It is inherently human to seek growth. As people go on with their lives, they intentionally and unintentionally seek out opportunities for personal development, may it be through education, experiences, or simple interactions with those around them. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs even identifies self-actualization as the highest level in its order, describing it as a person’s desire to achieve one’s full potential or to become the best that one can be.
Because of this, the ongoing process of growth and development has always been focused on individuals rather than groups or communities as a whole. In recent years, however, there has been a shift towards development for all, a concept that a Deliberately Developmental Organization seeks to set as the new standard in organizational cultures.
A term coined by management consultancy The Developmental Edge, a Deliberately Developmental Organization, or “DDO” for short, pushes the idea of companies, or even communities, being committed to creating spaces for all individuals to continuously grow. These types of organizations believe that by aligning their plans with an individual’s intrinsic desire for growth, there is a higher likelihood that the collective grows and prospers as well. They believe that growth opportunities must be given not only through coaching sessions or learning conferences spread throughout the business year, but also in everyday interactions between peers and in-office routines. By the name itself, a DDO aims to ingrain, develop, and sustain a culture that deliberately seeks out constant development and is open to learning from one’s mistakes.
While the idea of development for all sounds great on paper and comes with good intentions, it is a difficult concept to turn into reality. Systemic changes and a headstrong leadership will be required for any group or community to enact what a DDO aspires to do, but as author and philanthropist Sarah Ban Breathnach once said, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers, but above all, the world needs dreamers that do.”
At AIM, we are constantly searching for leaders who are both dreamers and doers: Leaders who not only dream of a better world for their communities, but also leaders who are willing to take action and deliberately choose to take steps towards the betterment of their organizations, businesses, and society as a whole. Through our Master in Development Management (MDM) program, we aspire to develop these leader-dreamers that do, by equipping them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitude to not only have a critical understanding of developmental theories but also put their learnings into concrete actions with creative, scalable solutions to the complex problems our world currently faces. With over three decades of graduates, our MDM program seeks to continuously hone leaders who can scale social impact and develop change-makers that lead, inspire, and transform their communities for the better.
If you resonate with this article, then the Master in Development Management program is for you. To learn more about MDM, click this link.
- Kegan, R., Lahey, L., Fleming, A., Millar, M. & Markus, I. (2014.) The Deliberately Developmental Organization [White paper]. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from Way to Grow Inc.: http://www.waytogrowinc.com