Posts Tagged ‘spiral dynamics’

Why Brooks and Gladwell need Clare W. Graves

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Many colleagues and friends urged me to make available here my personal response to the latest David Brooks op-ed column in today’s New York Times. So for those interested readers who do not care to scroll through 305 comments on the NYT website, and for those who happen not to be members of the SDi Discussion Group (to join, click here!), what I felt needed to be said is the following:

The meshing of the social forces and unique, individual capacities is best explained in the seminal work of Professor Clare W. Graves entitled “the emergent, cyclical, double-helix model of bio-psycho-social development,” best known as Spiral Dynamics. This framework describes the pendulum swing between the I:Me:Mine (individual) and We:Us:Our (collective) values systems to form musical chord-like blends. These are systems within people, companies, cultures. This model played a major role in the South African transformation out of apartheid and is presently being used in Palestine along with Elza Maalouf. See for details.

Also, this paradigm will demonstrate why David Brooks and Malcolm Gladwell have slightly different views, since it explores the deeper values system codes at the core of an emerging human nature. As such, it also includes the role of behavioral genetics as well as strategies to raise levels of consciousness, all within what Maclean’s magazine in Canada once called “The Theory that Explains Everything.”

Since the concept integrates bio (the physicality of mind/brain) with psycho (the levels of complexity in individual world views) and socio (the impact of webs of cultures and societal systems and structures, it provides the Transpartisanship process that fits Obama’s search for solutions that go beyond race, red vs. blue states, conservative vs. liberal, extremism vs. moderation, and capitalism vs. socialism perspectives.

Over the years David Brook’s essays and articles have described this emerging construct but without a knowledge of its basic tenets.

Professor Graves taught at Union College (New York) for many years and died in 1986. His conceptual thinking and practical applications are now being used worldwide in a number of Centers for Human Emergence.

The Safest Place in a Crisis

Saturday, December 13th, 2008


Humanity is facing up to some hard truths. We have some powerful choices ahead to make. Many will be political, some religious, others educational. All will be predicated on the Spiral, whether we recognize it at the time or not. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but ignorance is worse. If you are now awakening to the power of Spiral Dynamics, you hold the handle of a versatile tool. Merge it into your wisdom and other insights. Then use it wisely and well.

Welcome to Hard Truths, my new blog that will aim to provide straight talk and colorful insights for Spiral Dynamics enthusiasts of every memetic hue. Expect to see regular posts on a range of topical cultural and political matters, SDi news, views, and bold new local and global visions interspersed with sudden flashes of creative fun – all fully infused with my life-time of thought and work on human nature and on personal and cultural emergence.

As an added bonus, look for some contentious posts and tidbits every so often. The safest place in any crisis is always the hard truth, so be sure to bookmark the site, check in often, or sign up for the RSS feed.

A final note: This blog series is meant to be thought-provoking, so if you have a comment, tip, idea or – perish the thought – a complaint, feel free to post it in the comments section attached to each posting, or drop me an e-mail. I’ll do my best to monitor the comments and respond when possible.