is iets extra’s. Een cursus buiten de deur, periodieke gesprekken hierover met hun leidinggevende, en een jaarlijks meetmoment.

Bij een BOO is de cultuur gericht op ontwikkeling, en door die ontwikkeling wordt er gepresteerd. Dat uitgangspunt is belangrijk: het gaat niet om twee doelen, ontwikkeling en prestatie, maar om één doel: ontwikkeling, omdat daaruit prestatie voortvloeit.

Dat klinkt wat abstract, en daarom is het heel goed dat er in dit boek uitgebreide praktijkvoorbeelden zijn opgenomen. Van de drie bedrijven, die als een rode draad door het boek lopen, sprak Bridgewater mij het meest aan.

Het ‘statuut’ van Bridgewater bestaat uit meer dan 200 principes met als uitgangspunt waarheid en transparantie. Zoals: ‘Vertrouw op de waarheid’ – wees transparant, volkomen open en tolereer geen oneerlijkheid. En: ‘Creëer een cultuur waarin het goed is om fouten te maken, maar fout om die niet te signaleren, analyseren en ervan te leren’ – maak je niet druk over fouten, maar over het bereiken van je doelen.

Om bij de waarheid te komen, is doorvragen cruciaal. Dat houdt ook in dat je je leidinggevenden vraagt waarom ze doen wat ze doen, waarop beslissingen gestoeld zijn. En die leidinggevenden moeten hierop een inhoudelijk antwoord even. ‘Omdat ik dat vind’ heb ik altijd een typische uitdrukking van Amerikaanse bazen gevonden, en ik had er als Nederlandse ondergeschikte heel veel moeite mee. Hoe bijzonder dat een Amerikaans bedrijf als Bridgewater laat zien dat het ook anders kan!

Bridgewater gaat ook uit van radicale transparantie, en daar hebben ze een aantal systemen voor ingericht. Bijzonder vond ik dat elke bijeenkomst wordt opgenomen en voor iedereen in de organisatie beschikbaar is. Elk kantoor heeft opnameapparatuur. Hebben jouw baas en zijn baas het over jouw functioneren? Dat gesprek kun je gewoon terugluisteren. Iedereen die in een gesprek is genoemd krijgt een seintje, dus je hoeft niet continu allerlei vergaderingen te beluisteren. Maar het kan wèl! Zo’n opname wordt gezien als ‘de vastlegging van dat wat waar is’.

Het ‘voor iedereen’ in een BOO uit zich doordat er geen sprake is van high potentials of een specifieke periode in je carrière. Iedereen krijgt evenveel ontwikkelings-steun, in alle fasen van hun carrière. Die steun is volledig geïntegreerd in de bedrijfsvoering, dus niet iets extra’s.

Ray Dalio is ervan overtuigd dat het zoeken naar de waarheid en het overwinnen van je zwakheden en denkfouten (Dalio heeft zich intens in de hersenwetenschappen verdiept) een visie oplevert die beter is dan dat van de concurrentie, en dat Bridgewater daarom zo succesvol is. Ze leert van elke fout en maakt zo steeds betere investeringsmodellen.

Systemen en oefeningen
In het boek worden de systemen van de BOOs uitgebreid uiteengezet. Ook zijn er oefeningen opgenomen die je zelf kunt doen, als je organisatie (nog) geen BOO is maar je toch delen van de filosofie wilt implementeren.

Op zich zijn de werkwijzen uit dit boek niet nieuw en de oefeningen kwamen me ook wel bekend voor uit management development programma’s en NLP. Waar het om gaat is de extreme focus en de integratie met de bedrijfsvoering. Als we weten dat die ontwikkeling resultaat oplevert (anders zouden we niet zoveel geld aan die MD-programma’s besteden), waarom gaan we er dan niet helemáál voor?

De inhoud van dit boek is uitstekend en de praktijkvoorbeelden duidelijk en inspirerend. Ik had wel wat moeite met de schrijfstijl. Dat kan liggen aan de vertaling. Toch leek me dat er veel herhaald wordt en ik vond de zinnen vaak lang en abstract. Jammer, want de boodschap is wel héél belangrijk! Managers en HR-personeel moeten zich er dus maar even doorheen bijten. Prima boek voor een regenachtig weekend! (Om helemaal eerlijk en transparant te zijn: ik deed meer dan een week over dit boek… Gebrek aan discipline? Werk aan de winkel!)

