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Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

‘vMEMES’

2002

Humber MeshWORKS… Jan-Feb: Delivered Graveisan-centred staff training sessions for the Garths. Feb: Worked with Cathy Byrne on developing Spiral strategies to employ in her application to become headteacher of the new school being formed from the merger of the Danepark and Court Park primary schools in Hull. Commentary: A ‘graduate’ from the previous Summer’s SD-NLP open workshop programme, the remarkable story of Cathy’s management of the merger is told as a case study in The Parks in the Services pages. In some circles, there’s a lot of contention about the elitism so often associated with those who claim to think in 2nd Tier – especially TURQUOISE thinking. But I actually do think Cathy does think in TURQUOISE at times. Her fearlessness, her ability to see things clearly from multiple perspectives and to build towards the ‘Big Picture’ would fit with the little we know about this vMEME – and she’s often been way ahead of me in her ability to understand the complexity in a situation! Mar-April: In association with David Burnby & Associates, delivered in-house version of An Introduction to Spiral Dynamics & Related Models of Neuro-Linguistic Programming for the Senior Management Team of Hull’s Preston Road New Deal for… Read More

2001

Humberside MeshWORK… Jan: Carried out major piece of therapy, using Penny Parks’ Mistaken Belief Visualisation (1994) to facilitate the healthy development of vMEMES. Commentary: The story of ‘Susan’ is told in the Services Case Studies section. Jan: Returned to teaching part-time (as supply) – encouraged by teachers from St Mary’s College who felt it was important I had front-line classroom experience if I was to introduce the Gravesian approach and related Change Management methodologies into local Education. Commentary: I had quit teaching 22 years previously and never thought I would go back to it. However, with business not exactly flooding in and wanting to further my understanding of the Gravesian approach as applied in the classroom, it seemed like a good option…for the short term! (From the research angle, the result was A Downward Spiral… in the Education pages.) Jan-Feb: Assisted Afton Court Retirement Home (Bridlington) recruit a new manager. Jan-Feb: Facilitated strategic planning sessions with the Garths Board of Directors. Consequently asked to become a Director myself; agreed to become an ‘Expert Advisor’ to the Board on a voluntary basis. Commentary: I turned down directorship on the grounds of potential conflict of interest. (I wanted to sell my services to the Garths.)… Read More

2000

HemsMESH! Jan: Took the lead in organising ‘Business Marketplace’. A one-day business exhibition/networking event – the first of its kind in South-East Wakefield – it showcased the best of the newer businesses in the area. Hailed as a major success by both exhibitors and visitors. Commentary: Paradoxically, at the time of its greatest success in South-East Wakefield, the Business Link effectively began to pack its bags ready to leave SESKU. By the time the doors closed at the Business Marketplace, the decision had already been taken that the project would terminate with the ending of the present funding. When HemsMESH hit its stride in the Spring, the SESKU & Hemsworth Business News had already ceased publication and Business Link’s part-time office in South Elmsall was closed. Thus, a powerful opportunity to have a linked attack on both the economic (Business Link) and social (HemsMESH) problems in SESKU/Hemsworth, using joint resources, was lost. Jan-Dec: Served as a leading member of the HemsMESH project team, using Spiral Dynamics and related change methodologies to investigate Youth Employability issues in Hemsworth/South-East Wakefield area. The project, centred around Hemsworth High School, was conceived initially by myself and Steven Beevers of Business Link Wakefield and developed and… Read More

1999

The Year of the 21st Century Group… Jan: Inauguration of monthly SESKU & Hemsworth Business News newsletter. Edited and mostly written by myself, it was hailed as a significant success by both local businesses and the Project Management Board. Commentary: The SRB-funded ‘SESKU’ project (for South Elmsall, South Kirkby and Upton) was meant to assist social and economic regeneration in the pit villages in the south-east of the Wakefield District which had been devastated by the closures of the mines. With high unemployment, escalating drugs and alcohol abuse, increasing crime figures, major behaviour problems in the schools and the health services under growing strain, SESKU was in desperate need of strategies to revitalise the area. The Business News was designed to promote services offered by the local business support agencies and to feature profiles of the more successful companies in the area as potential models for others. Jan: Issued own Ultimate Newsletter to over 400 nursing/residential homes. Commentary: While it carried several general interest features, the newsletter was obviously designed to promote my consultancy services and the Ultimate System. In retrospect it was a flawed concept. In trying to create something that would interest home owners on a broad basis, I… Read More

1998

The Making of a ‘Change Engineer’… Feb: Persuaded Business Link Wakefield & District and Wakefield College that the Management Development Forum agenda and resources should be incorporated within the Business Growth Forum. Commentary: This was the beginning of a new alliance at operational level between the two agencies and a key factor in the development of the BGF. Mar: The Business Growth Forum profile raised considerably by hosting joint workshop on Kaizen with RHP Bearings (Knottingley, West Yorks). Commentary: The first fruits of the new alliance with the College, Kaizen concepts were a major revelation to many Members of the BGF! Mar: Undertook training in Spiral Dynamics – SD Practitioner 1 Module – with the model’s developers, Don Beck & Christopher Cowan. Commentary: The training with Beck & Cowan was undoubtedly a major turning point in my life. Not only did Spiral Dynamics – and the work of Clare W Graves approach on which it was based – bring a sense of unifying coherence to the bits and pieces of Psychology I had studied from time to time over the years, but understanding of the model gave me a great sense of personal release – freeing me from burdensome and unrealistic expectations.… Read More

