What is Dynamic Intelligence

The Development Academy is founded on the principles derived from PhD research in 2018 that uncovered the fundamental building blocks of how we construct ourselves using a variety of psychological principles, and how each of the principles describes a method of construction that can be further broken down by meta-programmes, which are a specific type of building block.

The research shows that a person’s bias towards a specific combination of meta-programmes leads to a distinct style of thinking that can be linked to how complexly a person thinks, which, when we uncover the way a person constructs their thinking, leads to a measurable intelligence dynamic. hence the new psychology discipline of Dynamic Intelligence.

Stevens, (2018) defines Dynamic Intelligence as:

‘the scientific field that seeks to understand the complex causes and construction of individual thinking (cognitive) patterns in social situations’

It therefore looks at our understanding of the level of influence of others on our construction of self, and the importance of the social context in which this occurs.

The constructivist tradition mainly focuses on the subjective individual reality, where self-awareness and development are more important than the influence of an objective external world (Kezar, 2004).

Dynamic Intelligence psychologists therefore deal with the dynamic intelligence levels that combine to create our meaning on how we are to behave in a given way in the presence of others, and look at the conditions under which certain thinking/actions and feelings occur.

The Dynamic Intelligence discipline is to do with the way these feelings, thoughts, beliefs, intentions and goals are constructed and how such psychological factors, in turn, influence our interactions with others.

This is different in intention to social constructivism as constructivism misses the fundamental levels of adult complexity as the starting points for self-construction. DI uses our level of development as the foundation for this construction and thus recognises what we are capable of constructing, as well as what we are not capable of due to this level limitation.

It is a more finely differentiated conception of development that focuses on the emergence of specific capabilities and capacities, derived from experiences and interventions, as well as behavioural predispositions over the course of a developmental process.

In Application

The Development Academy is passionate about Dynamic Intelligence and believe it is the missing ingredient in organisational development. Whether delivering a one-off workshop or designing an innovative management development programme, The Development Academy can show you how to deliver with understanding, enthusiasm and passion, and truly believe that personal development is about creation, not consumption.

Otto Laske and Susan Cook-Greuter, et al talk about development as a spiral of upward movement. It is not a ladder, according to them. We think that it is not a spiral either: rather a web of interconnecting relationships that increase in complexity as one’s Dynamic Intelligence increases.


On the left hand side of the diagram, there is more unseen than seen. The faded areas are the ‘Subjective’ experiences (Kegan) not yet discovered by the person. The green and purple dots are also further away from each other, which means the density of the complexity (a person’s dynamic intelligence) is low.

We combine cognitive complexity, social-emotional complexity and various psychological ‘intelligences’ into our dynamic programmes of developing people from all walks of life. Whether you are a post-graduate student or a high level manager, the changing demands of systems necessitate that the modern thinker is equipped with the mental resources to tackle the not-known. This means we can cope with not knowing.

With the appropriate development and interventions we offer at the Development Academy, as you increase your awareness of self, your habituated thinking and behaving patterns, understand the complex nature of your decision-making process and better-evaluate the consequences of those decisions, you move to the right and increase your Dynamic Intelligence. The hidden areas diminish and more of the complexity is seen. The green connectors become greater and more pronounced, including connecting areas of the unconscious grey areas.

At the very right of this relationship web, you can see the density of the connections as it becomes 3-dimensional. Everything is within awareness (or ‘Object’ in Kegan’s terms).

With the Thinking Quotient profile tool, we are defining these connectors, uncovering the hidden dimensions and offering a path to increasing one’s Dynamic Intelligence. We are offering a method of growing your thinking complexity.

Cook-Greuter says: “We define the centre of gravity as that level of ego maturity to which a person has consistent access under ordinary circumstances, without special support conditions or under unusual stress.”


What we are offering at The Development Academy is an explanation of HOW a person does this. We are defining that centre, and offering a method for growing a person’s Dynamic Intelligence, so as your centre moves to the right and your thinking grows, you increase your dynamic intelligence.

If you’ve attended other academies before, and left feeling there is more to development, then we recommend you come to us. Our programmes take you beyond NLP and others.