Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spiral Dynamics

Great article at that explains Spiral Dynamics very simple and effectively, at the link you can also listen to the article!

Ever heard of “Spiral Dynamics”? Very cool stuff put forward by Don Beck and Chris Cowan.

Here’s the quick overview:
People and cultures go through different stages of development. The Spiral guys like to color-code them to make it easier to keep track. It goes like this:

RED. Think: Terrible twos. I’ll blow you up if you piss me off. (Yikes!)
Think: Ten Commandments. Fundamentalist anything. Rules are paramount. Literal interpretations of the Bible are absolutely (God damnit!!) correct. Ahem.
Think: Wall Street. Academia. Science and ambition are key here.
. Think: Environmentalism. Pluralism. All is one. Non-violent.

So, the idea goes that we all evolve through different stages of development. All of those stages above are part of what they call the “first tier.” Here’s the funny thing about those perspectives: they’re all convinced they’re 100% right.

It’s a big food fight.
GREEN looks at ORANGE and says, “You greedy capitalists!!! You’re good for nothing and totally destroying our planet! And, my non-violent self HATES you!”
looks at GREEN and says, “You tree-hugging, New Agey hippies!! Get a job and contribute to the economy, will ya?!? And quit looking at those crystals.”
BLUE looks at everyone and says, “You’re all going to hell because you don’t believe in [insert favorite God here], God damnit!!”
looks at everyone and says, "I hate you!!! I’m blowing you up.”

Everything is “either, or.”
No one can see the validity of the other perspectives.
Not so good.

The idea?
Let’s consciously evolve as individuals and as a culture to a “second-tier” level of consciousness. Here, for the first time, we can hold multiple perspectives. We can see that, in the words of Ken Wilber, “No one is smart enough to be 100% wrong.” :)

What’s that look like?
Well, you can see the truth in the need to take care of our environment AND the need for a powerful economy AND the need for rules and regulations AND the need to take aggressive action when the situation demands it.

Powerful. VERY powerful.

More Spiral Dynamics links: Dedroidify Integral Theory page
Radical Change Group Podcasts: Reality Tunnels and Adaptive Intelligencies, Graves Model of Bio-Psycho-Social System of Human Development

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