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Making Vertical Development More Available

One of the most fun things you can do in leadership development is give someone an assessment that helps them see themself in a new way. Over the last 2 decades I feel like I have seen and used most of the good assessments (at CCL we used to give leaders up to 6 in a week!). But the ones I found the most profound and impactful have been Vertical Development assessments. These measure a leader’s stage of development. They help leaders see that they are not static, they are an evolving self. This matters

because the stage of development you are operating from has an enormous impact on how you lead (tactically or strategically, independently, or collaboratively). I also like them because they are eye opening for leaders. One leader described it as a ‘punch in the ego’. Most have never experienced anything like it before.

The 7 stages of development you may be assessed at are shown below:

There are various great vertical development assessments that you can use. But one challenge I found was that they are not always cheap. This means that they are great for senior leaders but hard to scale to the rest of the organization.

So, three years ago, my partners and I asked the question, what if we could create a vertical assessment and development experience that was:

  • Significantly cheaper

  • Less time consuming

  • Research backed and valid

  • Available to everyone

The pathway we believed was partnering Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) with human wisdom.

Over the last 3 years the team created an A.I. enabled process that helps coaches, facilitators and organizations to deliver vertical development at scale. The A.I./ human combo supports an Assessment, Debrief and Development experience called the Vertical Mindset Indicator (hyperlink -

This has meant that organizations are now moving from doing vertical development 1:1, to groups of 20 and even 100+. We are now working with an organization that will vertically assess and support vertical development for everyone in the organization – thousands of people. Thats scale. That’s new.

For me, this feels an important shift. For years, I helped individuals develop and then watched them go back into organizations with cultures that were stuck on the rocks at much lower stages. Despite all the developmental work the leaders had done, their culture was like a bungee that would pull them back to earlier stages. It was frustrating.

What those leaders needed was a culture which was growing alongside them. Hard to do because it requires a critical mass of people all growing together. But what if you could get 10% or 30% or dare I say it 100% of the people in an organization to grow together. Even just a little. What could be possible? What could shift?

For the last 10 years, I’ve been searching for approaches that could help companies develop everyone in the organization. We were always constrained by the cost or the tech or time requirements.

Those constraints are now off.

If you have a passion for supporting growth for 1 leader, 20 leaders, 100’s or 1,000’s of leaders, we’d love to connect and hear your story.

Here are a few opportunities below to start connecting.

Option 1: Try out the Vertical Mindset Indicator (VMI)

This might be a good place to start. Try the VMI and you’ll see what is becoming possible:

  • Take the VMI

  • Get your stage report

  • Do a digital coaching debrief

  • Join a group coaching debrief with me and other practitioners

Discounted Price - $94 (Usually $249). I got this as cheap as I could

Valid for - first 50 signups (63% discount)

Signup – Click this Link 

Discount code: NICKWEB50

Option 2: Vertical Webinars

Come for a discussion on how two Australian organizations are using vertical development to help

groups of leaders to handle a world of complexity. These are Australasian friendly time zones. We’ll do others for the US in coming months.

Webinar 1 – Tennis Australia and Leading in Complexity – June 1 st , 1pm AEST, 3pm NZT

Register here -

Webinar 2 - Aurecon and Leadership Disrupted – June 15 th , 11am AEST, 1pm NZ time

Register here -

Option 3: Send me a message through Linkedin

Let me know what you are up to and I’ll be happy to connect

Coming Soon: Vertical Incubators in the U.S. and Australia/ New Zealand

Learn about and experience tools, assessments, designs and practices for brining vertical development into organisations.


I help organizations develop leaders who can navigate complexity, stay resilient and lead through networks. To connect email


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