1988-1996

The Bridge Years Oct 88: Due to a misunderstanding with the embryonic Bridge training & consultancy operation who headhunted me, left Hellmann Mitchell Cotts 3 months before Bridge had the financial structures in place to afford me! So used my experience as a buyer and my knowledge of purchasing systems to secure work as a freelance administration consultant with Bradford-based Stylus Graphics Ltd (formerly one of my suppliers at Hellmann) and ICM Ltd in Leeds. Feb 89: Joined Bridge, based in Bradford. Wrote their library of training courses. These courses were very successful – and, apart from minor updates, they remained unchanged for over 5 years. (This in spite of considered reviews.) An attempt by other people in the Bridge organisation in 1994 to modularise the courses against units of the Management NVQs was abandoned because it was felt the project would end up altering the integral nature of the courses too much. Also undertook ‘hands on’ training – delivering a range of management, sales and communication skills – both to specific clients and via open seminars. This period included providing training to the sales force of Vileda, one of Britain’s most prestigious names in FMCG household goods – the UK division of a multi-national. During… Read More

Modernisation Theory vs Stratified Democracy #4

PART 4 Stratified Democracy Stratified Democracy, as defined by Don Beck (2000b), shifts the focus from economic development to cultural mindsets, with the understanding that the prime area for ‘development’ is sociopsychological rather than economic or fiscal. The aim of ‘development’ in this paradigm is not to become a consumeristic society along the lines of the Western model – though that may well be what some developing countries eventually become. The aim is for the country to be ‘healthy’ in itself – ie: the sociopsychological well-being of the peoples and the inter-relations between the different internal groupings of whatever type – and to have ‘healthy’ relations with other countries of whatever type. Achieving these healthy states at whatever level a country is at facilitates it moving on to whatever is next on the Spiral. In terms of governance, Stratified Democracy proposes that a core element of Democracy – representative government – be implemented in such as way as to fit with the values and norms – the culture – of the people to be governed. In 4Q/8L terms, this means constructing the Lower Right (the form of government) to match the Lower Left (culture of the people to be governed).As Elza Maalouf (2014,… Read More

Modernisation Theory vs Stratified Democracy #2

PART 2 Slavery and colonialism – the origins of Dependency As a Marxist, Frank has no hesitation in rooting dependency in the twin ‘evils’ of colonialism and Capitalism. Between 1650 and 1900 European powers, with Britain in the lead, used their superior naval and military technology to conquer and colonise many parts of the world. Paul Harrison (1990) argues that the principal result of the European empires was the creation of a global economy on European terms and the beginnings of the world capitalist system…. Colonies were primarily exploited for their cheap food, raw materials and labour – eg; Britain’s virtual monopoly over cotton benefited expansion of the Lancashire and Yorkshire textile industries. It’s worth noting that cheap labour also included slavery. From 1650 to 1850 some 9 million Africans (between the ages of 15 and 35) were shipped across the Atlantic to work as slaves on cotton, sugar and tobacco plantations in America and the West Indies, owned mainly by British settlers. The British slave-traders and the plantation owners made huge profits. The most fertile land was appropriated for growing ‘cash crops’ for export to the West. New markets in the colonies were created for manufactured goods from the industrial… Read More

Suicide? #2

  PART 2 The social construction of suicide Scientific and quantitative methods are completely rejected by some Phenomenologists. J Maxwell Atkinson (1978) does not accept that a ‘real’ rate of suicide exists as an objective reality waiting to be discovered. According to Atkinson, behavioural scientists who proceed with this assumption will end up producing ‘facts’ on suicide that have nothing to do with the social reality they seek to understand. By constructing a set of criteria to categorise and measure suicide – in scientific language, by operationalising the concept of suicide – they will merely be imposing their ‘reality’ on the social world. This will inevitably distort that world. As Michael Phillipson (1972) observes, the positivistic methodology employed by Durkheim and other researchers “rides roughshod over the very social reality they are trying to comprehend”. Suicide is a construct of social actors, an aspect of social reality. Official statistics on suicide, therefore, are not ‘wrong’, ‘mistaken’, ‘inaccurate’ or ‘in error’. They are part of the social world. They are the interpretations, made by officials, of what is seen to be unnatural death. Since, Phillipson argues, the object of Sociology is to comprehend the social world, that world can only be understood… Read More

Putin, Trump and the Endgame for Syria

A  couple of years back I stopped writing about Syria. It wasn’t a deliberate decision. It just seemed to happen. The routine nature of the horrific atrocities committed with relative abandon by both sides, with advantage seeming to swing first one way and then the other and then the other and then the other yet again seemed endless and wearisome. Everything that could be said seemed to have been said…and yet still it went on. Meanwhile, the Crimea, the Ukraine, the Scottish independence referendum, the Peshawar Massacre, Charlie Hebdo and other UnIsamic State atrocities, Jeremy Corbyn, the Brexit referendum, Jeremy Corbyn (again!), Donald Trump…. So many other things have happened in those 2-3 years and so many of them ‘closer to home’…and, as the apocryphal ‘McClurg’s Law’ postulates: the more something is closer to you (racially, nationalistically, culturally), the more newsworthy it is (Stephen Moore, Steve Chapman & Dave Aiken, 2009). Thus, it is understandable (in some senses, at least) that Syria went ‘off the radar’ at times not only for myself but for many other ‘thinkers’ and much of the Western media. Now, though, as what seems to be the final, heartbreaking agonies of Aleppo are so grim and apparently so decisive, they actually break through the news barrier and Syria becomes… Read More