Elly Stroo Cloeck is project- en interim-manager op het gebied van Finance, Internal Audit en Risk Management via haar bedrijf ESCIA. Daarnaast schrijft ze recensies en samenvattingen van managementboeken. Kijk eens op haar website!
Profile Image for Alex.
500 reviews10 followers
February 10, 2019

This is the foundational book for the Navy Leader Development Framework. This book is why the CNO wants to turn the Navy into a deliberately developmental organization. Maybe this kind of thing is up your alley; maybe it isn't. Regardless, it's your duty to read it.

Okay, for everyone else: 'An Everyone Culture' advocates for a new model of organizational professional development rooted in the personal development of each member of that organization and the group development of teams within that organization. As a reading experience, it's akin to eating one's vegetables: authors Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey have a dry, businesslike writing style - so dry, in fact, that it reminded me of a very dry leadership book I read last year. The title? 'Immunity to Change,' by (You guessed it!) Kegan and Laskow Lahey. Still, you've gotta eat your vegetables.

The real question is, do their ideas work? I'm not sure: to the best of my knowledge, they haven't been adopted widely enough to gather a statistically significant sample. Sure, the authors profile several successful companies built on ideas akin to theirs, but it's hard to say whether those companies succeeded because of or in spite of those ideas. After all, so many business and leadership books have presented businesses for emulation that are now either bankrupt or have receded back to their industry mean. Still, their ideas resonate with me. My goal as a leader is to make my people, and my organization, so good at the nuts and bolts of our trade that our systems are smooth and our basic processes seem to "just happen." Once we've done that, we can move away from reactivity and toward proactivity: shaping our environment and ourselves to be of best service to our nation and Navy. 'An Everyone Culture' gave me some new tools and some different approaches that I can use in pursuit of these goals, and I think it was a book well worth reading.
Profile Image for Beth Melillo.
134 reviews15 followers
December 27, 2020
5 stars for an idea I liked and am very curious about. 3 stars for a clunky writing style (somewhere awkwardly between a handbook and a manifesto and an ethnography). Would be a good book club read with HR/OD professionals, or religious education programs... anyplace where people choose to 'do life together.*

( A curious thought... could this work in prisons, where people dont choose to live and work together, but do).
Profile Image for Mike Koser.
8 reviews
January 4, 2020
The content was good, but I feel the message, and suggested practices could have been communicated in about half the number of pages. It eventually felt repetitious, and as a result slogged on.
Profile Image for Firat Fidan.
87 reviews3 followers
May 13, 2023
Robert Kegan ve Lisa Lahey’in ‘Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDO)’ yani Kasıtlı Gelişen İşletmeleri ele aldığı bu kitapta, şirketlerin özmalının çalışanlar olduğu ve esas yatırımın çalışanlara yapılmasının gerektiği çok güzel örneklemelerle anlatılıyor. 360 derece performans değerlemesi ile şirket haritasının nasıl çıktığını ve modern şirket yapılarının insan üzerine kurulu olduğunu kitabı okudukça daha net anlayacaksınız. Hedeflerine ulaşan, para kazanan ve çalışanları için huzurlu bir iş ortamı yaratmak isteyen tüm üst düzey yöneticiler ve/veya işletme sahipleri mutlaka okumalı 👍🏾
Profile Image for Sergio Caredda.
260 reviews14 followers
December 30, 2019
L’idea che esistano delle organizzazioni che intenzionalmente si occupano di sviluppo delle persone è affascinante. Illustrata con casi concreti e un’ampia ricerca psicologica. Un libro che fa pensare a una vera alternativa organizzativa.
Profile Image for Raff Viton.
1 review
September 9, 2016
emerging best practices for transformation work.....Rober Kegan & Lisa Lahey are on the advisory board of my new company...I get to work many Jedi-facilitators that train with them directly to be certified in the immunity to change process & tools...amazing to see the way it "unlocks" us
Profile Image for Frieda.
224 reviews
April 16, 2022
The premise of this book is to change organizationally thinking that held firm in the 20th century. The authors are interested in transforming organizations to become a place where all employees are held accountable for the growth, health and future of the organization.

