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Spiral Dynamics

Spiral Dynamics

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Published by: Visual Editors on Jan 28, 2008
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11/18/2010

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Human Capacities in theIntegral Age
How Value Systems ShapeOrganizational Productivity,NationalProsperity and Global Transformation
Don Edward Beck, Ph. D.
 The focus on the role of productivity in enhancing competitiveness,while generating wealth and cultural well-being, has shifted over timefrom the
micro
(personal, team and "circles") to the
meso
(organizational design and performance) and now the
macro
(largescale and complex systems). Likewise, the essential thinking aroundproductivity matters has emerged through
systemic, strategic,humanistic
and now
integral
patterns and organizing paradigms. The"profound knowledge" as described by Dr. Edward Deming is just nowbecoming clear to many who applied only surface-level and tentativeversions of his massive work. We now recognize that micro-scalesolutions depend heavily on both meso-scale and macro-scale insightsand that all three must be meshed in the
whole-scale
application. This presentation will introduce the concept of Spiral Dynamics, a new,evolutionary framework that describes whole-systems thinking, detailshow value systems emerge in societies, and maps out a program forraising human capacities to deal with 21st Century complexities. Thesession will introduce the notion of Memetics, the scientific study of "DNA-like" codes and patterns that lie at the core of companies,cultures and countries. It will describe the role of Vital Signs Monitors inprofiling human groupings, and a series of design formulas in craftingnatural systems that align
focus, function, form, fit, flow and future
.Finally, it will demonstrate how to synchronize the spiral otechnological complexity, business systems sophistication, and levelsof human development.
 
THE AGE OF FRAGMENTATION
Never before has the planet earth carried such a rich tapestry of human differences in the form of individuals and groups. The end of the Cold War brought the thawing of the bi-polar ice sheet that coveredthe entire planet as the deep ethnic cores began to bubble and boilonce again. Decades of deconstructionism and egalitarianism inacademic and popular cultural circles released the bent-up entities andinterests that had been subdued by European-Western hierarchies of power and control. The microchip places an immense amount of influence in the choice making of single individuals. DNA analyses nowmake possible the specific identity of every person on the planet. Masscustomization efforts are able to target each person, and even specifynames on the inside of weekly magazines. It is as if the entirepsychological history of our species from Day One is being replayed inreal time and carried live on CNN. What an amazing time!Likewise, we have been witnessing a significant amount ofragmentation in the work place and around issues germane toproductivity. Our work force, in most environments, is much morediverse than before. The shift toward a global view has, likewise,introduced more complexity, not just in terms of different cultures, butalso in the form of a myriad of value systems that work side-by-side or,within a whole constellation of teams and alliances. Yet, many of ourapproaches to productivity still tend to be monolithic in design andapplied like a generic "cash wash" over people and work units that arespreading apart as if they had been purloined into space a Big Bang
SIX BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT
Most people know the story of the "Six Blind Men and the Elephant."One discovered the tail, another the trunk, while the others felt the leg,side, tusk, and ear. Each was totally convinced he had discovered the"truth" based on the direct experience. Of course, each observer was"right" about the elephant, but only about a part; none was able tosense the whole. This can also be said about the various political,economic, religious, educational, child-rearing, and technologicaltheories of our own day. This also includes the various listings of worldviews or
Weltanschauungen
, or the numerous psychologicalpackages, leadership initiatives, or managerial mandates that continue
 
to be popular, or have been discarded in societal dust bins. The variousand often heated debates heard at the United Nations, or in nationalassembles, senates, and parliaments, will, likewise, reflect thesedifferent views of "the elephant." Rather than continue to pit the vastarray of differences against one another in an adversarial manner, orsuffer the consequences when the conflicts surface in the form of belligerence or warfare, might it not be useful to find a way toconstruct a synthesis that can explain why each emerged, where it isuseful, and how it can contribute to the total Global Mesh?
Which of these views of the elephant-world best describeyou?The World is. . .*beige
a natural milieu where humansrely on instincts to stay alive
purple
a magical place alive withspirit beings and mystical signs
red
a jungle where the strongestand most cunning survive
blue
an ordered existence under thecontrol of the ultimate truth
orange
a market place full of possibilities and opportunities
green
a human habitat in which weshare life's experiences
yellow
a chaotic organism forged bydifferences and change
turquoise
an elegantly balanced systemof interlocking-forces
*Question from The Values Test, NVC
 This search for the cohesive elements that can hold so manyfragmented parts together in a new, 21st Century alignment, andcreate the methodology and mechanisms for the continuation andenhancement of all human life on the planet as well as in corporateand work environments, will require an understanding of threeessential components:
The Evolution of Value Systems.
We will introduce here a newframework called Spiral Dynamics, a bio-psycho- social-spiritualconceptual system that describes how and when worldviews

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