PART I: Brief History of the Science of Values System; Graves and Beck
Emerging from the original work of Dr. Clare W. Graves’ bio-psycho-social systems perspective, and developed by Dr Don Beck, Spiral Dynamics integral is a way to think about complex things, both in organizations and individual lives. The framework offers a fresh, powerful, and comprehensive approach to problem solving, change, and transformation. Spiral Dynamics explores the core intelligences and deep values that flow beneath what we believe and do. The result is a dynamic model of emergent thinking systems that explain, how values arise and spread, why people make decisions in different ways, and what to do with those differences to create a win-win-win outcome.
Spiral Dynamics answers questions like:
- IF it is time for change, then change FROM what TO what?
- WHY do people respond to different motivators?
- WHY and HOW do values arise and spread?
- WHAT is the nature of change?
- HOW should who lead whom to do what, and when?
Spiral Dynamics integral is a bio-psycho-social map of living human systems that focuses on natural designs and offers whole new integral solutions that are ecological, systemic, and life-affirming. In effect the theory describes and makes sense of the enormous complexity of human existence, and then shows how to craft elegant, systemic problem-solutions that meet people and address situations where they are.
Spiral Dynamics integral is applied to individual projects to large scale change in countries and cultures. To business, health care, education, Politics and social change.
This powerful conceptual system has been field-tested in some of the most complex environments on the planet, from inner-city Chicago to racially plagued South Africa. And from large scale projects in the Netherlands to reforming the educational system in Mexico.
“Once a new social stage appears in a culture, it will spread its instructional codes and life priority messages throughout that culture’s surface-level expressions: religious, economic and political arrangements, psychological and anthropological theories, including views of human nature, our future destiny, globalization, and even of architectural patterns and sports preferences. We all live in flow states; we find ourselves pursuing a never-ending quest”
-Dr. Don Beck
“Briefly, what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiraling process, marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as man’s existential problems change.”
-Dr. Clare W. Graves.
PART II. The Color Codes of the Spiral
BEIGE Instinctive/Survivalistic MEME – starting 100,000 years ago
Basic theme: Do what you must just to stay alive
- Uses instincts and habits just to survive
- Distinct self is barely awakened or sustained
- Food, water, warmth, sex, and safety have priority
PURPLE Magical/Animistic MEME – starting 50,000 years ago
Basic theme: Keep the spirits happy and tribe’s nest warm and safe
- Obeys the desires of the spirit being and mystical signs
- Shows allegiance to chief, elders, ancestors, and the clan
- Individual subsumed in group
RED Impulsive/Egocentric MEME – starting 10,000 years ago
Basic theme: Be what you are and do what you want, regardless
- The world is a jungle full of threats and predators
- Breaks free from any domination or constraint to please self as self desires
- Stands tall, expects attention, demands respect, and calls the shots
- Enjoys self to the fullest right now without guilt or remorse
- Conquers, out-foxes, and dominates other aggressive characters
- Preserves sacred objects, places, events, and memories
- Observes rites of passage, seasonal cycles, and tribal customs
- Forms into survival bands to perpetuate life
- Lives “off the land” much as other animals
BLUE Purposeful/Authoritarian MEME – starting 5,000 years ago
Basic theme: Life has meaning, direction, and purpose with predetermined outcomes
- One sacrifices self to the transcendent Cause, Truth, or righteous Pathway
- The Order enforces a code of conduct based on eternal, absolute principles
- Righteous living produces stability now and guarantees future reward
- Impulsivity is controlled through guilt; everybody has their moral place
- Laws, regulations, and discipline build character and moral fiber
ORANGE Achievist/Strategic MEME – starting 300 years ago
Basic theme: Act in your own self-interest by playing the game to win
- Change and advancement are inherent within the scheme of things
- Progresses by learning nature’s secrets and seeking out best solutions
- Manipulates Earth’s resources to create and spread the abundant good life
- Optimistic, risk-taking, and self-reliant people deserve success
- Societies prosper through strategy, technology, and competitiveness
GREEN Communitarian/Egalitarian MEME – starting 150 years ago
Basic theme: Seek peace within the inner self and explore, with others, the caring dimensions of community
- The human spirit must be freed from greed, dogma, and divisiveness
- Feelings, sensitivity, and caring supersede cold rationality
- Spreads the Earth’s resources and opportunities equally among all
- Reaches decisions through reconciliation and consensus processes
- Refreshes spirituality, brings harmony, and enriches human development
YELLOW Integrative MEME – starting 50 years ago
Basic theme: Live fully and responsibly as what you are and learn to become
- Life is a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies, systems, and forms
- The magnificence of existence is valued over material possessions
- Flexibility, spontaneity, and functionality have the highest priority
- Differences can be integrated into interdependent, natural flows
- Understands that chaos and change are natural
TURQUOISE Holistic MEME – starting 30 years ago
Basic theme: Experience the wholeness of existence through mind and spirit
- The world is a single, dynamic organism with its own collective mind
- Self is both distinct and a blended part of a larger, compassionate whole
- Everything connects to everything else in ecological alignments
- Energy and information permeate the Earth’s total environment
- Holistic, intuitive thinking and cooperative actions are to be expected
PART III. Role of Value Systems in Economics
(will be subject of next blog)