Upcoming Events Reimagining Employee Development as Social contribution Coming September 20, 2021 Learn More

Our Book

What if companies made developing their people's capabilities core to their mission?

And what if equipping people with the intellectual, emotional, and social capabilities they need to thrive and contribute in the world was a recognized and incentivized form of social contribution?

Leadership experts Ed Offterdinger and Catherine Allen know from years of professional experience that higher profits, happy, engaged, and productive employees, better relationships away from work, and a better world are a result when companies put development at the center of their strategy.

In Conscious, Capable, and Ready to Contribute: How Employee Development Can Become the Highest Form of Social Contribution, Ed and Catherine explore what it means to create a true people development culture—designed to grow the potential of everyone every day.  Using a business fable, brimming with tension and compelling characters, paired with practical advice, they show you how to transform your company’s culture and your workforce into a happy and highly productive group ready to make huge contributions to your organization, community, and the world.

What readers are saying about Conscious, Capable, and Ready to Contribute

“Ed Offterdinger is a catalyst and leader who has brought Conscious Capitalism to our nation's capital at a time when we all have desperately needed it! I deeply admire his perspective, and recommend his and Catherine's work here for your personal and professional development.”

David GardnerCo-Chairman, The Motley Fool

“If you want to build a “people first” culture in your organization, where, as Ed and Catherine say you, “build it so they will want to come, flourish and stay, knowing that someday they may leave,” then this is the book for you! Immerse yourself in this story that shows you how investment in your people will make your organization and your community a better place—every day.”

Monica Modi DalwadiManaging Partner – D.C. Metro Region, Baker Tilly US

“Developing consciousness at work is the Work of our time. Ed and Catherine remind us of the potential of human development at work and how it will soon transform business as we know it.”

Bryan UngardChief Purpose Officer at The Decurion Corporation and co-founder of The Decurion Institute for Wholeness and Development

“World-class education is the cornerstone of the Chief Executives Organization and my team supports a membership with an insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge and experience. Conscious, Capable, and Ready to Contribute has inspired me to reaffirm my commitment to ensuring my team also has opportunities for heightened individual achievement.”

Jennifer Lehmann WengPresident & CEO, Chief Executives Organization

“Conscious leadership with a mission to develop people for the benefit of themselves, their organizations, and society - it seems almost too good to be true! In this immensely readable book, Ed and Catherine bring to life a story that illustrates why development is vital and how leaders can embed such learning into the fabric of their organizations for the good of all. The authors seamlessly tie together the individual development journey and the systemic forces that accelerate development. As a leader of a coaching company helping organizations scale their learning culture, I consider this is a must-read for organizational leaders, HR professionals, and coaches alike.”

Pam Krulitz CEO, Optify

"Now more than ever, our country and communities are looking to businesses to be forces for good, and to do more than simply deliver value by providing goods and services. “Conscious, Capable and Ready to Contribute” not only makes the case for why successful business leaders must focus on the professional and human potential of their employees, but it is chock full of thought-provoking anecdotes and ideas on how to do so. Focusing on the “employee life cycle” – from recruiting and on-boarding, to skills development and performance management, through retention and ultimately offboarding -- Offterdinger and Allen’s clear, authentic storytelling and insights make this book not only an enjoyable read, but an essential read for every business owner and leader."

Brian L. Schwalb, Esq. | Venable LLPPartner In Charge, Washington, D.C. Office

“A perfectly-crafted fable, expertly wrapped around real life and woven into a narrative packed with lessons learned and tangible How to’s and Why’s. The newest addition to the required reading for my team.”

Dan SimonsCo-Founder, Founding Farmers Restaurants

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Upcoming Book Events

What If Companies Made Developing Their People Core To Their Mission?

Public Fireside Chat
September 20th, 11am PT / 2pm ET 

Private SLN Deep Dive
September 30th, 11am PT / 2pm ET

SLN Members and authors Ed Offterdinger, Co-Founder & Chairman, AO People Partners and Catherine Allen, Co-Founder & CEO, AO People Partners

Leadership development experts and current/former CEOs, Ed Offterdinger and Catherine Allen will talk about what is possible when companies make people core to their mission. They know from years of professional experience that higher profits, happy, engaged, and productive employees, better relationships away from work, and a better world are the result when companies put people’s development at the center of their strategy. They will share insights from their new book, Conscious, Capable, and Ready to Contribute, A Fable: How Employee Development Can Become the Highest form of Social Contribution. 

Let’s Talk

Contact us to speak at your event


Embrace the opportunity to grow your brand and reputation as a company that truly invests in helping employees grow their capabilities – even and especially during an employee off boarding experience. When viewed through the development lens, this is a valuable opportunity for employers to learn and improve organizational and people development practices, build brand ambassadors, and enable departing employees to reflect on gains in skills and capabilities.


Facilitate strategic conversations with senior leaders to explore and define ways conscious people development can be integrated into the culture and daily workflow to power your business, your people, and your employer brand. 


Incorporate learning and development objectives into retention activities to prepare employees for new roles and opportunities. This can be done through engagement and feedback surveys, recognition and rewards programs, promotion, succession planning, and more.

Social Contribution

“Build it so they will want to come, flourish, and stay, knowing that someday they may leave.

Thus, it is imperative to define what you want them to say about their growth experience with your organization and what you want the outside world to say about how you invest in and contribute capable people to society.”

-Ed Offterdinger & Catherine Allen
Conscious, Capable, and Ready to Contribute. (p. 173)

Integrated Capability Development and Performance Management

Integrate learning, growth, and capability development goals and activities into your performance management rather than relying on day-to-day responsibilities alone to create a more engaging, productive, and helpful process.


Adapt onboarding to set new hires up for success in a continuous learning environment through orientation activities that introduce the principles and practices that support everyday learning and development for each employee.


Integrate practices, principles, and tools to better evaluate a candidate’s orientation to continuous learning and development as a factor in their overall fit for a position. This provides:

  • Improved candidate interviewing, assessment and selection practices
  • Better candidate selections with learning and growth mindset
  • An early introduction to your company’s development culture focus


Embed messages about commitment to people development to attract your ideal candidates.