Top Five Vertical Development Leadership Programmes

November 6, 2015

Imagine a world where scaling enterprise and global citizenry went hand in hand. A world in which our entrepreneurs, financiers, policy makers and educators held a shared intent to develop exterior, commercial capabilities along side interior ones, like: self-awareness, empathy, reflective judgement, emotional intelligence, communication, ethics, perspective-taking, collaborative capacity, contextual thinking, coherence and an ability to share power. What would the world look like today if those graduates from elite MBA institutions underwent vertical, human development training whilst building horizontal capabilities in their chosen expertise and management roles?



Today’s business leaders are required to navigate complex, uncertain and rapidly changing landscapes. Skillset and capability are not enough. They also need to leverage up in terms of mindset and perspective-taking in order to lead their organisations through volatile and ambiguous environments. Those leaders able to relax into uncertainty, thrive amidst webs of complex, inter-dependent ecosystems of people and cultures and remain grounded in spite of large-scale change, tension and disruption will be the ones who ‘be’ impact in the fast-paced, Knowledge Era.


With so many leadership programs globally, who are the key ‘players’ in this emergent, vertical leadership space? I’ve selected my top 5 orgs devoted to vertical leadership development. They include:


1. MetaIntegral -

MetaIntegral’s Embodied Practitioner Certificate is a project-based, skillset and mindset incubator for change agents of conscious enterprise. Facilitated by world-class experts in conscious leadership, cross-sector coordination for large-scale change and complex organisational development issues. This program shows up as number 1 on my list because it offers a unique combination of theory and embodied practice using what has traditionally been considered a ‘start-up’ incubator framework. Unlike other programs on this list, EPC cherry picks the very best of leading edge human and whole systems development without favouring any one model over another. It also values both mindset and skillset. For this reason, EPC is leading the way in the vertical leadership development domain.


2. Center For Vertical Development -

This program leverages off the critical research developed by leading constructive-developmental theorist, Susan Cook-Greuter and her Leadership Maturity Framework. It is designed to deliver human development-based training for change agents seeking an understanding of their own stage of development, a model for applying constructive-developmental theory and an assessment tool that enables them to identify and design the most compelling and appropriate solutions based on the developmental stage of the client. Relevant in both the leadership and psychology/psychotherapeutic domains.


3. Action Inquiry Associates -

Bill Torbert and his associates at Action Inquiry Associates are devoted to creating coaching, consulting and workshop activities that embody and further encourage the practice of collaborative, self-and-other-transforming leadership. Through his groundbreaking research applying constructive developmental theory specifically to leadership, Torbert has revolutionized the landscape of how we understand perspective taking; it’s impact on organisations and the leaders that transform them. Action Logics, or archetypical meaning making that reflects stages in human development, have been modeled and measured through his research with thousands of CEOs in large scale, global organinsations. His Action Logic model and assessment tool, The Global Leadership Profile, is taught by his associates via workshops and academic institutions around the world.


4. Pacific Integral -

Combining Integral Theory with constructive developmental Theory, Pacific Integral offers a training program for leaders and change agents feeling a call to greater service. The program is built on Terri O’Fallon’s StAGES model, a groundbreaking new theory and assessment methodology grown out of years of experience and research combining Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory meta-model with human development. The focus is on deep, personal transformation for leaders and consultants working in the leadership domain.


5. Integral Coaching Canada -

Integral Coaching Canada is the only accredited Integral Coaching program in the world that surpasses Masters Level International Coach Federation requirements. It is considered the most advanced, immediately applicable coaching skills training program based on living the theory of Ken Wilber’s Integral Meta-framework. It promises to offer a program specifically designed for coaches that delivers on the long held promise of the coaching field: to enable deep and lasting change in your clients.


Bonus: Lectica -

As a bonus recommendation, I’m including Lectica on my list. Lectica is is leading the way in the assessment revolution.


The founders have spent the last 18 years developing a set of learning tools that will transform educational testing and leadership assessment. Their approach combines the learning sciences, the art of teaching and richly diagnostic measurement. The result is a new kind of assessment infrastructure, one that supports the development of learners and educators while fostering effective teaching and mentoring practices. Their set of diagnostic tools in the leadership domain assesses interior competencies rather than exterior capabilities or personality typing; their tools are designed to measure decision-making, self-understanding, reflective judgment, ethical reasoning in the workplace and reflections on mindfulness. MetaIntegral and many others are using these tools to accurately determine the best approach to creating impact with their clients.


These organisations have devoted themselves to high impact vertical development in the leadership space by transforming the way the world thinks about leadership from best practice to next practice.


Until next time, I invite you to challenge your own leadership edge, step into the unknown and make it a personal practice to... lead before your leap.


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