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4D Leadership

4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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Vertical Development

What is vertical development?

What most organisations think of as development is actually learning. It is the acquisition of skills, knowledge and experience. While, this ’horizontal’ learning is still very important, it is not the same as ‘vertical’ development. Vertical development changes the game. It creates new capability and capacity.

Think of a six year old child trying to do algebra. The frontal lobes in their brain are simply not yet fast enough to be able to abstract think in the way that is required to do algebra. Contrast that with a 12 year old who has faster frontal lobes and can now solve algebraic problems. In the move from six to 12 years, the child has jumped up a level of development – they have developed vertically. Vertical development does not have to stop when we reach adulthood. It is possible to step change what a leaders perceives and understands through developmental coaching, and this is absolutely crucial in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world in which we live.

Rather than just ‘adding software’ into a leader’s existing ‘operating system’, vertical development is an inside-out transformation that ‘upgrades their operating system’ itself. As we upgrade, we develop vertically and expand our capacity for understanding ourselves and the challenges we face – we are able to see a much more complete picture of the world.

Research at Harvard and other academic centres has identified vertical development as the number one leadership trend for the next ten years.

Find out how we apply vertical development