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24th June, 2019

Transforming leaders - transforming organisations


Articles & Papers

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The Hidden Talent: Ten ways to identify and retain transformational leaders

J Leitch, D Rooke & R Wilson

The Hidden Talent: Ten ways to identify and retain transformational leaders, shows how – even while organisations are grappling with rapid technological change, stalled growth, global restructuring and the need for forward-thinking – less than one in 10 have the capabilities, attributes and mind sets to lead transformational change and solve wicked problems.


The research behind the report, conducted through a survey of 6000 European professionals’ leadership capabilities by Harthill Consulting, finds that only 8% currently have Strategist leadership capabilities. The good news is that leaders develop thorough distinct stages, or types, towards becoming true strategists.


The work of Strategists, the report proposes, is underpinned by inquiry-based experimentation. They see both the vision and detail, employ positive language and exercise power courageously. They also understand the complexity of the environment in which they’re working and are able to employ passionate detachment. Though Strategists reside in every grouping, the largest proportion of ‘Strategist’ leaders are found in women and in those over 55.


For full report (pdf)  click here

In Search of The Holy Grail: Leading Common Sense Transformation

Allen (2008) Government & Public Sector Journal

A successful strategy does more than turn the handle on performance - it envisions a future that has meaning for the leaders and staff of an organisation and focuses their energies and capabilities in converting aspiration into actions that they are proud of. 


Download the article: 08_GPSJ_HolyGrail_JCA.pdf 

Organisational Transformation Requires Strategists & Alchemists
Rooke (1997) Organisations & People

Here we argue that leading transformational change in organisations requires senior managers that have post-conventional capacities. These are labelled 'Strategist' and 'Alchemist' in the 'Leadership Development Framework'. The article goes on to explore how these capacities can be developed in senior managers. 


Download the article: OrgTransStrategistAlchemist.pdf 

Seven Transformations of Leadership

Rooke & Torbert (2005) HBR

This article has been chosen by Harvard business review as one of the “10 must reads on leadership”. 


The content of the article is based in part on the Leadership Development Profile.


Download the first section of the article here


For the full article please contact Lynn

The CEO's Role in Organizational Transformation

Rooke & Torbert (1999) The Systems Thinker

Considers the importance of the stage of development of the most senior executives in an organization and their ability to create organizational transformation. The article examines the barriers to transformation in organizations and looks at how the 'Action Logics' of a leader impact not only their ability to lead change but also to learn. 


Download the article: RandT Syst Think art.pdf 

Inspired Leadership Under The Spotlight

Allen (2007) Criminal Justice Management

Despite operating under intense scrutiny, inspired leaders can breathe a new passion and effectiveness into public service organisations. 


Download the article: 07_CJM_InspiredLeadershipJCA.pdf

Practical Differences in Leadership Performance

Herdman-Barker & Torbert (2008) SUNY Academic Press

An informal narrative on the historical basis of our work, the evolution of Loevinger's Sentence Completion Test to the Harthill Leadership Development Profile and new understandings of post-conventional leadership based on current studies.


Download the article: 2008PostConventionalPersonality_BT_EHB.pdf 

Action Inquiry: Interweaving Multiple Qualities of Attention for Timely Action

Torbert & Taylor (2008) Handbook of Action Research

For a relatively deep dive into Action Inquiry read this article. It is published in the Second edition of the Handbook of Action Research.

Download the article: 


Developmental Action Inquiry

A Distinct Integral Theory That Integrates Developmental Theory, Practice, & Research In Action

Award-winning paper delivered at the Integral Theory in Practice Conference, August 2008, Pleasant Hill CA.


Download the article: 08_DAI_Integ_Conf_Torbert_et_al.pdf

Toward Interdependent Organizing & Researching

McGuire, Palus & Torbert (2007) Handbook of Collaborative Management Research

Introduces the theory and practice of Developmental Action Inquiry with emphasis on moving leaders and whole organizations from a dependent, through an independent, to an interdependent orientation.


Download the article: 2007 Interdependent HCMR.pdf

Vertical Leadership Part 1

Nick Petrie

Vertical Leadership Development—Part I. 


Determine how to take “Future Trends” and build them into a leadership program—focusing specifically on “Vertical Development” and why it matters in a complex world.


Download the article Vertical Leadership Part 1.pdf

Validity & reliability The LDF & Profile

Herdman-Barker, E., Rooke, D., & Torbert W. 2009

A summary of issues of validity and reliability. 


Harthill’s Leadership Development Profile emerges from the studies and research surrounding the Loevinger Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT). The WUSCT is itself one of the most widely used and thoroughly validity-tested instruments in developmental psychometrics (Loevinger and Wessler 1970), and it is from this base, through the ongoing research and development within Harthill that the LDP has evolved.


2009-07 LDF LDP validity and reliability.pdf

Intervening into personal and organisational systems by powerfully leading and wisely managing

Julian Simcox (2005)

This paper describes what it is that a few extraordinary Manager/Leaders seem to possess that enables them to simultaneously Manage and Lead transformation - first of themselves and then of their organisations.  The essay culminates in a comparison of "conventional" organisations, and "post-conventional" (Learning) organisations like Toyota, in which Deming's influence continues to be profound - using three generic intervention modes, and seven archetypal Action Logics, each of which corresponds to an executive's development stage.


Download the pdf here 

Managerial Leadership: Five Action Logics viewed via two developmental lenses

Julian Simcox (2016)

This follow-up to the 2005 paper "Intervening into personal and organisational systems by powerfully leading and wisely managing - an uneasy but vital integration", by Julian Simcox, starts with a reminder that developing Leadership separately from Management is likely to confuse anyone targeted by a separatist training programme, the reality being that everyone in organisational life is simultaneously both Managing and Leading, and often desperately trying to integrate these two Action Logic modes.  With further sub-division, two becomes four: maintaining, continually improving, innovating, and transforming, and in this paper these four modes are explored via the two main developmental lenses: “conventional” and “post-conventional” in order to illustrate the difference that good managerial leadership makes in a highly evolved learning organisation such as Toyota.


Download the article as a pdf

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