They claim that this begins with organizational heads investing in their people, helping them become more vulnerable (leadership included) and open to improving themselves to not only benefit themselves but also the organization as a whole.

The book focuses on three organizations - Next Jump, Decurion, and Bridgewater Associates. All three share several commonalities:
a) They refuse to separate the people who make up the business from the business itself.
b) They believe that business can be an "ideal context for a person's growth, evolution and flourishing" and that this is the secret to an organization's success.
c) Business excellence and growth of people into more capable versions of themselves THROUGH the work of the business. Think on-the-job growth and training, rather than external trainings and programs (i.e. subsidizing an employee's executive MBA).
d) They promote vulnerability at all levels of the organization.
e) They promote full-on transparency - owning up to your mistakes and learning from them; analyzing self-behaviors and how it impacts the business; taking full ownership of how the business operates - "we are all business partners - literally".

The book offers a 360 degree assessment of the organization using it's three dimensions of a deliberately developmental organization - "Edge" (developmental aspirations), "Home" (organization's commitment to sustaining a safe and trustworthy environment), and "Groove" (organization's commitment to specific DDO practices fully in-grained in business operations). They encourage organizations who want to create a vibrant workplace culture, should use the assessment to see what they can tackle to improve and move towards a DDO.

A fine read, with many interesting concepts to consider when looking to change up your organization for the better. Many aging companies remain stuck in the old ways of doing business and how they treat employees. They could all learn from the startups and the younger generation on how to transform their businesses to compete with today's modern version of how business should operate for success.
Profile Image for C. Patrick G. Erker.
293 reviews16 followers
June 15, 2018
This book offers examples and best practice for, at the core, bringing your "whole self" to work. Although they have termed organizations chronicled here "Deliberately Developmental Organizations" (DDOs), ultimately, it's all about the simple idea that people who can be their full selves at work are most effective at delivering results for their enterprises.
After all, they say at the beginning, middle, and end of the book, most people are doing a "second job" at work, hiding their imperfections and trying to come across as more competent or able then they actually are. Organizations that eliminate those second roles can get much more out of their people, and turn out to be much better places to work, to boot. This comes through vulnerability, transparency, and "constructive destabilization," among other characteristics. It's about getting the process right, vs. obsessing over outputs/outcomes. It's about "struggling well" to constantly get better.
The book is, one must acknowledge before reading it, ultimately a pitch for services that the authors offer to corporate and other clients in building better organizations. That "sale-sy" nature of the work aside, the core idea is indeed supported by the three main examples (Bridgewater, Decurion, and Next Jump), along with their other experiences working with clients as they build their own versions of DDOs. (Understandably, although also frustratingly, examples of companies that try and fail to enact DDOs, or of competing narratives, get short shrift in this book. I wish the authors spent more time on counter-arguments, beyond the "we know what you're probably thinking," "but is this really consistent with human nature," etc.)
While I ended up reading every page of the book (at least up to the glossary...), I'd recommend taking the authors' advice up front and deciding what you want to get out of the book, and reading selectively accordingly. If you're looking to understand what a DDO looks like, then read about the three companies who do it well. If you already know all about DDOs, and are trying to bring some of it to your own work, then read the section with the worksheets and take the time to do a self-evaluation. But the content can get quite dense, and without a real interest in each chapter, you may find yourself (as I did) struggling to stay engaged.
Profile Image for Mika Auramo.
792 reviews29 followers
June 8, 2020
Robert Keganin ja Lisa Laskowin kirjassa pannaan työpaikan asiat kuntoon DDO-menetelmällä (Deliberately Developmental Organization). Olennaista tässä DDO:ssa on, että se voi toimia vain, jos kaikki kolme kohtaa onnistutaan synkronoimaan: Edge, Home ja Groove. Jos yhdessäkin kohdassa kompastellaan, hommasta ei tule mitään. Tavoitteena on yksinkertaisesti sanottuna tuottavuuden ja siinä ohella yksittäisen työntekijän hyvinvoinnin lisääminen. Siihen tarvitaan itsetuntemuksen kehittämistä, reflektoimista, rehellisyyttä ja kunnon strategiaa järjestelmällisesti parantamaan työprosesseja.

