Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Spiral Dynamics

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Thanks Bala Pillai (Mind Ecosystems) and Michael Wollf contributions to Bala's YahooGroup Erumbugal, I have just been exposed to one of the most interesting concepts I have run across lately.

Spiral Dynamics.

According to Dr. Don Beck of the Values Center/The Spiral Dynamics Group/The Institute for Values & Culture in Texas USA, Spiral Dynamics can help you to think better about emergent processes by addressing these questions:

"IF it is time for change, then change FROM what TO what?

And IF it is time for change, then which of the Seven Variations of Change is appropriate?

Finally, to connect it all together, ask:
How should Who Manage (lead, teach, etc.) Whom to do What, and When?

Use Spiral Dynamics to communicate with people in ways they understand best on their terms, not yours. Use Spiral Dynamics to motivate people in ways that matter to them, at this time, in this place."

It fits nicely also with my Communication Agents vision and the need for capable and independent minds to gradually shift into a new, important communication role, enabling them to survive outside large corporations and international organizations and to carry out their personal mission with renewed ethics and values reflecting their interest for cooperation and individual freedom.

The new concepts come from Ken Wilber and in particular Don Beck's Spiral Dynamics.

In a fascinating post to Bala's discussion list Michael Wollf writes:

"In a nutshell, the transition from employee to fully fledged freelancer requires a minimum of two and possibly three transitions through major value systems.

This entails a personal transformation process which is not trivial."

"In the employed world there is the value system of institutions (civil service, army, schools, hospitals, etc), which in SD is Blue.

In the value hierarchy the next system (Orange), is that of the market economy corporation, where we find most of modern business. When I was a CEO of a telecoms company, I was totally embedded in the Orange value system. I got out of that because I felt that I was not growing as an individual.

I then moved largely into the Green value system, disassociating myself with Orange values, in order to develop my identity in Green. Moving up to the north of Scotland and getting involved with Findhorn was all part of that process.
I then made the biggest discovery, namely that in making this transition, being in one value system meant excluding other value systems.

Spiral Dynamics identifies six value systems, which form a hierarchy of personal and social development. Progression up the hierarchy entails a process of disocciating from the current value system, transcending into the next, embedding in it, and then including elements from the previous system.

An individual or social group cannot move into the next value system without completing the full process, which entails BOTH transcending AND including the key values of the previous system.
In the case of Findhorn and most ecovillages that I have seen, the value system is still firmly embedded in Green, and the process of including the values from earlier systems has not been fully integrated.

People in Green only feel comfortable working with other people in Green. The same also applies to the other First Tier value systems.

A successful freelancer needs, in my view, to have been able to move to the next level (Yellow) and also Second Tier, at which point the individual has not only been through and transcended all the previous six First Tier value systems, but has also included and integrated the core values of the earlier systems.

This is the stage of authenticity, an essential requirement for virtual networking, and being able to work successfully with people from any value system, especially Blue and Orange.

The Green value systems are essential for discovering the process of self and organisational transformation, and form the basis for successful collaboration.

Earlier value systems, like Red and Purple, also include valuable components.
Historically people move into new value systems as their social conditions become more complex.

SD describes a hierarchy of value systems addressing ever increasing levels of complexity.

The evolution of the six First Tier value systems has taken 100,000 years, with Orange emerging in the 18th Century in Western Europe and Green in the last 100 years.

Yellow has only started emerging in any numbers in the last 30 - 40 years.

I would expect to find many people in Ecademy, who are making the transition into Yellow.

Thomas Power says that it takes 5 years to make the transition out of conventional employment into freelancing. However, my son of 24 and most of his friends are already comfortably embedded in Yellow, but very few of my contemporaries are. So it may be a question of generation.
The big question is: have life conditions become more complex by an order of magnitude, sufficient to drive millions of people to shift rapidly out of Blue/Orange, briefly through Green, into Yellow?

At the moment, I think the answer is no.

However, the forces that are enabling large volumes of knowledge-intensive work to flow out of high wage economies into low wage economies have potential catastrophic consequences for high wage economies, and the associated deflationary pressures, may force the emergence of Yellow thinking in individuals and the establishment of Turquoise organizational structures as a solution for economic survival, sustained quality of life, and personal growth.
Incidentally the homeworking travel sales consultants that we interviewed all showed a preference for Yellow values, with an excellent integration of Orange and some Green.
If you are not familiar with SD, I recommend that you read a short extract from one of Ken Wilber's interviews."

Posted by Michael Wollf on Bala Pillai's Erumbugal YahooGroup Discussion List
Edited by Robin Good

Erumbugal ("ants" in Tamil) is the hotbed where the Bala Pillai mind colonies (self-sustaining mind ecosystems) invention is being fine-tuned.

Think of mind colonies as parallels to ant colonies. Or ageographical villages.

In dissected language, mind colonies are spirit-rich, self-sustaining cross-media networked mind cooperatives for shared ethos groups, where minds in a mind grid are catalysed by full-time catalysts to learn, work, play and complement each other, with card-based exchange-guaranteed multilateral barter as currency.

Find out more at:

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posted by Robin Good on Saturday, May 17 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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