A Culture of Candor: Leveraging Developmental Principles to Create a Learning Culture within a Non-profit Startup
Dudley , Amanda
MetadataShow full item record
CitationDudley , Amanda. 2021. A Culture of Candor: Leveraging Developmental Principles to Create a Learning Culture within a Non-profit Startup. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThe Principal Impact Collaborative (PIC) at the University of North Texas at Dallas creates transformative learning experiences for principals in school districts across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In its fifth year, this small nonprofit is challenged with balancing quick growth with the sustainability of its internal team. Both of these challenges were exacerbated by the complexities brought on by the pandemic in professional and personal ways. As a resident, I led an internal initiative to create a culture of learning to support this rapid growth and honor and respect the individuals doing the work. This capstone describes our journey to become more deliberately developmental as a lever to improve team effectiveness and increase organizational learning in order to scale effectively. This is done through three enabling conditions: become more candid, provide more critical feedback, and engage in productive conflict. Throughout this capstone I rely on adult development theory and the research on Deliberately Developmental Organizations from Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, as well as teaming and psychological safety concepts from Amy Edmondson, to intentionally create an environment of vulnerability, open communication, and feedback. Ultimately, this capstone points to the need to humanize our companies, organizations, and schools. In every sector, we could all flourish and thrive if we were unafraid to speak our truth, to provide honest feedback, and to engage in productive conflict. If we knew we could do such things without fear of retribution, we could each add to the collective learning of the places where we work and improve the overall effectiveness of the work itself through our increased collaboration and resulting innovation.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37370280