A Social-Emotional Team Typology for Self-Organizing Organizations

Teams are increasingly in focus as carriers of corporate culture. Collaboration and self-organization have become key- and buzzwords. New notions of what makes an organization ‘humane’ relative to A.I. and other kinds of ‘business software’ are emerging, but, alas, without an understanding of levels of adult development, thus without the possibility to differentiate in pragmatic ways how different team members at different levels of adult development relate to, think about, and use new technologies and thereby contribute to team work.

Under these circumstances, enabling managers and HR departments to think more complexly and realistically about the integration of technology into human work is of high importance. The 2019 revision of chapter 11 of Measuring Hidden Dimensions, volume 1, of 2005, posted below, will contribute to a better understanding of how different levels of meaning- and sense making influence, if not determine, team members’ capability to collaborate and integrate new technologies into their work.

The team typology presented here, while ‘only’ social-emotional, not also cognitive, is a first step toward clarifying issues organizations increasingly grapple with: how role identities and work agreements, meeting practices and corporate culture are shaped by different systems of interpretation grounded in levels of adult development, and how social-emotional maturity is strongly co-determined by cognitive development.

Cognitive adult development has remained a step-child of developmental research. It has been stuck with purely logical-analytical thinking for a long time and does not seem to be able to move out of its corner of irrelevance. For a fuller presentation of cognitive issues, I would like to point the reader to the 2020 publication of the book Practices of Dynamic Collaboration by Springer, authored by Jan De Visch and Otto Laske. See also our 2018 book on dynamic collaboration at www.connecttransform.be, a first step of bringing cognitive-developmental issues into focus for their contribution to creating cohesive corporate cultures centered on self-organization.

CDF Team Typology OL 2019

Author: Otto Laske

I am the founder and director of IDM, the Interdevelopmental Institute. My background is in philosophy, psychology, consulting, and coaching based on developmental theory to which I have mightily contributed myself. See the blogs at www.interdevelopmentals.org.