Darren Stevens

Welcome

My research over the past 9 years has culminated in a PhD and the creation of a new theory of adult development I have called Constructed Development Theory. A research poster is available here. A brief description follows:

The Theory of Constructed DevelopmentTM focuses on how human beings utilise shortcuts in their thinking in order to construct their Intention, Awareness, Choice and Response in the moment. The greater their awareness of their intention based on the use of fifty Cognitive Intentions, the greater their capacity to respond in the moment.

Dynamic IntelligenceTM is the process by which we construct our thinking in the moment in order to determine the path from Intention to Awareness, then Choice and finally Response. The greater our awareness of our intention, the more choice we create in our responses in the moment, thus, the greater our Dynamic Intelligence.

The Thinking QuotientTM is the tool created to measure the relationship between the fifty Cognitive Intentions that are the building blocks of our Dynamic Intelligence. This scale is your benchmark for your Constructed Development.

I use this new psychological theory on cognitive development as the foundation for developing leaders and teams in large organisations. As a leadership consultant and a Constructed Developmental Psychologist, I work with high level  managers and senior executive teams in enabling more effective strategy execution, change management, leadership and talent development. This powerful approach strengthens leaders’ and organisation's capabilities through transformational learning and meta-systemic thinking. I present new ways for executives, high level managers, and consultants to reflect on who they are as leaders, how they relate to and impact others, and how to challenge their organisation to reach new levels of excellence. My clients become dedicated to more effective leadership through personal (cognitive) and professional transformation. Clients report they have expanded their thinking to new levels, leading to a greater capacity to manage complexity, embrace challenges and accept the emerging global complexity within business as we move into and beyond 2020.

My developmental approach takes a ‘whole-person-in-role’ (non sum qualis eram) approach to leadership development using the Constructed Development Framework as a guide for senior executives to become more self-aware thinkers and experience transformational change on a professional as well as personal level. We can separate the contexts, however, our level of self-awareness once exposed, impacts all facets of our lives.

Before the talk began

My academic and professional qualifications include an BA (Hons) Degree in Business Management, a BSc Degree in Psychology, an MSc in Behavioural Psychology, and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. I also have an NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner qualification, Identity Compass Profile Training, Six Sigma Green Belt, Facilitation Training via GE’s University, LEAN Process training via GEU, Diploma in Business Coaching, Diploma in Personal Coaching, Clean Language Methods and more.

Prior to founding CogniLibro as a result of my PhD research, I have over 15 years’ experience in strategy execution, change management and leadership development in large and not-for-profit organisations. I am based in the UK but travel extensively to serve my clients.

Finally, I also teach my theory at a London-based university on their MBA programme where I am responsible for the development of post-graduate students as well as modules on Leadership and Development. My theory will also form the foundation for the development of coaches on an undergrad degree at the Portsmouth University where the benchmark will be taken from their TQ score, interventions applied and then scored again to demonstrate cognitive growth.

All this research leads to the offering of one of the most comprehensive ways to understand your most valuable asset: your people! Employees no longer simply add value with their skills and competences: they also add value by how they make decisions on the job. This requires more complex thinking, and a more dynamic approach to development. If your colleagues' thinking complexity matches the complexity of their role, then your business is moving in the right direction. I know how to focus on individual and team development, with a range of unique services, proven in academia and industry to grow your thinking, and engage your employees at a developmental level.

Before the talk began

The image above is a metaphorical representation of the principles of this theory. It is based on the Indian folklore tale of the six blind men asked to describe an elephant, and each gives a different description depending on which part of the elephant they are feeling. What it represents here is the metaphorical construction of psychology as a whole, being described by the sum of its parts depending on which area the psychologist is expert in. In other words, we find what we are looking for.

Constructed Development, on the other hand, can be seen as a way of bridging the gaps between these constructs and linking their output to the constructed facets of one's thinking over time, and in the moment. The answer is no more "social construction" as it is "personality theory" or "emotional intelligence". Instead, it is how aware we are of these as constructs, and how at-choice we are to change our response in the moment based on this awareness.