Otto Laske’s contributions to social-science, process consultation, and the teaching of & mentoring in developmental thinking and listening extend from 1999 to the present day. Many of his articles, keynotes, and teaching materials in English and German, as well as translations into Spanish and Italian, have recently been posted on this website under individual BLOGS as downloadable pdfs. They are organized in the form of thematic collections. These writings are 10 or more years ahead of our time. Licensing of his work is available; so far, it has been adopted in Malaysia.
The prominent topics in Laske’s writings are:
1. Complex, dialectical, thinking as the peak of adult cognitive development, and its relevance in society today.
2. Pedagogy of dialectical thinking (methodology of learning complex dialog), exercised, taught and certified at the Interdevelopmental Institute, IDM, since 2000.
3. 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.
4. 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).
5. Theory and practice of linking the social-emotional (Kegan), cognitive (Basseches; Bhaskar), and psychological (H. Murray) dimensions of an adult’s profile highlighted by CDF, the Constructive-Developmental Framework.
6. 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 German Idealism (especially of Hegel’s and Goethe’s epistemology). It derives from his studies with M. Horkheimer, Th. W. Adorno, and B. Liebrucks in the Frankfurt School (1956-66). How these topics are treated has strongly been shaped by integrating the tenets of R. Bhaskar’s Ontological Critical Realism into how dialectical thinking is taught. This holds especially for Bhaskar’s work on MELD versus ARA (1993), that is, on the inevitable fallacies of logical thinking. In the practice of CDF at IDM, Bhaskar’s work on dialectic — monological though it is — grounds mentoring in complex thinking in real-time dialog. [It is this grounding that is missing in ‘integral’ thinking no less than in in today’s reductive interpretation of ‘vertical development’ as purely social-emotional in nature.]
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 (ED, CD, NP), 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 books are available via Amazon (old editions) and by purchase from this website (new editions). Below, you’ll find some pointers to how to obtain them. Translations of his work exist in German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.
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, these writings comprise 3 books: 1 on social-emotional, and 2 on cognitive development and dialectic.
- The early editions of these writings are in book form and found at Amazon; the newer editions, in pdf form, can be purchased on this website, at . For pdf purchases from this website allow 24 hours for delivery by email.
- 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; 3rd 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.
Most Recent Application of CDF (2018)
IDM consultation turned to work with teams in 2015. This work combines the social-emotional and cognitive dimensions of vertical development, with a focus on their intrinsic interrelationship (which is missed by focusing on one of them). IDM team coaching facilitates the balance of what Kegan-Lahey refer to as ‘Job 1’ and ‘Job 2’. This balance is most needed in non-hierarchical organizational environments which bereave contributors of internalized schemes of role- and self-identity.
The application of CDF to strengthening self-organization and collaborative intelligence in teams is described in Jan De Visch & Otto Laske’s new book entitled Dynamic collaboration: Strengthening self-organization and collaborative intelligence in teams (June 2018). This book synthesizes the social-emotional, cognitive, and psychological dimensions of CDF, bringing them to bear on a single topic, that of teams moving toward self-organization.
The book extends its purview to the societal space of collective intelligence based on its findings about, and its application of developmental and dialogical interventions to, teams. It urges the development of dialogically savvy apps by using tools of semantic intelligence. An introduction to the book, to appear in June of 2018, is found at Materials useful for understanding the developmental approach followed in the book are found at
The foremost practitioner of CDF in organizational work with senior managers today is Jan De Visch, Mechelen, Belgium. For his pertinent publications see .