Robert Kegan, is the William and Miriam Meehan Research Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, his forty years of research and writing on adult development have contributed to the recognition that ongoing psychological development is at once possible and necessary to meet the demands of modern life. Judging from the books, dissertations, syllabi, and blogs that draw on his work, Kegan has had an influence on a wide range of intellectual disciplines and professions, including psychology, education, theology, literary criticism, leadership studies, executive coaching, psychotherapy, management, medicine, law, political science, and public service. At Harvard alone, his work is read in courses at the Schools of Education, Business, Government, and Medicine. His seminal books, The Evolving Self and In Over Our Heads, have been published in several languages throughout the world.
With long-time colleague, Lisa Lahey, he is also the author of Immunity to Change, which has now been published in ten languages, and, most recently, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (both published by Harvard Business Press) . Kegan and Lahey are credited with a breakthrough discovery of a hidden dynamic which impedes personal and organizational transformation. This work (on what they call “the immunity to change”) has now found its way into the core practice of leaders and senior teams in educational, business, and governmental institutions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. They received from Boston University the Gislason Award for exceptional contributions to organizational leadership, joining past recipients Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, and Edgar Schein; and, in 2013, they received the highest award from the Harvard Institute of Coaching for lifetime contribution to the coaching profession. Kegan and Lahey have served as invited faculty at the annual Davos Conference sponsored by the World Economic Forum, and their work has been featured in such diverse periodicals as The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times Sunday Business Section, Oprah Magazine and The Shanghai Daily News, which named Immunity to Change the Number #1 Business Book of the Year in 2011.
One of twenty, among Harvard’s 2300 faculty, honored by the president of the university for his outstanding teaching.
In most organizations nearly everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for—namely, covering their weaknesses, trying to look their best, and managing other people’s impressions of them. There may be no greater waste of a company’s resources. The ultimate cost: neither the organization nor its people are able to realize their fuller potential.
What if a company did everything in its power to create a culture in which everyone—not just select “high potentials”—could overcome their own internal barriers to change, and use errors and vulnerabilities as prime opportunities for personal and company growth?
Harvard Professor Robert Kegan has spent a lifetime studying adult development—what supports it, and what impedes it. He and his team intensively researched companies transforming their cultures into world-class incubators of talent, as documented in his recent award-winning book, An Everyone Culture.
In this provocative and fast-moving talk—mixing stories and concepts, video examples and brief interactive activities—Kegan will bring us into the life of “business as unusual,” a very different way of working that may show us a new path to greater employee engagement and organizational agility.
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