Deliberately Developmental Organization

What is a DDO?

Rarely does anyone ask, “Does your company make you a better person?” In most situations, companies are a place where one comes to collect a paycheck, have a fancy title, or feel accomplished.  Usually people are wasting precious hours of their day maintaining two full-time jobs.  Their first job is the actual duties they are paid to perform. Their second job is covering up their inadequacies and insecurities that they desperately want to keep hidden.

Too often, professionals are more exhausted by the concern that they have to perform in a certain manner in order to be considered successful more than by the stress of actually performing their job.  Other times, people spend countless hours worried about their home life or personal situations and feel they must “check it at the door”, in order to get the job done successfully.  Studies, however, have found that a happy employee is the most productive employee.  Understanding this truth, many companies try to create a “fun day” or team building events attempting to make things more fun for their staff.

Consider instead, what it would look like if you knew you could come to work and be truly honest about your personal deficiencies, insecurities, life situations, and true feelings.  What if the workplace not only allowed for this environment, but encouraged it?  Wouldn’t knowing that you don’t have to fit into a certain box in order to be a success propel you to be a better person and therefore a better employee?

At Kahler Financial Group, we strive to have a culture that values personal development in the same manner as we value professional development.  Our core purpose at our financial planning company in Rapid City is to transform the financial and emotional well-being of people (not just our clients).  We have embarked on becoming a DDO or a Deliberately Developmental Organization.  A DDO is an integration of business excellence and the growth of employees into their best version of themselves.  We believe that if we can become better people, we can become a better team.  As a better team, we can then provide better service to our clients.

Becoming a DDO

Alison ScherrWorking for KFG is changing my life. I am absolutely a better parent because of working here.

-Alison Scherr

Beth KangootuiIt is amazing to work for a company that allowed me to work through a recent painful personal experience without worrying about the judgement of my co-workers or worrying about my job.  I found a place to come for comfort and help instead of trying to cover up my shortcomings during that difficult time.  I don’t think I could have walked through that experience with as much grace and dignity as I did if KFG wasn’t a DDO.

-Beth Kangootui

The Road to Becoming a DDO

It takes time and effort to get to the place where a DDO is successful.  The road to becoming a DDO is wrought with difficulty and pain and we are still traveling on that road.


In most companies, people spend a majority of their time hiding their flaws, trying to look their best, and painting a pretty picture instead of sharing what they really think or feel.  This type of environment ensures people won’t as easily get their feelings hurt. However, walking on eggshells is counterproductive for attaining goals, getting projects done successfully, and self-development.  Hearing the truth can be extremely painful.  Although truth can lead to change and help us grow, hearing that truth can also really hurt. Success comes with the pain of growth.


You can ask any team member at KFG if being a DDO is easy and you will receive an emphatic “No”.  However, you can also ask any team member if performing as a DDO has made them a better person and made the team more successful as a whole and it is likely you will hear an emphatic “Yes”.


“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.”

-N.R. Narayana Murthy


Our independent advisors in Rapid City have experienced the growing pains of developing into a DDO.  At times it was tempting to throw in the towel and call it quits.  However, reflecting on where we started and where we are today, our financial planning company in Rapid City is more effective and efficient and the people that make up our team are better despite the pain of growth.  Today, we are better versions of ourselves and better equipped to help our clients.