What might life look like if only a critical mass of the organizations in my ministry context had employees who were all maximizing their potential? It would mean several things including, but not limited to, a significantly transformed community with many individuals who pursue the presence of God, demonstrate a wide variety of character qualities, and add value to society through a range of distinctive products and services. Unfortunately, most organizations in my context and around the world are not filled with staff that are living at maximum potential. In An Everyone Culture, authors Kegan and Lahey critically examine the problem of wasted potential at the personal and corporate levels, and argue that an everyone culture, that recognizes and deliberately develops the potential of all employees willing to pursue personal character development, is the pathway to corporate excellence and profitability. The authors are both seasoned educators and with years of teaching experience at Harvard.
An Everyone Culture may be classified as a business book that focuses on organizational culture and behavior. It addresses the importance of unleashing human and organizational potential through learning from personal mistakes and thereby being deliberately developmental. The book may be divided into two parts. Part one, covering chapters 1-4, introduces the concept of what the authors call a Deliberately-Developmental-Organization (DDO) and define development as the “… growth of our mindsets, or meaning-making logics; qualitative advances in our abilities to see more deeply and accurately into ourselves and our worlds.” Part Two (chapters 5-7), concludes this interesting book by discussing the value and practicalities of running a DDO. A key word in An Everyone Culture is development. Yet this refers to deliberate – not accidental – development, thus aligning with previous research which argues that achieving greatness is possible only through “conscious choice and discipline [emphasis added].”
Although the book makes an excellent contribution to organizational development literature, it is limited in the sense that it assumes all readers would come from egalitarian societies with a propensity to embrace the reality that all men are created equal. Indeed, even egalitarian societies have delicate situations such as family-owned businesses where middle management sometimes feel obliged to overlook the failings of junior staff that are family members of senior staff. Thus, my suggestion is that in hierarchical cultures or organizations, it might be helpful to first work towards changing the corporate culture to one that is more egalitarian, then seek to apply the principles of a DDO.
Within my ministry context, organizations – corporate and nonprofits alike – may be deliberately developmental by firstly recruiting the right people, and then assigning them to the right seats on the bus, as Jim Collins suggests in Good to Great. This implies putting in a lot more effort into the hiring process than is probably being done in many organizations now. Jesus demonstrates deliberate recruitment – one done with conscious choice – by praying all night before selecting His twelve disciples. Once recruitment is done correctly, perhaps nothing else would help the deliberate development journey more than senior organizational leaders modelling serious introspection and humbly admitting their weaknesses and working towards positive change. If a critical mass of organizational leaders adopt this stance and ultimately influence their employees to do same, An Everyone Culture could become a significant catalyst for changing the world.
 Kegan, Robert and Lisa Laskow Lahey. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization. (Harvard Business School Publishing: Boston, 2016) P53.
 Ibid, p91
 Collins, Jim: Good to Great and the Social Sectors. (Random House: London, 2006) P31.
 Collins, Jim. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t. (Harper Collins: New York, 2001). P41.
 Luke 6:12