Vertical Developmental is about cognitive growth measured before and after the growth program. Download the brochure here. Stevens Development has created this programme from an original exercise by Dr Otto Laske (2008) in order to walk participants through a route to Vertical Development. It gives an idea of not only what, but how one grows in their thinking within a business/managerial context. True development is about transforming the operating system itself, not just increasing your fund of knowledge or your behavioural repertoire.

The premise behind the programme is that your leadership team or high level managers are exposed to three different types of thinking, three ways of looking at a specific problem from three distinct levels of Complexity. 

We spend six days differentiating content from structure, and between meaning and performance, as it’s not about competence but capability. 

If you normally resolve issues by only taking into account the content, you will go round in circles and not actually resolve the problem: you will only address the symptoms. 

You need to look at structure. So by the end of day one, you will be able to differentiate between horizontal and vertical development, and recognise the importance of the Levels of Adult Development. We look at the aspects of thinking that determine a result at three different levels of complexity, whilst at the same time scaffolding the growth of the participants to see the actual increase in complexity, so they “get it”. We look at language, beliefs. hidden patterns of behaviour, and our world view in order to develop higher order solutions to the problem your management team has brought with them.

What You Get… 

A route to genuine development, to the qualitative expansions of mind that significantly increase human capability at work is not done by rehiring, but by renewing existing talent. 
On this programme, a participant will become more aware of their own state as their mind becomes more aware and more able to reject old habits and thought processes that normally limit their mind to what is familiar and simplistic. It is important to go through our beliefs of what is truth, including the understanding that all knowledge is uncertain and constructed.

You can start examining your own complexity right now by diving beneath the surface of your thinking. We think in these following four thought-forms (Laske, 2015) and by probing into their specific importance, we can  explore how we make sense of our reality in a different way:

Context: What is the bigger picture in which this perspective is embedded or what is the bigger picture it fails to see?
: What are the emerging changes that this perspective takes into account or that it ignores? 
: What is the environment in which the perspective is unfolding and how does it affect the perspective? Is there a disconnect not being considered? 
: What use does this perspective make of the potential of all systems, or what emerging potential has been over-looked? 

Developing Complexity is a Process Over Time 
If you are thinking about engaging with us to deliver this programme for your management team, you should understand that this is not a one or two day affair. With guided scaffolding of Vertical Growth, this will take 6 months of specific development days, one per month minimum. 

Here is an example of the differences between different levels of thinking.
An engineer is given a truck with a broken gearbox:

At level one, the engineer sees that a straightforward repair would fix the “problem” right away.
At level two, the engineer suspects that the gearbox was broken as a result of the way the driver operated it, and considers how future drivers could be instructed to use the gearbox in a more gentle way.
At level three, the engineer considers the problem lies in the design and manufacturing process of the gearbox.
At level four, the engineer might see the problem as the use of trucks for freight transit in general and question whether the work that the truck performs could be done in an entirely different way.
Each engineer is convinced that his way of viewing the problem is the most appropriate.

The answers these questions will raise will not always be clear, hence why you need to have a guided conversation. In order to shift your meaning-making and sense-making processes, give Stevens Development a call today.

If you get what more complex thinking delivers for your organisation and are interested in growing your high level managers or directors in their ability to think more complexly, get in touch today.