New Year, New Name, New Programs!

We’re excited to announce some big changes for 2018!

First, as you’ll notice, we have changed our name from Developmental Life Design to STAGES International. We’re expanding our services and this new name better reflects our service offerings. It also better reflects the central role that the STAGES Model plays in all of these services.

As many of you know, Terri co-founded Pacific Integral with Geoff Fitch in 2004. She is on the faculty and the STAGES scoring series has been housed under Pacific Integral.  Effective January 1, all of Pacific Integral’s STAGES related programs, including trainings, scoring and debriefing have been transferred to STAGES international so that all STAGES offerings can be integrated under one roof. Pacific Integral will continue to offer its highly regarded Generating Transformative Change (GTC) program and Terri will continue as faculty in that program, but she will otherwise phase out of her partner role in Pacific Integral to concentrate on STAGES International’s programs.

Terri and Geoff continue to be friends and joyfully collaborate and participate in each other’s work. They are building on their past experience and rich history together and setting the stage for a more effective and efficient structure for the future growth of both the STAGES programs and the GTC offering. Both STAGES and the GTC program have developed a rich body of work and each has some unique needs for their future evolution. Each body of work will have a clear home that is optimized to supports its development:

Pacific Integral: (led by Geoff Fitch)

  • Transformative change and growth – GTC
  • Causal leadership
  • Organizational growth
  • Individual development and mentoring
  • GTC Graduate community

STAGES International: (led by Terri and Kim)

  • STAGES Assessments
  • STAGES training (in-person workshops and online courses):
    • STAGES Theory
    • Professional development
      • Certification for therapists and coaches
    • Personal development
    • Scoring and debriefing training for STAGES Assessments

Save $50-100 on a STAGES Assessment in January

Many of you have heard about STAGES Assessment, a process that identifies your core stage of perspective development within the STAGES model. For the month of January, we are reducing the price of an assessment and debrief by $100, and an assessment only by $50. If you’ve been curious about how the STAGES model applies to YOU, this is a good opportunity to find out through a process that’s backed by seven years of rigorous research. Please visit the STAGES Assessment page for more information.

We also want to let you know that the website of the Developmental Research Institute, a non-profit institute led by Terri and John Kesler, will be going live early in the new year. DRI holds and supports continued research on the STAGES model. Watch for this in a new announcement.

We are excited about these changes and their potential to enhance STAGES research, training and practical applications. We invite you to visit our updated website and share it with friends and colleagues.

All the best for 2018!


Terri O’Fallon PhD and Kim Barta MA

Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Level 5’/Teal Organization? – Part 2

This is the second interview exploring the idea of Level 5/Teal organizations. During this discussion, we delve more deeply into how we can foster the development of these leading edge capacities. Further exploring organizational shadow and integrative thinking, we will look at case studies, practical examples and interventions that support level 5 leadership and organizational development.

  • Why are trust and safety important quality in teal organizational culture?
  • Are level 5/ teal capacities skills that we can learn or do we just have to “be” a level 5 / teal leader?
  • Exactly how can organization and leaders become more adaptive?
  • What is organizational shadow? Why is it important? How can we identify it and work with it?
  • What are organizational polarities and how to teal leaders and organization deal with them that goes beyond decision making or multiple bottom line? This exploration is important for leaders aspiring to reshape their organizations.

Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Level 5’/Teal Organization?

In complex adaptive systems, those required to meet many of the challenges we currently face, leaders and organizations need to co-evolve to ensure their ability to respond to the opportunities and challenges. During this conversation, Terri and Maureen explore how individuals and organizations evolve. It starts with the question of how individuals “grow up” as leaders. They then map this same framework to exploring how organizations evolve. Terri presents a brief overview of the STAGES model, using it to frame to conversation about how a developmental model can be used to better understand the idea of organizational evolution. This is particularly useful when individuals use the developmental tools they employ for their own development to help the organization mature. While this sounds like even more work for busy leaders, this is the focus that enables them to create systems that are truly adaptive.

Growing Up is Like Blowing up a Balloon

balloon1Growing up through stages is often depicted in a stair step image. You begin at a baby stage, and then take a step up to a toddler stage, then to a preteen, an adolescent, an early adult, and finally as an elder you make it to the top of the stair case, or the mountain top, or whatever hierarchical image we might have for development.

With the STAGES model, we like to use a different metaphor—that of a balloon. A baby is a completely formed human in all ways…they see, hear, smell, touch, taste and learn just like everyone else does. All they need to do is to use their senses to begin to blow up their balloon in a balanced shape, and as they do, the balloon gets larger and larger and larger, kind of like the Universe did in the big bang.

The Long Skinny Horizontal Balloon


We can continue to develop the robustness of the stage we are in and have a long skinny horizontal balloon. This is a lot of full-bodiedness, but all you might be able to engage with is a few inches from the ground. It would be nice to be able to engage from more height as well.

The Tall Skinny Vertical Balloon


We can also see when our developmental balloon is a tall skinny vertical one. It easily topples over, just as we do if we skip from stage to stage without taking care of our shadows along the way or don’t develop with fullness and the robustness of the stage we are in. Thus, we may be able to see certain things that others don’t but living them into the full immanence of the person we could be, is missing.

Practices for a Robust Round Balloon

On the other hand if you want to blow up your balloon, develop both vertical practices and horizontal practices.

  1. See a shadow practitioner to help you confront the shadows that act as a ball and chain on your development and expression in the world.
  2. Knowing about development is “psychoactive,” according to Ken Wilber, so just knowing about the stages and studying their descriptions can help you develop.
  3. As well since everything comes in through your senses, make them as robust as possible. Seeing, hearing, touching; visualizing, listening, emotions; presencing, attunement, witnessing. Grow them up.
  4. And don’t forget the practices of zooming in (concentration, focus, paying attention) and zooming out (awareness, awareness-of-awareness, witnessing).

These practices will help you blow up your balloon in a healthy robust way.


Welcome from Terri

A warm greeting to you all!

I am looking forward to connecting with you, and learning with you the ways that our work with STAGES might be of service to you personally in your continued discovery of yourself, your family and your work.

With appreciation and hope,