Whitepaper by Barrett C. Brown, Ph.D. | MetaIntegral Associates
Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash
We’ve never experienced a more demanding, fast-paced and complex leadership environment.
To thrive as an organization in the 21st-century marketplace – and execute on the vision of Conscious Capitalism ® – requires unprecedented leadership capacity and delivery. Most leaders are in over their heads in the face of today’s challenges, unable to adapt and evolve quickly enough. Many are failing as a result.
This white paper ﬁrst discusses the new science of vertical learning and its central role in scaling and embed-ding Conscious Capitalism. Harvard’s Robert Kegan contends that vertical learning catalyzes a quantum increase in mental complexity. This radically improves a leader’s ability to navigate today’s highly com-plex, ambiguous, and rapidly changing context, and cascade those new skills into the entire organization.
Vertical learning has proven to unlock powerful yet latent mental, emotional, and relational capacities that make leaders more eﬀective across a variety of mission-critical domains. These include improved strategic and systemic thinking, change leadership, stakeholder relationship development, and conﬂict management.
Vertical learning is a needed piece of the puzzle to achieve the promise of Conscious Capitalism. It uniquely cultivates the “consciousness” in Conscious Capital-ism. Developed at Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, and otherworld-class institutions, it has become central to leadership and high-performance development. Today it is used within the elite US military and intelligence communities, with Olympic and extreme athletes, and in a growing number of leading organizations.
The second half of the paper describes the practices and perspectives of organizational leaders who have accomplished considerable growth through vertical learning. They are among the top 5% of leaders that have developed crucial mental and emotional capacities required to lead complex change.
Studies show that leaders like these who under-go signiﬁcant vertical learning are far more likely to generate the organizational transformation required for high-impact, large-scale Conscious Capitalism. These individuals represent the future of leadership for Conscious Capitalism. The paper concludes with 14 evidence-based and experimental practices you can do to accelerate your own and others’ deep development, and provides considerable support resources to do so.