Vertical Development Incubator


Design and deliver a vertically informed leadership development program.





The incubator at a glance.

Who it is for?

Anyone who designs/delivers leadership development programs (acceptance criteria required).  People who wish to grow their leaders in a scalable and effective way.


What's involved?

  • 6 week program
  • 8 hrs live virtual workshops
  • 5 hrs self-paced learning
  • 2 day in-person workshop
  • Networking dinner


Within the design community of practitioners, get a taste for Vertical Development with assessments, heat experiences, colliding perspectives, reflection and experimentation.


Build simple prototypes for how your organization might offer Vertical Development at scale. From these you will be able to select, build and offer the best of what you learn.

What you’ll get from the experience.

Become a part of a design community of leading-edge practitioners

Learn what Vertical Development is and why it is crucial for developing leaders

Learn how other innovative companies are developing their leaders

Create a new, cutting-edge leadership development program for your organization

Add new tools, assessments, and methods to your leadership development toolkit

Receive your Vertical Mindset Indicator (VMI) results, with your current stage of development

See how others use technology and ‘leaders developing leaders’ to scale development

Help your leaders discover new approaches for dealing with the complexity of work and life

Jim Hadley

Sr. Manager, Global Leadership Development, The Boeing Company


“I had read a little bit about vertical development and was anxious to learn more at the Incubator. What made the experience incredible was that Carl and Nick integrated the concepts into the program itself. There are heat generators, colliding perspectives, and reflection moments that help you not only learn, but experience what Vertical Development is all about.”

Dorothy E. Siminovitch, PhD., MCC

Founder and Director of Training, Gestalt Center for Coaching


“I recommend this Vertical Incubator program strongly for its excellent facilitation & learning design, and the beautiful interplay of exercises that participants can “take” in their hip pocket. As a gestalt coach and director of coach training, this Incubator experience gives more dimension to accessing levels of mindset and coaching for range and possibility. I cannot recommend this program strongly enough.”

Alyssa Gasca

Founder, Spark Executive


“Overall, the design of the program was genius. Made great use of time. Tons of learning in the small hours spent on “classroom” time – the zoom sessions flew by. Deep connections with other participants. Loved meeting everyone in person and having time to work on our actual projects and get feedback. Loved access to Nick, Jan and Carl.”

The incubator journey.



  • Discover the core principles and research behind vertical development
  • Experience the Vertical Mindset Indicator assessment
  • Learn and explore different ways to design and introduce vertical development



  • Interactively experience different vertical development tools and techniques
  • Hear how other organizations have implemented vertical development
  • Top up on the learning and principles behind vertical development


Design, part one

  • Explore and start to design your vertical development program


Design, part two

  • Continue with a design thinking process to ideate, narrow and build a series of prototypes for how your organization could implement vertical development at scale.


Development Support

  • Facilitated small group sessions – feedback and coaching on your prototypes
  • Discover more shared experiences from other organizations
  • Plan, testing and validation
  • Optional 1:1 coaching is available on request

Your hosts.

Nick Petrie is a performance coach for some of the world’s top companies. He specializes in vertical leadership development, culture creation and resilience under pressure. Nick is the author of the book Work Without Stress, and the whitepaper ‘Future Trends in Leadership Development’.
Carl Sanders-Edwards, founded the vertical organization, Carl has over 18 years experience helping workplaces be better in global organizations and startups. Carl is passionate
about democratizing leadership development.

How vertical development helps leaders.

Vertical development combines both horizontal development (skills, knowledge, competencies) and vertical development  (mindset, capabilities), expanding a person’s capability to learn and navigate complexity.  They are better able to:

  • Think more systemically
  • See the long-term possibilities
  • Embrace challenges from multiple perspectives
  • Lead as interdependent collaborators

They demonstrate range and skill that enables them to toggle between what’s on the horizon, what it takes to get there, how best to engage others in the journey, and how to thrive in it all.

The Vertical Mindset Indicator (VMI).

The VMI assessment is based on the well-respected Washington University Sentence Stem Completion test (WUSSC), research done with Harvard University, and 1O,OOO+ assessments from leaders across nationalities and industries.

The VMI builds on the work of Susanne Cook-Greuter, a world authority on leadership maturity. Her leader maturity profile (MAP) has been validated across many cultures and populations. Since 198O, she has analyzed more than 11,OOO MAP tests in more than 2OO different academic and business contexts.  Find out more here.

2O24 coming soon.


How can I join?
Click the apply now button on this page, complete the form, and one of our team members will be in touch via mobile or email.
What are the payment methods and group pricing?
Payments can be made using any major credit card. For alternative payment options, available payment plans, or group pricing, please contact directly.
What is included in the price?
The price includes access to the full Incubator experience, both the virtual and in-person events. Participants must make separate arrangements for hotels and accommodation and flights to the venue.
Will the virtual sessions be recorded?
Yes, the virtual sessions will be recorded and added to your Adeption account.
When will the program start?
For a detailed schedule, please view the schedule for your cohort on this page. You will be given access to the Incubator Adeption experience and we will notify you on the platform directly,
What if the dates/location doesn't work for me?
Click the ‘Apply’ button on this page and complete the application form. On the first question, choose “None of these options work for me” to register yourself for future Incubator events.

Ready to take your leadership development vertical?