Aluksi tarvitaan Edgeä eli kehittymisen toimintakulttuuria, jossa työntekijöiden kehittäminen nostetaan yhtiön ydintarkoitukseksi. Toisekseen menetelmään kuuluu home, eli firmassa on sellainen psykologisen turvallisuuden ilmapiiri, että asemasta riippumatta siellä vallitseva käytäntö on toisten hyväksyntä ja kunnioitus. Kolmas on groove, joka puolestaan tarkoittaa kehittämistrategiaa ja sitä tukevia käytänteitä. Siinä työntekijöitä kannustetaan ammatillisessa kehittymisessä ja tuetaan siinä täysillä.

Kirjasen esimerkeiksi on poimittu kolmen jenkkifirman käytänteitä (Bridgewater, Next Jump ja Decurion). Johdannossa määritellään systeemi lyhykäisyydessään, jotta niin firmalla kuin työntekijöilläkin menee hyvin. Lopussa vielä kertaillaan pääasiat.

Kegan ja Laskow pyrkivät määrittelemään näillä toimintamalleilla yrityskulttuurin, jossa työntekijä ei turhia stressaile ja jossa ei tunnu siltä, kuin sinnittelisi sen varsinaisen työn ohella toista duuniaan. Sillä tarkoitetaan imagohallintaa, joka on lähinnä teeskentelyä normityön ohella. Silloin yritetään vaikuttaa pätevältä ja osaavalta, vaikka todellisesti olisi jo tipahtanut kartalta. Osaamattomuutta salataan viimeiseen asti, ja heikkouksia, virheitä ja epävarmuuksia peitellään, jotta saadaan edes jotenkuten säilytettyä kasvot ja asema organisaatiossa.

Yleensähän varsinkin suomalaisessa työkulttuurissa mokailijat leimataan luusereiksi, joita aikansa mollataan ja sitten jätetään huomiotta ja sitten oman onnensa nojaan. Menestysfirmoissa ja -organisaatiossa kehitytään ja kehitetään yhdessä – jopa puhalletaan yhteiseen hiileen ja saadaan se intohimo duuniin syttymään.
Profile Image for Nic Brisbourne.
182 reviews10 followers
May 17, 2020
An Everyone Culture proposes something incredibly profound: that companies can succeed by focusing equally on the personal development of their people and commercial success. The two can become one.

To do this well it’s imperative employees bring their hardest most personal development issues to the table. That’s where the biggest gains are to be had.

That requires creating a culture where
- there is clear organisational commitment to personal development
- it’s safe for people to make themselves vulnerable (but not safe to not join the program)
- there are regular practices to aid reflection and development

All this is hugely powerful because growth gives us all meaning and happiness. Ergo companies can become the vehicle by which people find meaning. What I love about that is that they have both the resources and rationale to make this happen. By making the personal development of their people central companies will recruit and retain the best people and enjoy the best chance of success.

I gave it four stars rather than five because they present these ideas as more revolutions than they really are. They make out that to be developmentally focused requires a range of ‘discontinuous practices’ and a huge step change in mindset.

That makes great subject matter for books and talks, but for me all this lies on a continuum. There may we’ll be increasing returns to this who invest more, but even the smallest amount of training helps. At least if it’s done well :)
Profile Image for Bethany.
53 reviews
January 5, 2018
Typically I do not read business related books, but was recommended An Everyone Culture by a former colleague. I found the information fascinating and the book itself structured progressively. I enjoyed the two authors' suggestion to read the chapters in an order that you'd get the most use from - truly dedicated to the idea that each individual would work through the content in their own manner.

As an HR professional, I found the content fascinating, but as an employee I found the DDO's inspiring - I tend to believe my current workplace is a subset of a DDO. Even with that, I was interested in what set these business apart from the rest and how unique they were in their own rite.

At times I thought the book was repetitive, but overall it touched on how everyone could benefit from approaching their careers in a DDO mindset. I would recommend it to anyone interested in development within the workplace and individuals focused on their own growth at work.
Profile Image for Przemek.
20 reviews4 followers
March 16, 2020
Some books are fine as audiobooks, some are not. This is one of them, I think my experience would be better if I had a chance to read and reflect more, highlight and do the exercices.
Book is about 'Deliberately Developmental Organizations' which is a grand idea. What if a significant amount of time would be dedicated to growing people and this, in turn, would deliver better results? Book gives some science as a backing but it's 'applied psychology' that is quite dificult to prove. That said, there are quite a few profound ideas in the book. I'm not sure how universal those ideas are and organizations following such setups must attract very specific people. One of the organizations they give as a sample is Ray Dalio's "Bridgewater Associates". I would recommend reading Dalio's Principles first and only if you're excited about the way it's run read this one. It's one thing to read about it and another working like that. I might re-read it someday, this time on paper.
Profile Image for Mihai Pop.
91 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2022
The good, the bad and the ugly

