HOME What is Spiral Dynamics?

People think in different ways. A brother and sister, husband and wife, manager and employee, corporation and stakeholder, agency and client might have very different world views and values while thinking and behaving in very different/similar ways. People in adjoining cubicles or families living right next door to each other sometimes don’t seem to be dwelling in the same psychological neighborhood. Colleagues in an organization have wide ranging ideas about vision, mission, and purpose; most are doing their best. Countries sharing one planet often seem to be in totally different worlds with their policies while talking of peace, prosperity and freedom. Why?

SPIRAL DYNAMICS® programs are concerned with why we cooperate, collaborate and come to conflict over differences in values and the deeper value systems that form them. Contents include maps to the emerging nature of human nature. We share a point of view and ways of thinking that provide you with options in charting differences in leadership, learning, management, social structures, economics—and virtually every other area where human thinking has an impact. Moreover, you’ll learn how to cope with those differences more effectively.

The “Spiral” captures how people develop diverse worldviews and the characteristics of those views. It’s a metaphor and model for the emergent, cyclical double-helix form envisioned by Dr. Clare W. Graves, the scholar whose elegant work forms the foundations covered in SD Levels 1 and 2 training.

“Dynamics” explores the process of human emergence and how living systems evolve, grow and change. Graves called his a bio-psycho-social systems view; all four of those elements are a process.

Together, Spiral with Dynamics provides you with frameworks for tracking the evolution of worldviews and a scaffold on which to stand while analyzing situations and planning the most appropriate actions. It allows us both to differentiate the things that make us diverse and to integrate the things which draw us together, thereby creating a fuller picture of who we, Homo sapiens, are as active participants in our world.

The “Spiral” is sometimes seen as a values model. While the underlying theory of Dr. Clare W. Graves is, indeed, concerned with values to the extent that what is important to a person or group is an indicator of how they think about things. It’s at that deeper layer – deep values – that the models in SPIRAL DYNAMICS® programs and their power become apparent because the questions of how and why something takes on importance offers far more explanatory and predictive power than merely cataloging attitudes or preferences. SPIRAL DYNAMICS® programs address WHY we value what we do, and HOW we go about making the decisions to do so. Think of “the spiral” then, as a valuing model more than a tool for sorting among values. And recognize that very different people can value the same thing for very different reasons, and that people who go about valuing in the same way can hold to remarkably different beliefs.