Spiral Dynamics® Level 1 Training — SDL1

The cornerstone to understanding human behaviour, motivation, and value systems.

Want to understand the minds of others and what makes people tick?  In the Spiral Dynamics® Level 1 Training, You will “live” the levels-of-existence point of view as it is applied to business, personal development, communication, coaching, education and a host of other topic areas. This immersion course covers the basics of our assessment suite and assessment approaches to determining which vMEMEs are active within individuals and groups. It provides the basics for using the principles of adult development in the field and is the first step in the certification process.

You will gain a thorough grounding Dr. Clare W. Graves’s ECLET models and Emergent Cyclical Theory. This course will give you a chance to learn how theory can be applied in real-world settings, to interact with others who have used what they learned practically, and to explore its applicability to individual and organization development through a human systems lens.

NVC Consulting’s Spiral Dynamics® programs have been attended by people all over the world interested in increasing their power to explain human behavior. From conflict between individuals to organizational change and national upheaval, we offer insights and a framework that helps you make sense of things; and it offers realistic framework for solutions. Consultants, trainers, managers, educators, and coaches around the globe are turbo-charging their skills by adding this approach to their repertoires.  As you know: “It’s only as good as the source!”

Get Started Now


Here is what you will learn at the SDL1

Core Training 4 Day Intensive

Building your Knowledge Core – Concept(s) vs. Conceptualization

  • The Five Levels of Understanding Model – from myth to research – growing knowledge work, empowering knowledge workers
  • Bio-psycho-social Systems Perspectives & Applications: The biology, psychology, sociology and systems view of who we are as individuals, teams, departments, and as participants in organizations, society, and as a global species
  • Differentiating memes from vMEMEs – problem solving and decision making through multiple layered models
  • Distinguishing values and how they connect to Value Systems for improving team building, leadership, culture, coaching, etc.
  • Fundamentals of concepts vs. conceptualization
  • Relating to contents versus containers as an analytical approach

Foundations of the Model – Covering the Basics

  • Complex Adaptive Intelligences – AQ, EQ, IQ, SQ, 3Q, RQ, & Spiral Quotient
  • Six Principles of VMEME Detection (applied to the individual, group, team, organization, culture, society)
  • Three Levels of Values Complexity (from Values to Value Systems)
  • Seven Postulates of Systems Lifecycles
  • Importance of Double Helix Theory and Emergent Systems to individual, team, corporate, social and global development
  • Understanding connections to management development, functional teams, leadership training, organizational transformation, culture and organizational development
  • What the “Spiral” is and isn’t

Dr. Clare W. Graves

  • History, Origins & Background
  • A Decade of Work with Dr. Graves
  • Research methods, empirical findings & theory building
  • Keys to Human Psychosocial Development
  • Conditions OF Existence & Conditions FOR Existence
  • Creation & Resolution of Existential Problems
  • Uncovering lost materials, new findings and insights

Exploring Psychosocial Systems of Development

  • Operational Definitions of Human Nature (Redefining Reality):
  • World-views, values and thinking in collaboration and collision
  • Avoiding common pitfalls and traps in analyzing the systems
  • The Systems: Beige, Purple, Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Yellow, Turquoise
  • Out of eight “types” and into the flow through transition states
  • Management, leadership, training, coaching, and working with the systems
  • Analyzing conceptions
  • Understanding differences and what they mean in human interactions
  • The “Languages” of Spiral Dynamics – when and where to speak them
  • Entering, Nodal, & Exiting Phases as applied to your issue(s) of concern
  • Debating the First Tier ‘Subsistence Levels’ and Second Tier ‘Being Levels’
  • Life Conditions & Characteristics of Eighteen Sub-Systems
  • Behavioral Recognition Principles – Identifying core concepts
  • Communication Strategies, Motivators and Demotivators of vMEMEs
  • Role playing the systems in the workplace
  • Working with the Double-Helix model
  • Basic Conception Interpretation and Analyzing Worldviews:
  • phrasing, locus/focus, processing and decision-making, triggers for change, hot-buttons, recognizing systems, comparison to other worldviews, pinpointing markers of the systems, the dynamics of change
  • Congruent Management from a bio-psycho-social-systems perspective
  • Topical issues and discussion tailored to your group (i.e. globalization, terrorism, 9-11, War on Iraq, education, community development, understanding culture, organizational transformation, and anything that comes up worthy of discussion)

Comparative Analysis of Graves and the Spiral Dynamics Approach

  • The wave versus particle view and its importance in analysis
  • Using the systems versus stacks notion in coaching, management and change
  • Differences in assessment and evaluation
  • Centralization versus mixes for individual and group assessment
  • Uses, strengths and weaknesses of various approaches in dealing with other
  • Spiral Dynamics extensions and current research
  • Clearing up distortions resulting from popularization

Assessment & Metrics

Values Profiles (first level certification)

  • Uses and applications of 3 key instruments to: training, management, organizational change, personal and professional development, research, leadership, coaching and education
  • Interpreting the results and review of normative data
  • Appropriate and inappropriate uses of the psychometrics
  • Completion and Analysis of your profile
  • Defining the present and desired existential states for intervention

Change State Indicator (first level certification)

  • Characteristics of the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and New Alpha States
  • Differentiating between Order and Chaos
  • Awareness of the impact of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Order Change
  • Analyzing your results
  • Interpreting the results
  • Giving Feedback (for Coaches, Managers, Leaders, Trainers and Organizational Development Consultants)

Mastering the Change Equation – The Dynamics of Individual and Group Transformation

  • Six Conditions for Change: an introduction
  • Overcoming Resistance to Change
  • Open, Closed & Arrested Conditions in human systems
  • Ten tests for and three signs of closedness
  • Five Change States: recognizing and learning how to interface at multiple levels
  • Regression & Stressors (Good versus non-productive pressures)
  • Analyzing and dealing with Resistance to Change
  • Using the Change State Indicator as a coaching and organizational tool
  • Variations of Change
  • The Sequence of vMEME Change
  • The Gap between Problems of Existence and Congruent Coping in Organizations
  • Building a comprehensive framework for mapping change at the individual, group, team, organizational and society levels

Adopting an Approach that Works for You

  • Introduction to P-O-A Formula for Management/Leadership
  • Communicating Change
  • Five Processes for Applying Spiral Dynamics
  • Seven markers of Spiral Dynamics mastery
  • Connections to Complementary Theories and Models
  • The Design Question (Breaking down the essentials of a project)
  • Management, Leadership, and Organizational Alignment using Spiral Dynamics
  • Phases of Leadership

Get Started Now

Christopher C. Cowan co-author Spiral Dynamics- Mastering Values Leadership and Change, Director and co-founder National Values Centre, Director and Co-founder National Values Centre Consulting. Chris has been working with this material since 1976.

Natasha Todorovic Partner National Values Centre, Director and co-founder National Values Centre Consulting and co-editor of Graves: Levels of Human Existence and The Never Ending Quest: Clare W. Graves Explores Human Nature with Chris Cowan. Natasha has been working with this material since 1991.