A methodology for creating a developmentally aware society

Until quite recently, the notion that adults develop over their entire lifetime has been a well kept academic secret. It still is. Attempts at establishing “deliberately developmental organizations” (DDO’s; Kegan & Lahey 2016), based on 40 years of research in adult development, are quite recent.

This article introduces to the Constructive Developmental Framework (CDF), a synthesis of adult-developmental research since 1975 that has been taught as well as practiced at the Interdevelopmental Institute since 2000 ().

CDF is a new tool for understanding how people experience life and work, mostly without full consciousness. This qualitative understanding emerges from semi-structured 1-hour interviews which shed new light on how people construct their workplace internally, both individually and in teams.

CDFs main strength in business lies in providing new tools for boosting, through dialog, two human capabilities: making meaning of experiences (called “social-emotional”) and making sense of the real world conceptually (referred to as “cognitive”), as further explained below.

Viewed more broadly, CDF comprises a political dimension as well. It is a framework for coaching for society, in the sense of developing self-authoring citizens who can think independently, rather than in dependence on internalized or external others. At the present time, where algorithms and robots increasingly dominate work and life, this political dimension is of critical importance for everyone’s quality of life.

The article comprises six sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. The social-emotional component of CDF (ED)
  3. The cognitive component of CDF (CD)
  4. The psychological (egoic) component of CDF (NP)
  5. Bringing all CDF components together
  6. Conclusion

On a developmentally aware society