Vertical Development: How Grown-ups Grow Up
The Developmental
What is Vertical Development and Why Does It Matter?

What is Vertical Development and Why Does It Matter?

As our community has been growing quickly over the past months, and many of you are now starting to explore the topic of vertical development, you might enjoy listening to this early episode of The Developmental podcast as a springboard for any nerdy rabbit holes you might want to later throw yourselves into.

In this short episode, it is just me and you, trying to unpack some of the core theories of adult development and lay a foundation for the conversations to come. I invite you to reflect on your own journey of growth up to this point in your life and on what you feel might still be needed so you can develop into the next wisest version of ‘you’. Together, we explore what vertical development is, how it is different from horizontal development and why we need both to be well-rounded human beings. We also look at some of the research around vertical development and what different scientists suggest it is that develops as we continue to evolve in our lives. 

Finally, we pause to reflect on why this whole topic is so important, perhaps even vital not just for you and your own life, but for all of us and our long-term thriving as a species.


If you are curious to explore further, do check out this free webinar where I introduce vertical development with a coaching lens or this other one where I explore the value of vertical development for organisational learning.

You can find a curated list of studies on adult development theories, measurement instruments, relevance to leadership and L&D on VDI’s research page.

Dive deeper

I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If you are curious to dive more deeply into learning about Vertical Development and how it might impact your work and life, check out our online library of webinars and courses accredited by the International Coaching Federation.

Explore the Online Programs Library

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If you want to bring your bit to building a wiser, more conscious world, I hope you share this article with others who could benefit from the learning.


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Vertical Development: How Grown-ups Grow Up
The Developmental
A podcast about the messy, beautiful ways grown-ups grow up. Leaders, learning experts and developmental researchers come together to explore turning science into the day-to-day practice of adult development in teams, homes, organisations, and life.
Dr Alis Anagnostakis is an adult development researcher, group learning facilitator and founder of the Vertical Development Institute. Her highest hope as a researcher-practitioner is to help support the growth of conscious, mature and future-fit leaders and to bring the tools of vertical development into day-to-day to day life.