Three ways you can grow your organisation tomorrow

12 Dec 2016
Andy Fleming

UQ Business School recently hosted an event for senior Brisbane business leaders with Harvard MBA and author Andy Fleming.

Fleming introduced the simple (yet often overlooked) principle that companies will prosper when they align themselves with people’s strongest motive – the desire to grow.

During his speech, Fleming outlined three inter-related aspects vital to everyday growth and development in successful teams:

1. Edge

Edge is the challenge side of development. It is where organisations understand every team or individual’s learning challenge and deliberately puts them outside of their comfort zone to work to work on that challenge or ‘edge’ in everyday work.

2. Home

Home is about overcoming people’s reluctance to share their challenges and weaknesses with their managers and colleagues. Often professionals spend too much of their time trying to make a good impression within their workplace, which is counterproductive to growth and development.

Home allows professionals to work on the ‘edge’ through creating a supportive work environment. It creates a culture of managers and team members encouraging and mentoring their co-workers to improve.

3. Groove

Groove is where regular practices and rituals for feedback, learning and reflection are embedded in the organisation itself. These need to regularly happen and must be built into the schedule of work to aid the development process. They are most effective when designed by the team or adapted for the particular needs of a project.


Fleming is a contributing author to the recent book, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organisation (DDO), which describes organisations that incorporate these three aspects into their organisation’s culture.

“To build a DDO, we want to move away from merely developing [not talent] high potentials or the chosen few at special off-site events. If we want culture change, it’s much more impactful to make sure that everyone can learn at work, every day. We have seen terrific results in the US private sector just by introducing routines for learning and feedback into teams,” Mr Fleming said in his opening address.

“The lack of focus on what actually happens during the 70% of the time we’re expecting people to apply their off-site learnings at work is a missed opportunity, which the DDO approach addresses,” he said. “It’s more practical, so everyone can grow and learn every day.”

While innovation, sustainability and change are on everyone’s mind, Fleming thinks the current focus on technological innovation sees only half the picture – and acting Executive Dean Griffiths agrees.

“We want to lead the way in the UQ Business School towards a new understanding of organisational change,” Griffiths commented after the event.

“We are curious about how technical innovation is enabled or disrupted by the quality of the interactions between people and teams.

“We see the DDO approach supplying a missing and very practical part of the puzzle, beyond the big ideas and right down into the nitty-gritty of what happens at work, and we look forward to continuing this discussion with experts of Mr Fleming’s calibre.” 

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