By Jan Elliott
At the CMM Learning exchange, participants decided to try an experiment that would explore growing ourselves individually while growing the CMM Institute into a Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO). A DDO is an organization with a culture explicitly designed to advance the mutual flourishing of the organization and its people. We are committed to using CMM tools and models as one way of enhancing our own growth and development, so this is an experiment in how to use CMM in a DDO. Why are we excited about joining this experiment? “One of the most striking lessons from inside the work setting of the DDO is the central role that community plays in individual development. These organizations understand that only through membership in …communities in which individuals are deeply valued as individual human beings, constantly held accountable, and engaged in real and sustained dialogue can growth happen for individuals.” Sounds a lot like making better social worlds!!!
Everyone at the Learning Exchange was invited to join and several people signed up to be part of this experiment and an emerging partnership with Andy Fleming and his organization Way to Grow http://www.waytogrowinc.com/#!ddos/c128i . Andy partners with Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey of Harvard whose work in developing consciousness is the foundational underpinning of DDOs. (If you want to learn more about their approach see their White paper on DDOs http://www.waytogrowinc.com/#!resources/cfvf )
What are we doing together? This is an experiment in both how to use CMM in a DDO while learning how to nurture a DDO. The commitment we have made is to work together in small support teams with a set of practices and check-ins around our growth and development...i.e. what we are learning about ourselves and others, what we are struggling with, what improvements we are noticing, etc. The commitment to a daily practice is crucial...and this practice involves noticing the mundane actions in our daily lives. The teams have regular check-ins and conversations about each person’s “learning edges”, thus providing a “home” and support for deep exploration for each member of the team. In a DDO, “the major design features of organizational life—the… principles, practices, and form of community—are in deep alignment to promote individual development throughout the organization… [DDOs] live out their developmental principles through an immersive and seamless set of practices.”
This partnership initially is a four to six month experiment, kicked off April 19 in a one day face to face/virtual session in which interested CMM community members committed to each other’s growth through becoming a DDO. On our kick-off day the group decided on an “organizational” goal of Getting better at creating “Home” for all members of the CMM community. As the CMM Institute is kind of an “Un-organization”, coming to this goal was a really important step in this process. How it is manifested will depend on our work together. We are working on personal growth goals as well as this organizational goal of creating “home” for all members. The fun and learning is in using the tools of DDO and the practices of CMM to grow ourselves and the CMM Institute as we become a culture that supports this kind of development on an ongoing basis for all members of the CMM Community. We hope to learn how CMM can strengthen and complement the “how” of becoming a DDO and how the practices of becoming a DDO can strengthen and complement creating a developing CMM community.
Who we are: The teams consist of a wonderful mix of folk ranging from those who are relatively new to CMM right through to some who are longstanding CMM practitioners and scholars. All were welcome if interested and willing to make the commitment to learning and working together for several months. Five groups have formed, four with 4 people and one with 5, for a total of 21 participants. We’ve intentionally kept them small so we can do the kind of work together that we need to. Two participants live in Europe and one lives in the US/China.
We haven't yet decided on the "official" end of our work together. The plan is for Andy to facilitate our ending...and we can decide as a group when and where to end and any next steps that we may want to pursue. Stay tuned as we learn together.
More articles from the 2015 Newsletter