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NESA Fall Leadership Conference 2019

Robert Kegan

William and Miriam Meehan Research Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development

Harvard University Graduate School of Education

ROBERT KEGAN, PhD, 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 influenced the practice of leadership development, executive coaching, and change management throughout the world.

At Harvard he is regularly asked to teach in executive development programs in the Schools of Business, Government, Education and Medicine. His seminal books include The Evolving Self, In Over Our Heads, The Way We Talk, and Immunity to Change, which is now available to 2.2 billion readers in their native language.


One of twenty — among Harvard’s 2300 faculty — honored by the president of the university for his outstanding teaching, Dr Kegan has been on the faculty of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Conference, and had his work featured in such diverse periodicals as The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times Sunday Business Section and Oprah Magazine. His most recent co-authored book, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, has already won several awards and is a business-best seller in Japan. A Chinese edition will be published early next year.

For the past several years, Dr Kegan has served as a trusted advisor to CEOs and their teams in the private and public sectors in the US, South America, Europe, and Australasia. His clients are among the most recognized and respected leaders in the world.

In May of this year, he was inducted into a small group that includes Nobel Prizes winners, Pope Francis, and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. The Disruptor Foundation recognizes “change agents whose trailblazing efforts have disrupted the status quo.” Dr Kegan received the 2019 Disruptor Award for Lifetime Achievement to honor his “life-long contributions and innovations in the field of developmental psychology, which have led to groundbreaking insights into the emergence of orders of human consciousness and the ongoing internal Copernican shifts that lead to self-transformation.”

Keynote, Friday, Oct. 25

The Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO): Messengers from the future?

If an organization so valued developing the capabilities of all its constituents that it would seek to create a work culture integrating the best of what neuroscience and Adult Development theory teaches us, what would such an organization look (and feel) like?

Robert Kegan and his colleagues have been studying (and helping) such organizations for the past several years, as first documented in his award-winning co-authored book, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization.

Mixing story and concept, brief exercises and video examples, this talk will bring us into the life of what Kegan and his colleagues are learning, and give us the chance to think about its implications for our own schools.

3-Hour Workshop

Understanding (and Overcoming) Your Personal Immunity to Change

Connect & Engage

You will be invited into a novel, fast-moving, highly interactive learning space built to promote personal reflection and rapid insight. Via a recurring think-write-pair-share format, you will gradually develop a ‘mental X-ray’ of your own mindset as it relates to some high-value personal improvement goal you select. Throughout, it will be up to you how much of your learning you want to share.


You will come to better understand the following:

• the operation of your own mindset as it relates to some high-value personal improvement goal,
• how that mindset unintendedly preserves the status quo and prevents the desired change,
• a new pathway for improvement focused less on “will power” and “behavioral efforting,” and more on identifying one’s limiting assumptions and overturning them, and
• what you personally would be working on in a DDO, and what it would feel like to do so.

Reflect & Apply

In his keynote, Robert Kegan will talk about the way most people in most organizations are doing a “second job” no one is paying them for, which detracts energy and attention from their real job, and the shared mission of the organization. That “second job” is a form of self-protection, often bent on preserving others’ good opinion, hiding mistakes or felt inadequacies.

This session will give you a more granular picture of your “second job,” how it interferes with your accomplishing your improvement goal, and how you can reduce it, for your own benefit and the benefit of your colleagues.

***For those who are interested, there will also be the opportunity to participate beforehand in a survey that will give you a multi-dimensional picture of how developmental is your current work-culture for the adults in the school; and to receive the results in the session. We designed the Growth Culture Indicator (GCI) to help organizations in all sectors to better understand not only their current developmental strengths and optimal areas for improvement, but also to learn how much Will there is in the system to improve upon the current reality.

This will-to-change (which we uncover 99 percent of the time) is an unrecognized organizational asset. The survey requires only 15 minutes of each person who fills it out. We will offer a limited number of these surveys at cost, and — in order to complete analysis before the conference — data-gathering will need to be completed by the end of August. Please contact Claire Lee at immediately for more information.

Target Audience:


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Save paper and effort where possible!

For your convenience, and to support our efforts in being "green", all handouts/files posted here have been notated with an A, B, C or D indicating the following:

(A) hardcopies needed at workshop
(B) electronic version on laptop is sufficient (for viewing during the workshop)
(C) required reading PRIOR to the workshop
(D) file not needed for workshop itself, but simply material of additional interest/reference


Updates to handouts may be made until shortly before the start of the conference.