Otto Laske’s contributions to social-science, process consultation, and the teaching of & mentoring in developmental and dialectical thinking and listening extend from 1999 to the present day. While his two books on ‘Measuring Hidden Dimensions’ are presently out of print, they are available in their newest edition under Publications () as pdf.
In addition, almost all of his articles, keynotes, and teaching materials in English and German, as well as translations into Spanish and Italian, are found on this website under Blogs as downloadable pdfs (). Look for the Laske Social Science Archive No. I to VI of 2020, starting with .
Materials in the six archives are organized in the form of thematic collections. Licensing of Laske’s teaching materials is available; so far, it has been adopted in Malaysia.
The prominent topics in Laske’s writings are:
- Embedding of CDF, a social-science instrument, in Bhaskar’s basic and dialectical critical realism.
- Adult development as comprising a social-emotional, cognitive and psychological dimension as irreducible to each other and intrinsically linked.
- Complex, dialectical, thinking as the peak of adult cognitive development, and its relevance in society today.
- Pedagogy of dialectical thinking (methodology of learning complex dialog), exercised, taught and certified at the Interdevelopmental Institute, IDM, since 2000.
- Theory and practice of evidence-based developmental coaching; its missed chances caused by neglecting adult cognitive development in individuals and teams by all those who boarded the social-emotional triumphalism train in the 1990s.
- Team Coaching framed by Laske’s social-emotional team typology (2005) and based on dialectical thought form tools, for unlocking team members’ internal dialog (the basis of external team dialog as well as of team self-organization).
- Theory and practice of linking the social-emotional (Kegan), cognitive (Basseches; Bhaskar), and psychological (H. Murray) dimensions of an adult’s profile through case study (interviewing and scoring) following Constructive-Developmental Framework.
- German writings (original and translated, including by IDM guests).
Philosophical Orientation of Laske’s Writings
The treatment of these topics in Laske’s writings bears the imprint of both Frankfurt School Critical Theory and R. Bhaskar’s Critical Realism and exemplifies dialectical thinking based on DTF, the Dialectical Thought Form Framework. It is based on the insight that much of social science, including developmental science, is guilty of committing the ‘epistemic fallacy’ by which real world issues are reduced to thought and issues of thinking. This judgement is based on Bhaskar’s basic as well as dialectical realism and specifically applies to purely logical thinking separating subject from object, and neglecting holistic causality of social and developmental issues.
A major point in Laske’s writings is that Mind is complexly stratified and that its social-emotional, cognitive, psychological, and spiritual dimensions cannot be reduced one to the other, nor can they be seen other than intrinsically — not simply externally — related.
On a philosophical level, Laske deals with la condition humaine in the 21st century which in CDF is addressed by way of synthesizing three dimensions of adult development and focusing on effects of their intrinsic relationship. Where these dimensions are not distinguished, their intrinsic relationship naturally cannot be made the topic of research, which leads to the stark impoverishment of the developmental sciences we witness today.
Availability of Laske’s Writings
Laske’s writings about the Constructive-Developmental Framework (CDF) derive from his 1999 dissertation entitled Transformative effects of coaching on executives’ professional agenda with Robert Kegan (Proquest order # 9930438). Articles and slide sets aside, his writings comprise 3 books: 1 on social-emotional development, and 2 on cognitive development and dialectic. 2 further books are co-written with Jan De Visch, entitled “Dynamic Collaboration” (2018) [Connect & Transform Press] and “Practices of Dynamic Collaboration” (2020) [Springer].
Books published under the imprint of IDM Press (Medford and Gloucester, MA) are presently out of print but can be purchased from this website as pdfs in their newest editions (, Section C). In addition, teaching materials supporting an understanding of these books, are found in Sections B1 (English), and B2 (German and Spanish).
Below, you’ll find some pointers to how to obtain them. Translations of his work exist in German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese. There are two volumes, one social-emotional, the other cognitive.
- The social-emotional volume exists in 5 languages:
- English (2005; 2nd edition 2011), Measuring Hidden Dimensions: The Art and Science of Fully Engaging Adults, Amazon; 4th edition (2017) in pdf form)
- German (1st edition 2010, Humanpotenziale erkennen, wecken, und messen: Amazon; pdf at )
- French (1st edition 2012; A la decouverte du potentiel humain, Amazon; 2nd edition: pdf at )
- Spanish (1st edition 2015; Reconocer, despertar y medir el potencial humano; 2nd edition: pdf at ).
- Japanese, 心の隠された領域の測定成人以降の心の発達理論と測定手法 (2nd edition 2015, pdf, ).
- The cognitive volume, Measuring Hidden Dimensions of Human Systems: Foundations of Requisite Organization, is available only in English, in two editions:
- 1st edition 2008 (Amazon).
- 2nd edition 2017 (Alan Snow, ed.), comprising 2 parts: Measuring Hidden Dimensions of Human Systems and the Dialectical Thought Form Manual (DTFM) which can be purchased separately or together at
- Dialectical thinking for integral leaders: A Primer (2015; Integral Publishers) is available at Amazon. The book shows why teams composed of members with significantly different levels of cognitive development cannot self-organize, and what to do about it.