vertical development

Vertical Development

Stakeholder Mapping is a process tool to assist you to better understand the lay of the land, the various players in it and to strategise one or several paths through the power and political landscape of your organisation.
What is Adult Development?
Psychology has studied extensively the stages through which children and teenagers develop on their journey towards adulthood. These developmental stages have been mapped into what are called developmental maps. These maps provide a deeper understanding of how an individual makes sense of and ascribes value to their experience. This meaning making progresses through more complex, subtle and integrated understanding of ourselves in the world and our world view expands to include larger perspectives as we develop through these stages (think of the ego-centric child in comparison to a mature adult's worldview).
Over the last 100 years, these maps have been extended to include the progressive stages adults continue to develop through. This is called adult development theory and it is very useful when we want to think about the development of people in roles, and in the development of leadership. Organisations and communities typically need leaders to be forward thinking, strategic in action and able to navigate ambiguity and complexity while acting with humanity and humility. Adult development theory can help us better map where an individual is on their developmental path and plan developmental goals that are stage appropriate to the individuals current stage.
What is Vertical Development?
As opposed to developing more skills and knowledge in a particular area, e.g., learning a new foreign language or a new computer software package (which is known as 'horizontal development'), vertical development is about the development of various aspects of your personhood along particular lines of development such as cognitive, emotional, moral, relational, spiritual, ego, etc. One example of this map is the Leadership Maturity Framework. Based on the work of Dr Jane Lovinger and extended by Dr Cook-Greuter et al, this framework tracks the ego development of a leader as they mature through development stages. This framework can be applied to all adults.

Stages of Leadership Development


Adult development theorists have clearly mapped out stages of leadership development.
The model shown here is based on the work of W.Torbert/J.Loevinger/S.Cook-Grueter​

Developing Competency
This is about increasing your skills, knowledge and competencies in frameworks, models, and bodies of knowledge.

In other words, fill your glass.
Your learning process can be assisted by shifting your mindset to become more growth oriented. 
This is also known as Horizontal Development
increasingly capability
This is about growing your ability to think, feel, make sense of and act in more complex ways, to better see systemic complexity and systemic patterns at play.
In other words, grow your glass.
This is crucial when the complexity of your role demands a more complex understanding.
This is also known as Vertical Development
Action Logic Mountain
Leadership Maturity Framework (LMF)

There are several different bodies of research focusing on slightly different aspects of adult development; however, they all markedly correspond in terms of their findings and descriptions of discrete, sequential phases of adult development that appear in all cultures and through historical records.

The LMF is one of those bodies of research and is particularly useful in understanding the different kinds of thinking- complexity of individuals in organisational settings.

The LMF focuses on the development of adults' Action logic; that is, the predominantly reoccurring ‘centre of gravity’, or the worldview of reality from which a person routinely operates to make meaning of who they are and what is happening around them. It is the combination of​: 
Conceptions, interpretations, models, and abstractions – putting order on experiences, how things are explained and make sense of events, how people reason and argue positions, what questions are asked?
Affective/ emotional dimension of awareness and expression – how people feel about their lives, how do they express affect, how are events experienced and digested, what do people have access to in their internal lives and what remains hidden from their consciousness?
Operative (behavioural) coping, needs and ends, purpose – behaviours, what needs do they act on, what do they move toward, how do they go about getting it?