What is a Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO)?

Learn the benefits of a Deliberately Developmental Organization, and how to get started.

Imagine an organization that keeps learning and improving itself. Now imagine the employees are learning as well. Every day, employees have the opportunity to learn and grow.

This is a Deliberately Developmental Organization.

A DDO has a deliberate focus on the people and organization development. These organizations believe improving the processes that deliver results is much more effective than simply improving results directly.

In addition to regular management such as Agile or Lean, personal growth unlocks a powerful new perspective: How do our unconscious habits, beliefs and actions contribute to business results?

In a DDO people development with organization development are skillfully interweaved: People and organization help each other flourish.

Research has identified unique characteristics that show what culture and practices are required to become deliberately developmental.

5 reasons to become a Deliberately Developmental Organization:

1. It attracts, builds and keeps talent.

Career progression, development and training are highly valued among the millennial workforce – at least, according to a study by PwC.

2. It increases work satisfaction and improves culture.

DDO’s create a safe culture. The organization builds community and supports connection at the human level. Daily work is meaningful for both employees and organization.

3. It drives continuous improvement of business processes.

Rather than blaming others and covering up mistakes, employees are encouraged to admit and learn from mistakes. By celebrating mistakes that result in learning, the focus is shifted from results to the processes that lead to results. This way, personal growth is inextricably intertwined with improving operations of your business.

4. It’s good for business results.

A DDO delivers business results by continuously improving itself. In addition to standard methods such as Agile or Lean, personal growth adds a powerful new dimension to process improvement: It unlocks the full potential of your employees.

5. It’s based on research.

Lisa Lahey and Robert Kegan coined the term Deliberately Developental Organization. As adult developmental psychologists, they have extensive knowledge about personal development. While researching this organizations, they found is that personal growth, when embedded in daily work activities, can help both people and organizations thrive. They identified 12 unique characteristics that define these Deliberately Developmental Organizations.

Is a DDO right for you?

The benefits of a DDO can be used for several business needs, including:

  • Create a powerful and relevant Professional Development curriculum.
  • Resolve tensions that limit team performance.
  • Create a safe, fun and meaningful work place for employees.
  • Learn employees take responsibility and self-organize.
  • Introduce powerful practices to break through limiting dynamics.
  • Improve the business processes that deliver results by unlocking the full skill and insight of your employees.

Getting started: 4 steps towards becoming a DDO

Step 1: Exploratory session

Can becoming a DDO help your organization? Is your organization willing to make the necessary commitments to become a DDO?

Step 2: Assess the current situation

How are current culture and practices compatible with a DDO? How can the current situation be improved? The assessment tests the unique characteristics that research has identified as essential to a DDO.

Step 3: Implement developmental practices

I will facilitate and introduce practices that support becoming a DDO. Additionally, the company might adopt new values to create a culture supportive of development.

Step 4: Evaluate the results

How far have we come? Does a DDO live up to its promises?