There are three parts to this book, the good part, is that there is relevant information to be found in this book, there is both inspiration and some modicum of tools, and there is a reason for its existence.
The bad part, is that the authors messed around with the order, with logic, and and piled the book in a manner of a trash bin, so it was hurting me to read it. The ugly, is the style, there are scarcely anything that would remain in our minds within ten days of reading a passage of this book, almost to the point of hating it for having something to say, but not being able to utter a syllable on it.

Not sure who wrote the book, as there are multiple authors, not sure who's frame of mind are we expected to share, but for sure it came schizoid to me.

Not sure there are better books on this topic on the market, but given it's interesting subject, this seems to be a tough first approach to the subject.

Good luck
Profile Image for Szymon.
45 reviews4 followers
June 5, 2018
At first, I thought this would be nothing new after reading 'Principles' by Ray Dalio. Now it looks to me like this book might be a place to start if you are not familiar with the concepts of giving and receiving feedback, transparency, open-mindedness and becoming better self in your workplace. If you enjoyed that book you should probably read mentioned Dalio's book to gain more details about the whole process at Bridgewater.

Great read and I sincerely hope the future will bring more companies adopting DDO concept. It might be the next step for every XXI century organization that wants to lead the way, not only in terms of the size, the reputation or the revenue but also in terms of the individual growth and development, which, in the long run, should take the business to the next level. Better Me + Better You = Better Us.
Profile Image for Joshua Bowen.
104 reviews41 followers
August 2, 2019
I LOVE the premise of the book: becoming/creating a “deliberately developmental organization,” which is one that purposefully integrates the developments of its people with it’s business. Definitely something I’m passionate about.

However, I felt the book’s delivery was a bit short. It was kind of hard to follow in its structure. Ultimately, I think the biggest impact the book had on me was due to the fact that I’ve been fortunate enough to spend 4 days at NextJump’s NYC office. It was my experiences there that allowed me to understand the impact of some of the content in the book...an impact that wouldn’t have occurred without that contextual experience.

There are some good bits to the book that are beneficial. Not sure I’ll recommend the book at large. Glad I read it though.
Profile Image for Ryan Greer.
266 reviews41 followers
April 11, 2023
This was a pleasant enough read, recommended to me from work, that helped firm up some of the ideas and notions I have about the workplace but didn't necessarily revolutionize my thinking. Like many other reviewers I felt like the three companies used as examples throughout the book were a bit extreme and hard to relate to, especially as someone who works in the non-profit sector.

This book felt like an attempt to bring the kind of vulnerability and openness-thinking of Brene Brown into common workplace culture, which is a great initiative and I think the authors of this book were able to walk that path very carefully. I was able to glean a few items that I'll hold on to, and moved over the stuff that didn't feel applicable.
Profile Image for Tasha Scott.
3 reviews
January 3, 2019
Great concepts but was a tough book to get through. The writing style was wordy and overwrote. It is disappointing it was such a tough book to get through, because we implemented the ITC concept throughout our 180 person company, and it would have been great to have had more people get through the entire book. The owner of our company flew out to take the class hosted by one of the authors and is doing a great job teaching the ITC concept through the company in an easier to understand way. My ITC map has been a great insight into how to help myself overcome, admit, and grow as a person. The worse it feels while you are doing it, the more you will grow from it in the end.
Profile Image for Everett Shupe.
28 reviews1 follower
July 5, 2020
Another great book by Kegan and Lahey. Organizational leaders help from the focus of an organization. The leaders of the organizations showcased in this book chose to focus on being deliberately developmental. As an adult learning professional, of course this is something I am in favor of supporting. The first few chapters summarize work in Immunity to Change and discusses how deliberately developmental organizations are different. I like how these three organizations go about becoming deliberately development through different strategies and tactics. A must-read for organizations who want to become what the "learning organization" of the 1990's was supposed to be.
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