In most organizations, nearly everyone is doing a second job that 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.
As Meghan Messenger, Next Jump’s co-CEO, put it:
“Most people believe work IS the source of all evil. It ravages your health, happiness, and your relationships. It’s where you spend the majority of your waking hours. What work SHOULD BE: the source of your happiness; improving your health; your adult learning center; helping you build stronger relationships both at work & at home; a source of fulfillment.”
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) from Harvard Business School have found and studied such companies, and coined a new term: Deliberately Developmental Organizations. Their new book, “An Everyone Culture,” features these DDO’s – which are organized around the simple but radical conviction that companies 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.
“Consider for one minute that the research shows the single biggest cause of BURNOUT at work is not ‘work overload,’ but being too long in a work-setting without experiencing your own further unfolding.”
“An Everyone Culture” dives deep into the worlds of three leading companies that embody this breakthrough approach. The book 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.
Managing talent, change and cultural transformation as well as becoming a learning organizations are a few of the most critical HR challenges according to BCG. “An Everyone Culture” serves as a practical guideline for everyone to help improve employee retention, workplace satisfaction, innovation and – most importantly – to seize the potential of every organization and its employees.
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