If you want to read only one book more this year about business or how to run an organization it is my strongest recommendation to pick "An everyone culture" by Harvard Psychologists Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey and their Co-Authors.
Their purpose is to challenge our assumptions about the nature of human beings at work and with that lead us to better work lives. Reading the book will change your mind and you will discover a new way of looking on what is 'normal' in an organization.
Kegan and Lahey provide the most disruptive idea about how to run an organization. They describe organizations running on the principal that people development equals business success. You would expect this being true for a company in the people development business or in the people care sector maybe. Or you think this could be true for an organizational function like Human Resources or Recruiting. When you read the book you will find out that the principle is true for industry leaders generating profit and growth rates other companies are dreaming of. It is not the psychologist telling you about the relation between people and profit - it is the CEO and the average employee. With concrete examples you get to know the inside of Bridgewater, a multi-billion dollar hedge fond, the only fond foreseeing the financial crises. You read about Next Jump, a fast growing e-commerce business, where every employee learns as much about himself as he learns about the business. And you will get insights from Decurion, a company in real estate and movie theaters, that is designed to make people flourish and bring out the best of themselves in every job role, starting from the people working on the ground floor up tp the top executives.
Each of the three companies build a very specific way to not separate people and business needs. While they are 'people development communities' they are leading businesses in their industries with outstanding financial results. Kegan and Lahey call these DDOs, Deliberate Developmental Organizations. People development is not an add-on to do the real business – it is deeply in the genes of the organization that the main thing is developing people, everyone, everyday.
What are your thoughts? If you think "This is not possible“ you have discovered an assumption about the world. What would be if our thinking about ‚what is possible in an organization‘ is just an assumption limiting our ways of being in the world? What if our assumptions about People Development are limiting the success of our organizations today?
Lets have a conversation. I would love to hear your thoughts!