Last weekend I saw Spiral Dynamics guru Don Beck in London. Hosted by Enlighten Next (Andrew Cohen’s group) and the London Integral Circle it was a very pleasant day.
Spiral Dynamics is a model of human psychological and cultural development that focuses on values systems. The basic idea is that there values, linked to life conditions which tend to coexist, and these can develop through a number of hierarchical stages. I love Spiral Dynamics as it has a broad range of practical applications from business marketing, to making sense of internet dating to thoughts on UK immigration policy (three conversation I had on Saturday).
Don Beck has been linked with Ken Wilber and the Integral movement and has applied Spiral Dynamics all over the world including post apartheid South Africa, peace building in the Middle East and in The Netherlands around race and diversity.
I’ve applied Spiral Dynamics to aikido and NGO work I did before starting my training company. I’ve also received quite a lot of flack trying to share Spiral Dynamics with liberal friends who don’t like the idea of adult psychological development and see us as all unique snowflakes (Hitler and Gandhi just having different points of view) so it was great to be in a room full of people where these discussion were allowed. One thing that came up was what would a healthy British nationalism look like (as opposed to an old racist Empire or BNP version), in fact what were desirable British traits? Most of us there we stretched to find any as we’d back-lashed so hard against nationalism and Empire. After consideration of comments from the day (and remembering travel) I’d offer the following UK strengths:
- Humour – Particularly not taking ourselves seriously. We have a long history of satire.
- Word Power – we are known world wide for our poets and novelists, and have a certain linguistic cleverness day to day. English will be the world language.
- Resilience – The Blitz and 7/7 were mentioned. Getting on with things and not blubbing all the time have a positive side.
- Creativity – We invented most useful things 🙂
Business/Peace/ So What: It pays to pitch things to the appropriate value set.
British So What: Being proud of where you come from needn’t make you a moron