The other dynamic structure in AQAL is the developmental levels depicted as diagonal arrows in Figure 1. They correspond to the stages of development that individuals and organizations go through as they are exposed to life experiences. Several researchers have conceptualized developmental frameworks including Piaget, Loevinger, Cook-Greuter, Graves, Kegan, Kohlberg, Wilber and Torbert (Lichtenstein, 1997). Moving from one level of development to the next requires large transformational changes as a result of a significant experience and a process of reflection and inquiry.
An effective Agile team’s work aligns to company strategy (often a challenge for Product Owners in many organizations). Product Owners correctly focus on successful delivery by their team, but there is a need for focus on the delivery of longer-term roadmaps. BRMs are able to span Agile software development teams to ensure the delivery of roadmaps and blueprints, keeping that work off the executive team and in the hands of value-focused relationship managers.
Over 23 Volumes and 25 years, the series has offered publication outlets for papers addressing a wide array of topics related to organization development interventions and research. Theory, research, methodology and practice have been described within the pages of the Series. Groundbreaking pieces such as the first article on Appreciative Inquiry and others that challenge the values by which we practice have made the Series exciting and relevant. In many years, conversations about the papers in the volume have been the subject of Academy of Management symposia, in which leading scholars debate ideas and compare research findings. The series has created a community of practice in the profession among both scholars and practitioners who share a passion to understand the mysteries of organizational change.
Aaron Monroe is a vice president in the Enterprise Lean Agile group at T. Rowe Price. He leads the Lean Agile Transformation efforts for the Investments and Retirement Planning Services divisions and is also responsible for development of the enterprise-wide Lean Agile methodology. Aaron is a subject matter expert in Lean, Agile, Organizational Agility, Methodology Development, Project Management and Business Relationship Management. Aaron holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English, an M.S. degree in Project Management, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He also holds Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) certifications.
According to Torbert and Taylor (2008), leadership development starts early in our lives as we navigate through the action-logics from the Opportunist level to the one in which we feel most comfortable. This will be the stage where we experience our “most complex meaning-making systems, perspective, or mental model we have mastered” (Simcox, 2005, p. 4). The seven action logics are divided into conventional and post-conventional. The first four stages (Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert and Achiever) correspond to the conventional action-logics. The majority of leaders (85%) operate from one of these conventional stages (Rooke & Torbert, 2005). Conventional leaders are focused on objective reality and their leadership actions are aimed at execution with minimal reflection, and modification of only behaviors and not action-logics themselves. In contrast, the post-conventional leaders are more likely to reframe problems and constraints and to recognize different action-logics in others (Torbert & Associates, 2004). Their aim is to create shared visions founded in diversity. Collaborative inquire is a hallmark of post-conventional action-logics which is used to develop solutions (Rooke & Torbert, 2005). These later-stage leaders can identify incongruities in their own thinking and experience and modify them to serve the global good.
Research in Organizational Change and Development (ROCD) brings forth the latest scholarly work and practice in the fields of organization development and organizational change. Our objectives are to highlight the latest advances in thought, ideally supported by research and practice. We also endeavor to make the series a resource to scholars who are interested in well-integrated reviews of the literature, advances in research methods, and ideas about practice that open new ways of working with organizations to create more successful and sustainable approaches to change. More specifically, our objectives are to:
There are many leadership frameworks in existence, most aiming to point out what good leaders do and how leaders should perform in certain situations (Harung, Travis, Blank, & Heaton, 2009). William Torbert introduced the concept of action-logic as a way to describe stages of development for leaders. Along with other stage development theorists such as Piaget, Loevinger, Cook-Greuter, Graves, Kegan, Kohlberg, and Wilber, Torbert formulated that leaders progress through successive stages of development “involving greater levels of complexity, responsibility, empathy, understanding of the world, and appreciation of the undefined creative potential of each moment” (Lichtenstein, 1997, p. 400).
The addition of business relationship management and Agile methods like Scrum, XP, etc. alone will not create a successful organization. What these capabilities will add is a greater sense of winning in the foreground—and a greater sense of shared destination in the background.
During the eighties, Torbert and his colleagues conducted a multi-year study with the leaders of ten companies (Rooke & Torbert, 1998). In this research the activities of multiple levels of leadership were observed and also validated through the ego development test initiated by Jane Loevinger and further refined by Cook-Greuter that utilizes the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (SCT). Through their observations and testing, Torbert and his colleagues established a seven stage leader development framework. Each stage is comprised of specific action-logics or mindsets. In the framework, leaders developed from stage one and gradually move to a stage where they will operate for most of their lives (Simcox, 2005). Like other stage development frameworks, Torbert’s leadership stages capture the elements of complexity and meaning-making that leaders experience in the context of their roles. Table 1 summarizes the seven action-logics present in this framework.
The last quadrant in the transformational change holon corresponds to the change systems present in an organization (Cacioppe & Edwards, 2005a). These systems support incremental and large transformational change (lines and levels of development). Leader development is an example of a transformational system that could have far reaching implications in transformation. However, most leadership development programs focus on behavior and skills and not transformational-type learning (Gambrell, Matkin & Burbach, 2011).
Table 1. This table summarizes the seven action-logics in Torbert’s leadership development stages. It is an adaptation of Torbert and Associates (2004), and Rooke and Torbert (2005). The column with the “percent profiling at action-logic” comes from 495 leaders tested with the Leadership Development Profile (LDP) (Barker & Torbert, 2011).
Wilber defined developmental structures in the AQAL framework (Wilber, 2000). Two of these structures are relevant to organizations: developmental lines and levels. Figure 1 shows horizontal and vertical arrows that symbolize the continuous and incremental change that organizations go through. Wilber called these dynamic developmental lines, which in an organization may include “culture, goals, customer and community relations, ethics, corporate morals, marketing, governance and leadership (Cacioppe & Edwards, 2005b). Incremental changes typically occur from the co-evolution of the quadrants (Edwards, 2005).