Our June session in Cincinnati will see the roll out of a dramatic change in our Spiral Dynamics training, the Comprehensive Track. The new ISDO Spiral Dynamics Comprehensive program brings our SDL1, SLD2, online SD Practicum and additional online advanced courses together into a whole learning package that will take 18 months of study and practical engagement. While these can be completed as separate chunks, our intention is that participants will work the Comprehensive straight through to maintain continuity and focus. To start, this program is only available in the U.S. in English. (For the balance of 2014, internationally, we will follow the traditional SDL1 & 2 tracks with Practicum as a follow-on.)
What’s different and why? We’re adding major online components to our classroom seminars for better follow-through, support and integration. As you know, we’ve spent several years researching how well people understand the material we present and how they are able to use it. The evidence is overwhelming: to grasp and apply material in SD training takes longer than most people initially realize, or many care to invest. Experiences need to layer for serious use; and the process of integrating the whole of the point of view, rather than just colors and categories, takes more than a few jolly days in a conference room. No matter how intelligent and experienced someone might be, we’ve found that it takes hands-on practice, guided learning and feedback to clear up misconceptions, find and fill gaps, and to really absorb this Graves/SD point of view beyond Myth/Metaphor understanding. Therefore, the new approach incorporates existing onsite elements that work well and adds an extended online interactive component. The new format will support participants for the duration of their learning curves.
Because people coming to Spiral Dynamics® training have different expectations and needs, we are offering two parallel tracks: a shorter ‘SD for Personal Development’ track (PDT) which ends after the expanded five-day seminar experience, and a continuing ‘SD Professional Development’ track (PRO1) which continues online. Day 5 will be different for you depending on the track you chose.
The Personal Development Track (PDT) will be enough for people curious to become acquainted with SD/Graves and to understand themselves and their worlds through a Gravesian lens better than introductions or readings can deliver. This, plus results from the tools in our assessment suite, help participants focus on and become familiar with the systems that might be active in their worlds. Participants in the PDT will have ample opportunities to customize their SD experience to apply the learnings with family, community, and at work. They will have a solid personal growth experience without the professional applications.
This new personally-oriented track will allow participants to discover a lot about themselves and their worlds with the aim of preparing them to build congruence, comprehension, and alignment in their own lives using the insights they develop during the program.
The Professional Track, PRO1 is better suited for our clients who plan to use SD tools and techniques in their work as consultants, trainers, coaches, managers, teachers, and facilitators. The PDT and PRO1 tracks will run parallel for four days since a grounding in Gravesian theory and the insights it provides are valuable for everyone. On the fifth day the tracks will diverge slightly. The PDT will focus on personal issues and future planning. Because they intend to go beyond their own personal development and apply the ideas to others in their organizations and businesses, the PRO1 track will become an Action Learning Team (ALT) to begin a year-long practical experience in a virtual classroom with courses and projects designed to consolidate, clarify, and customize the SD materials and tools, as well as to build analytical skills using this approach . This program draws from the SD Practicum and takes place on the ISDO learning management platform.
For those wanting even more depth and experience, SD Professional Track PRO2 revises parts of the present classroom-based SDL2 by adding more practical activities plus online interactive coursework. PRO1 track participants will work with real-world clients to build volunteer reports in the ALT format with feedback and coaching along with interactive experiences. Their cases will be processed and analyzed during the PRO2 one year later, along with more advanced content in the seminar setting. (Anyone completing the current SD Practicum with volunteer reports will be eligible to join the PRO2 program.)
Summary of PRO Courses on the COMPREHENSIVE Track
PRO 1, ONSITE: The core content of our well-established SDL1 (4-day) expands into the 5-day residential seminar phase with a hands-on day for those wanting to apply the work. (The SD Personal Development Track ends at this point.)This intensive adult learning will equip participants with an in-depth grounding in Clare Graves’s emergent-cyclical theory, the foundation of our popular Spiral Dynamics® programs, and other approaches and applications incorporated within the SD package. It will be heavier on content, lighter on process. Meanwhile, the online portion will have a strong focus on process and solid application bolstered with new content.
PRO 1, ONLINE: After the 5-day onsite training, the process-heavy application part begins on the ISDO online learning platform. This second phase lasts ONE YEAR. Participants become Action Learning Teams (ALTs) to work through courses, discuss cases, complete projects, participate in discussions, and join in experiences structured to consolidate their knowledge, fill gaps, and awaken new spiral competencies. We employ the ALT model so that members of the learning community can see themselves and others in operation “here and now” rather than relying entirely on “there and then” examples.
Participants should expect to spend at least 2-5 hours per week with the online community as they work through new lessons and video tutorials, complete interesting projects, and engage in give-and-take feedback and occasional chat/Skype sessions. There will be times when you need to check in almost every day when activity is high. The format allows for asynchronous learning – crucial given a group based globally – and gives members more control to pace their own studies and to schedule their contributions, plus a chance to apply the materials in ‘real world’ local settings with knowledgeable feedback from peers and facilitators. If you’ve taken it, you know it is rigourous, fun, demanding, and challenging.
PRO 2, ONSITE: The core content of our well-established SDL2 (3-day) expands into the 5-day residential seminar phase with presentation of your case studies, developed during the PRO1 Online. Building on the foundations from PRO1, participants look at in-depth applications and analyze complex human problems through ever sharper and more discerning lenses, all the while building usable action strategies. (It goes beyond our current SDL2.) You will enhance your awareness of transitional states and sub-systems – human transformations realized – and present cases built around volunteer projects from real people and organizations.
PRO2, ONLINE: This two-part 6-month follow-on training uses an ALT format in one segment and self-paced learning in the other. PRO2, the more advanced theory/practice track, assumes you have successfully completed the PRO 1 track (or Practicum along with your volunteer reports), and are ready to apply the material. This set of courses is for professionals who want to “get behind the scenes” of human emergence and really understand the deep forces that lead to choices, produce trends, shape waves, and mold behavior – what makes people tick. You’ll experience a new interview approach, pair that with deeper profile interpretation, learn to customize feedback for your volunteers, and further develop your ability to use models and theory while applying to real people.
Those who complete this program will be invited to join the SD PRO3 track which is built around ISDO’s advanced SDL3 base.
Again, you might wonder why we are making these changes. Quite simply, experience has taught us that while studying the books on one’s own is a way to gather content, and sitting in a class processing it adds a layer of comfort, for the vast majority of people that’s still insufficient for sound footing or application. Gaps remain because we can’t know what we don’t know, and serious misconceptions lie undiscovered and unchecked without a more rigourous track. It’s hard to learn process observation from texts, or to discern complex systems without depth of understanding gained in guided, feedback-rich environment. We all need practice and meaningful feedback. Working through problems and data with real human beings as they interact, debate, and make choices builds the “spiral muscle” to transform talking ‘colour-talk’ in the air over to walking Spiral walk solidly grounded. That is what Comprehensive spiral learning is about, and why we have reorganized and expanded our programs.