Research clarifies the crucial importance of vertical leadership development
Those of you who have met us recently won´t be surprised to hear that we are really excited to see more and more attention being given to this subject! You probably know that we have been working to deepen our understanding of the theory as well as the practice for almost ten years now and we are still learning a lot from this process.
However, it has taken some time for the body of research into this subject to advance from mainly focusing on adult stage development to looking into its implications for organizational success. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the nature and potential of vertical development is still essentially unknown in many organizations.
What is meant by vertical development and why apply it in organizations?
Vertical development in adults means moving through stages of increasing intellectual, psychological and emotional capacity. As we mature into higher levels of development we can more easily relate to and respect different perspectives as well as dealing with challenging situations and problems.
Today virtually every organization has to face a constant need for improved effeciency and flexibility in order to keep up with expectations from various stakeholders. Managing everyday work therefore also means managing complexity and uncertainty and as a consequence many of the capacities gained through vertical development are in high demand.
Vertical development therefore needs to be more than a trend. We agree with research and say it is a necessity for being able to manage organizations successfully. Furthermore, it is obvious that individual personal growth and maturity needs to go hand in hand with organizational development and a genuinely co-creative culture.
This evolutionary process cannot be taken for granted and in order to support it we need to operate partly from a new mindset. All those who want to support adult learning in a new way need to pull together, help each other and learn along the way. This goes for leaders, leadership teams, specialists, staff and consultants.
If you want to know more about what we have learned and experienced in the field of vertical leadership development you are very welcome to contact us or follow our newsletter on Mynewsdesk.
In our next newsletter (September) we will discuss in more depth some of our reflections on the subject of “How to Increase Organizational Brainpower”.
Stockholm, August 21, 2015
Annika and Ulf