- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 42829th edition (August 5, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1405133562
- ISBN-13: 978-1405133562
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change 42829th Edition
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From the Back Cover
Spiral Dynamics reveals the hidden codes that shape human nature, create global diversities, and drive evolutionary change. These magnetic forces attract and repel individuals, form the webs that connect people within organizations, and forge the rise and fall of nations and cultures. This book tracks our historic emergence from clans to tribes to networks and holograms; identifies seven Variations on Change, and adds power and precision to the design of human systems and 21st century leadership.
Spiral Dynamics is an extension and elaboration of the biopsychosocial systems concept of the late Clare W. Graves; work that Canada's Maclean's Magazine called 'The Theory that Explains Everything'. The authors mesh UK biologist Richard Dawkins' concept of 'memes' with Gravesian 'value systems' in crafting a timely transformational change formula and process. Their concept of MEMES represents the first major statement of the new 'Science of Memetics.'
Don Edward Beck and Christopher C. Cowan, who were closely associated with Clare W. Graves, apply the principles of Spiral Dynamics worldwide in both corporate and top-level governmental sectors. They helped transform South Africa out of race categories, design organizational and marketing systems for a wide range of industries, and revitalize local communities, educational and professional institutions, and sports programs. Based on motivational MEMEs, they also designed a "hearts and minds" strategy for the South African rugby union team, winners of the 1995 World Cup.
Beck and Cowan were on the faculty of the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, for a number of years before forming the National Values Center.
About the Author
Don Beck is Co-founder of The National Values Center, Denton, Texas. He taught at the University of North Texas; played a major role in the South African transformation; and applies and enhances Gravesian/Spiral Dynamics concepts in corporate, educational, and geopolitical initiatives worldwide. He is active with Ken Wilber in the Integral movement.
Chris Cowan is Co-founder of The National Values Center and is based in Santa Barbara, California. He is partner in NVC Consulting which seek to continue and build on the legacy of Dr Clare W. Graves through research, application, and publications.
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Top customer reviews
Don Edward Beck and Christopher C. Cowan.
Don Edward Beck has been an inspiration to many of us engaged in the process of Change during the long transition we experienced in South Africa as the old regime gave way to the New Order after the elections in 1994. Don Beck consulted with those in the political, social, private sector, and even the South African Rugby team, that required to move through the MEMEs he describes in his book.
Change was about understanding the coping mechanism that we all had to deal with in our own very different internal fears and aspirations and externalize these with behaviors to align with the changes that we went through, and still having to deal with 20 years later. "The Crucible: a Forging South Africa's Future" by Don Beck and Graham Linscott, published in 1991, also addresses the challenges we faced in South Africa. The Crucible: Forging South Africa's Future
This book is a must read for all who have to deal with or manage any change process, where ever it may exist, and what ever country or environment we find ourselves.
Dr Edward Beck presented me with a signed copy of his book, published in 1996, that I cherish and read it many times over to remind me of how to address change, and aspire to be a Spiral Wizard, that is described as a key Change Agent.
Past President, Value Engineering and Management Society of South Africa
Spiral Dynamics is one very interesting model that was originally developed by the psychologist Clare W. Graves. He was a friend and colleague of Abraham Maslow, who had developed the well-known Hierarchy of Needs, ascending from basic biological needs to the more complex psychological motivations - belongingness, esteem, cognitive, esthetic and self-actualizing - once the basic needs have been satisfied. In Maslow's scheme, the needs at each level need to be at least partially satisfied before the needs of the next level start to determine action. But Graves' research lead him to believe that there were levels beyond self-actualization, and that different people achieved different kinds of development at different times in their lives. Over the last 30 years, Spiral Dynamics has been developing in a number of new directions. Ken Wilber has been working with Don Beck and has incorporated many of the ideas into his Integral Psychology, and I have recently shown how some of the ideas are immensely helpful in the field of health and wellness.
One of the important concepts of Spiral Dynamics is the meme. The word meme was first introduced by the Oxford University biologist Richard Dawkins, who used the word to mean things that are transmitted or broadcast through culture. Good examples would be songs, ideas or fashions in clothes, which are quickly disseminated through a culture, rather like a virus spreads around a population. These are now called "little memes." Spiral Dynamics takes a broader view. Each level of development is represented on a spiral and is called a "Value Meme" (vMeme), which expresses itself through the "little memes." You will normally see "vMeme" abbreviated to Meme, with a capital "M" to distinguish it from the "little memes." Each Meme is a code, or a system of information. We are each composites of memetic levels.
I was very interested to hear what Don Beck - one of the most important figures in the development of Spiral Dynamics, and heir apparent to Clare Graves - had to say about the current state of the model. There is one thing that marks out Spiral Dynamics from many other models: it has been successfully applied in some very difficult situations around the world, most famously in the post-Apartheid era in South Africa.
On the first CD, which Don has entitled The Dance of the Double Helix: How Humans Emerge, he begins with a broad overview, which includes a recoding of Clare Graves himself. For people not familiar with Spiral Dynamics, it might be necessary to go back and listen to the first CD again later: he uses a small number of terms without defining them.
On the second CD - The Codes by Which We Live -Don Beck provides a lucid description of the first six developmental levels. This is the clearest description that I've ever heard or read.
The third CD - The Leap into Second Tier - discusses a quantum jump in consciousness and the emergence of new moral codes and ways of thinking and behaving that promise t revolutionize the world around us.
On CD Four - The Dynamics of Leadership - Don gets very practical, in applying the model to leadership, natural organizations and the importance of understanding that people and organizations often have multiple bottom lines.
The Fifth CD - The Many Dimensions of Change - is the most dense of all of them in terms of concepts: Don discusses the phenomena of human emergence, the eight change variations, and the three components of change. His discussion of alpha fit, beta condition, gamma trap and delta surge is terrific for anyone who has ever tried to negotiate changes in relationships or in organizations.
Finally, CD Six - Stitching Together Our Wounded World - is a series of very practical lessons in how Spiral Dynamics can and has been used, and some pointers for the future.
These CDs are well produced and come with a small booklet and color chart. All the materials are of the same high quality that we have come to associate with Sounds True who produced and published the CDs.
If you are a complete beginner in the field of Spiral Dynamics, these CDs are sure to get you oriented very quickly, and you should be able to see how the theory applies in your life. The booklet contains some precise questions for helping you map your vMemes. It can be immensely helpful to do this exercise with people with whom you are in relationship. If you are already familiar with some of the concepts of Spiral Dynamics, you will likely still find some interesting material and a stimulating discussion. You may want to use the CDs to flesh out you understanding, before going on to the book Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan.
Whichever group you are in - beginner or more advanced student, you may well need to listen to some parts of the CDs more than once.
The not so good - is trying to keep track of the the of lists ie. "Six types of this...eight types of that" and all the examples. Hard to remember all of them
For an even better book on the work of Clare Graves check out "The Never Ending Quest" by Cowan and Todorovic
If You are really interested in the ideas and theories of Clare Graves then You really need to get both books as each contains material absent in the other how ever if I could only have one it would be "The Never Ending Quest"
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