Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDOs) – Helping Employees Become Better Versions of Themselves


NCHRA Blog - by Mike Normat - HR West

Contributed by Mike Normant

I wanted to share a few thoughts on a book I’ve recently read called “An Everyone Culture – Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey.

This book is exciting for organizations that want to create a culture where people can become better versions of themselves while doing great work and driving highly successful business results.

Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDOs) place a strong emphasis on raising self-awareness across all employees.

DDOs also:

  • Leverage employee strengths, AND help people overcome their limitations and blind spots in service of becoming a better person while improving their mastery of increasingly challenging work.
  • Provide an environment where employees are not only developing skills, but also their mind-sets and abilities to see more deeply and accurately into themselves and their worlds.
  • Encourage feedback that penetrates beneath behavior to the underlying assumptions and mind-sets.
  • Incorporate practices that allow people to work on their “interior” lives that would typically be off-limits (at most companies).

For many companies, becoming a DDO may be a significant ways off.  Nonetheless, even making a few shifts can be a game-changer. I LOVE the idea of starting to move in that direction.

If an awareness-centered organization is appealing to you, I’d encourage you to pick up the book. It showcases three highly successful DDOs (Decurion, Bridgewater, and Next Jump) along with their philosophies and core practices. It also offers some great ideas for getting started. (Here’s a link to a Forbes interview with the authors about this book.)

Or heck, take a look at my Coach Your Self Up (CYSU) program. It’s totally aligned with the DDO concept and offers a low-risk approach to “sticking a toe” in the DDO waters.

(Originally posted on on March 15, 2017)

Mike Normant is a leadership trainer and executive coach, with a 25-year corporate career including running the global Learning & Development functions at both eBay and ServiceSource. His current passion is to help people unlock their greatest potential by removing their self-limiting barriers. His flagship training program, Coach Your Self Up, is bringing the revolutionary concept of Self-Coaching into organizations, allowing them to experience higher levels of employee effectiveness, engagement, and retention. He also works as a leadership coach with individual business leaders. Website:

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