Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don Beck on "The Yellow World"

This piece by Don Beck was offered in response to a discussion on what a "yellow" world might look like -- yellow being the first integral developmental stage in the Spiral Dynamics model of bio-psycho-social evolution.

This is from the Yahoo list, available only to those who have complete an SDi training.

The Yellow World

GT-7th Level (Yellow) is very difficult to detect because it expresses itself in two primary forms--stealth and surface. First, because one of its' initial challenges is to deal with the First Tier modes and methods which, of course, will reflect the First Tier set of Life Conditions, it operates more by stealth. It might show up in any memetic color(s) .The attempt to design and implement leadership and management systems down Spiral could well come out of the systemic elements in the 7th Level Code. What you will see will be elegant, creative, and robust versions of each of the First Tier legends which have been defined from the Yellow highly functional set points. For example, a Blue hierarchy as described by Blue itself becomes an all or nothing, final stage model, based on the ultimate Truth. However, when defined by the Yellow Master Code, it becomes a developmental conduit through which minds (cultures) pass from Red to Orange. It is not a Blue trap that determines who will go to heaven or hell.. This is Yellow by stealth in that it is not seen on the surface but one would have to ask the "why question" to uncover it's role beneath and behind the visible manifestations. Very few people in the entire Spiral Dynamics-Integral world understand the nuances of this approach but it is a critical part of the technology to deal with the realities that people confront. Since I have often been in a position to advocate a healthy version of Blue, I have been severely criticized by those who claim to occupy the Second Tier conceptual space, or those with an unhealthy version of Green that rejects verticality in the first place. I recall when a former "partner" referred to those men in the "Promise Keepers" movement that were attempting to discover accountability in their lives (many were former and active sports coaches) as "banana brains." I supported the activity as a necessary developmental stage since many had attempted to bypass that level or had it weakened under the social and time pressures in their profession. At least he got the yellow color right.

The much more visible version of Yellow (surface) is now beginning to appear as more minds/groups have matured into something close to the Second tier zones where there exists the capacity to self-determine, to demonstrate self-reliance, to manage one's self given the necessary access to information, along with the ability to be flexible and adapt to changing conditions and situations. From what I hear Google does have some of these characteristics, and even Southwest Airlines, an early adopter of many of these ideas, will exhibit, over all, elements of this systemic way of doing business and living life. (Southwest people also like to have fun!). John Smith's Hearthstone Homes building group in Omaha is another prime example, as is, in my view, John Mackey's Whole Foods Market.

No doubt there are other such examples and we expect there to be many, many more in the future. The need for rapid responses to change and complex challenges; the redistribution of power created by the information technology explosion, the general affluence of working populations; the higher levels of formal intelligences, and even the shift into "more is less" mind sets are all factors. We lay out this process in the SDi Level Two "Natural Designs" training program in an attempt to model both versions of Yellow with real case-studies and examples.

Don't expect to find any entity in modern society that is All Yellow. We may not reach "nirvana" in this life!

Beck is always quick to assert that "yellow" stage growth (and beyond) is a not at all very common and that those who claim such development often aren't even close. This has been my experience as well.

We have to remember that the intellectual line almost always out-paces the other lines, and that because we rely so much on intellect as a measure of development, we can be under the illusion that all our other developmental lines are at the same stage as our intellect, which is seldom the case.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)