Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences


Lives on the Spiral #2

PART 2 Work And Spiral Dynamics integral Prior to the Beck & Cowan workshops, career-wise I was very much driven by BLUE. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, given the household I grew up in, once I had gotten over the peak of my hippie rebellion, unconsciously perhaps my YELLOW taking in the consequences of all that GREEN-liberated RED indulgence – I settled easily into BLUE ways of thinking and ended up working as a consultant on quality standards like ISO 9000 and Investors in People. Unfortunately I very much approached this work, not from the angle of business improvement but from the perspective that what was required was rigid conformity to idealised models of business performance. My precision and attention to detail made me effective in getting organisations to meet their desired standard but I did little or nothing to improve business performance. One printing house in London threw out the project because I was tying them up in paperwork. That was typical of BLUE’s emphasis on form over function. That motivation was taken to the extremes of punishing the sinner when, during a procedural audit in a care home, I castigated a nurse for not signing the care plan in the right place.… Read More

Shades of Leadership

A Case Study in Leading for the Followers This case study was published in Russ Volckmann’s Integral Leadership Review e-zine – – March 2006. A version of the Hodgson Sealants story, with some different emphases, can be found in the Case Studies section of this site. A few years ago, I was invited to work with Hodgson Sealants Ltd, a Yorkshire-based family firm. They were a leading manufacturer of sealants and Europe’s single biggest supplier of putty. They were beginning to penetrate North Africa and other markets beyond the European continent. For the previous 30-plus years, the company had been run as the personal fiefdom of founder Peter Hodgson. His word was law and he could change the law, even on a day to day basis, as he saw fit. But the majority of his workforce, who had been with him, more or less since the company’s inception, were unwaveringly loyal. They loved him; and he looked after them in the manner of a beneficent feudal lord. The company had been a phenomenally successful for a smaller business and, at the time I became involved, had a turnover of over £10M and employed around 110 people. Things hadn’t changed much at Hodgsons over the years; but the world around them was changing – as Peter’s two… Read More


The Beginnings of ‘Integrated SocioPsychology’ 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Facilitated a session in Grimsby on Learning & Change for Common Purpose South Humber as part of their ‘Profile’ programme. Commentary: The contact with Common Purpose South Humber was made via former Common Purpose in Hull director David Burnby who had been inspired through training with me in July 2001 to go freelance. David was much impressed with my training style and the Gravesian approach. In 2002 he had co-promoted the third delivery of An Introduction to Spiral Dynamics & Related Models of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and also sold an in-house version of the programme into Hull’s Preston Road New Deal for Communities project. January-April: Delivered Understanding MeshWORKS for North Lincolnshire Council Community Investment Team members who had not been on the first tranche of training in late 2002. Commentary: Jenny Gavin-Allen saw the need for as many members of her team as possible to be exposed to the Gravesian approach, related models of NLP and Adizes LifeCycle… Read More


Humberside MeshWORK… 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: 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. January: 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.) January-February: Assisted Afton Court Retirement Home (Bridlington) recruit a new manager. January-February: Facilitated strategic planning sessions with the Garths Board of Directors. Consequently… 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… 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

How to build a MeshWORK

Updated: 22 September 2016 It is difficult to be prescriptive about developing a MeshWORK. Because the Gravesian approach enables us to recognise and work with a number of different value systems (vMEMES) in play at any one time, MeshWORKS interventions – and, indeed, the very structures to deliver those interventions – will be dependent on the needs of the client peoples and/or organisations. So a MeshWORK is highly organic and readily flexible, shifting its structure and its interventions to meet the changing circumstances and the changing natures of the client peoples and/or organisations. However, there are 2 core principles:- Breadth The MeshWORK must create CAPI – Coalesced Authority, Power and Influence (Integration). This is a concept Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck has borrowed from management guru, Ichak Adizes (1987) for enhancement of the MeshWORK concept. (Adizes’ Organisation LifeCycle is often a powerful tool to link with the Gravesian approach for MeshWORK development – particularly when using the Lower Quadrants of 4Q/8L to look at needs and conflict in organisations. Adizes provides not only the most highly-advanced model of organisational development but also a means of mapping which vMEMES are driving (or hindering!) that development. # ‘Authority’ is the ability to make decisions. #’Power’ is the… Read More


PART 3 The 2nd Tier green/YELLOW (f-s/G-T (A’-N’)) (Kohlberg’s Principled Conscience) The later phase of this transition is characterised by an emerging concern for the environment and elements of the planetary eco-systems, with an awareness that all resources (human and non-human) need looking after wherever possible. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice; and a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. There is also the strengthening desire to make and live by independent decisions rather than accepting group consensus responsibility. The individual acts because it is right for him/her, and not because it is instrumental, expected, legal or previously agreed upon. However, there is also an increased willingness to walk away from lost causes and seek to engage in activities which are intrinsically self-satisfying. Markedly there is a more innovative approach to problem-solving. YELLOW (G-T (A’-N’)) (Maslow’s Self-Actualisation; Loevinger’s Autonomous L-5) See Self-Actualisation/YELLOW. YELLOW/TURQUOISE (G-T (A’-N’)/H-U (B’-O’)) (some elements of Maslow’s Self-Actualisation; Loevinger’s Integrated; Cook-Gretuer’s Construct Aware) Due to very small sample sizes, there is insufficient credible data to delineate significantly between exiting and entering phases. Broadly this transition is marked by increasing loneliness and stress from coping alone. Lawrence Kohlberg &… Read More

The Rosedale MeshWORK

by Gernia Van Niekerk 15 October 2002 Gernia Van Niekerk, Chief Executive of the Enrute Foundation, has been instrumental in developing several wholescale MeshWORK projects in rural South Africa. Her work is respected globally and places her among the leading Gravesian thinkers in the world. This is a slightly-edited version of her August 2002 Executive Summary of the Rosedale project. For further information on the project, Gernia can be contacted via e-mail. REFLECTING LIFE CONDITIONS Background Rosedale is a very small rural town in the Eastern Free State on the R70-road between Senekal and Ficksburg. This road is the main road between Gauteng and Lesotho, as well as the road between the goldfields of the Free State and Lesotho. The border post outside Ficksburg is the busiest border post in South Africa. The R70-road geographically separates the town Rosedale and the township Mautse. The Mariandal (emphasizing the fact that the communities of Rosedale and Mautse are inseparably linked to one another) Cultural Village has been built next to this road. Rosedale is a dominant white living area although a few coloured and black families have moved into the area, consisting of approximately 200 residents. Mautse is a black living area where approximately… Read More

The Gernia Variation

Updated: 28 April 2016 For her MeshWORK projects in rural South Africa, Gernia Van Niekerk has developed a more action-oriented version of 4Q/8L It is conceived as a follow-on to mapping via the original Don Beck (2000b, 2002b) adapted from Ken Wilber’s All Quadrants/All Levels concept original (1996) . It is sometimes known as The Gernia Variation. This works by:- Structuring needs according to the 6 vMEMES of the Gravesian 1st Tier (Q-1) Auditing the resources available and surveying the organisations and institutions that must be aligned to cooperate and participate (Q-3) Identifying ways and means – ie: projects – to drive the development programme (Q-4) Auditing the skills required to run and sustain the projects and the utlisation of existing technology at each level (Q-2) By bringing in Skills & Knowledge, Gernia links 4Q/8L to all of the neurological levels. Click here to view a report on Gernia’s ‘Rosedale MeshWORK’ – using her version of 4Q/8L.