DDO: Deliberately Developmental Orgs

DDO: Deliberately Developmental Orgs

Whats A Deliberately Developmental Organization?

A DDO is organized around the deceptively simple but radical conviction that organizations will best prosper when they are deeply aligned with people’s strongest motive, which is to grow. Deep alignment, it turns out, requires something more than making “a big commitment to our people’s growth,” admirable as that may be, even when such a commitment is followed up with significant investments in people’s ongoing learning on the job. It means something more than consigning “people development” to punctuated moments outside the flow of day-to-day work, such as stand-apart trainings, high-potential leadership-development programs, executive coaching, corporate universities, or once-a-year retreats. Deep alignment with people’s motive to grow means fashioning an organizational culture in which support to people’s ongoing development is woven into the daily fabric of working life, visible in the company’s regular operations, day-to-day routines, and conversations.

3️⃣ DDO Companies that truly 🚶 the 🚶

  1. Bridgewater Associates
  2. Decurion Corporation
  3. Next Jump

Did you notice a theme on their homepages?

3️⃣ Developmental Features of a DDO

  1. Principles
  2. Practices
  3. Communities

DDOs, as defined by the Harvard scholars and authors of An Everyone Culture, are companies that have built their culture to support the development of all their people, every day. At its core is the belief that the way to become a better company is by employees working on themselves, and helping others to grow, in turn. This is crystallized in one of the most important mantras at Next Jump:

Better Me (improve yourself) + Better You (help others with what you learned) = Better Us

So, as the book says, “you could be a revenue-generating god and still be penalized in compensation if you’re not working on personal growth. The biggest bonus and salary increases go to those who improve the culture.

"In a DDO, the goals of profitability and fostering development are part of a single whole.DDOs recognize

Key Characteristics of a DDO 🔑

No two deliberately developmental organization is exactly alike. All of them however share some core characteristics:

DDOs require you to be genuine

Leave that mask at home and come as you are, warts and all. Don’t waste time and effort trying to maintain an eminence front of control and competence. You are expected to have gaps in knowledge, skill or otherwise. You will be able to work on those.

DDOs take you out of your comfort zone

You don’t learn fast by being comfortable. When you are good at what you do, then it’s time to move you toward something different.

DDOs want you to work on your weak points

Everyone has some skill sets they could be better at. In a deliberately developmental environment, those are quickly identified and made public, so everyone has responsibility to help you work on those.

DDOs expect mistakes and ask you to fix them

While you are asked to challenge yourself by taking on new duties or roles that often depend on your weakest skill set, no one can expect you to be perfect. Mistakes are expected. Owning those mistakes, getting help to fix them and learning from the experience is also expected. It’s not about being okay to fail, it’s about learning from fixing your mistakes.

DDOs require everyone to play

From the intern to the CEO, all employees are bound by the same rules of transparency and helping each other toward improvements. No one is immune. This is not only a question of fairness, but the fact is, holding a higher rank does not mean that you’re perfect. In fact, those with more responsibilities need all the help they can get to improve.

DDOs are themselves transparent

It’s not just employees who have their records shared. The company itself makes most of its data available to its employees, including financial info, sales, client lists, and the like. In some companies, like Bridgewater, only information that is private or subject to a nondisclosure agreement is not shared; all their meetings are recorded and available to all employees. In this financial company, it creates a strange dynamic where all employees had to be declared as insiders for trading purpose!

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