Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

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Committed to Learning…?

Jennifer Crossland

Jennifer Crossland sent me this appeal and asked me to float it for a public response….

My current issue, as Innovation Manager at the Grimsby Europarc, is how to get owner managers to prioritise the time to develop themselves and their own business for future innovation & success. Why is it that everything else and any minor crisis gets in the way of this? How can we persuade them to invest half a day a month and educate them on scheduling their time more effectively to prevent drop outs.

More importantly …how do I stop taking it so personally?”



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4 Responses

  1. Steve Gorton says

    Keith Agree there are real links with Logical levels – would also include the environmental and purpose/mission aspects Steve

  2. keitherice says

    HI, Duncan

    I think you’ve hit a key point. The vMEMES or combination of vMEMES operating in an individual’s psyche will influence what is important to them and what kind of learning they might be open to in any given set of circumstances.

    I suspect there may well be some mileage – and some learning for all of us! – in working through how Jen might make her Innovation work more appealing to each vMEME and then send out multi-vMEME messages. However, I think we may well also benefit from looking explicitly at what Identities and Values are being shaped by the Reciprocal Determinism of the vMEME-Environment symbiotic interaction. For example, someone may well think in GREEN in certain contexts but that doesn’t necessarily mean they develop the Identity of a ‘Learner’.

    This is very much why I want to take Spiral Dynamics out of the isolated little box Beck & Cowan grew it in and look at how it relates to other powerful models such as Neurological Levels – what Spiral Dynamics can tell us about them and what they can tell us about Spiral Dynamics.

    Best regards


  3. Steve Gorton says

    Duncan I think this is a great starting point and appreciate the ’spiral level’ viewpoint. Intrigued in the final part about the person operating from several levels – ie that you mention first tier colours without specifically addressing yellow, turquise. Seems to me we could explore the aspects of using ALL first tier and discuss if this is automatically the leap to second tier as a way of integrating SD theory and practice better Cheers Steve

  4. Duncan Harper says

    Hi all

    Discussion on Jennifer’s issue: I suggest the solution may start with a mapping of each person’s Spiral – ie: are they stuck in Red due to damaged Purple issues, where do they mostly operate when at work?… Blue? Orange? Red? Such a mapping system would be valuable (but time consuming to apply in the depth that would be required to accurately portray the person’s decision-making profile).

    An aside… For readers of science fiction there is a book by Gordon Dickson (?) called The Dosadi Experiment which had a look at the nature of humanity. I remember a scene where a team of people where creating a decision-making profile (a model) of a person so that they could check their planned actions against their model so as to predict the outcome of any ensuing ‘conflict of interests’ (i.e. war)… Very manipulative, but then we’re social engineers are we not? If we aim to function positively in Yellow (or higher) then hopefully we will hold an acceptable moral position.

    Back to the point… If we know why the individual would want to learn then we have a way to push their buttons – e.g. A person working in Orange will ask ‘What’s in it for me?’ and be distracted by other opportunities; a person working in Green may relish the chance to ‘be in a learning environment’ (?), hang out with interesting people and seek to make sense of the chaos; Blue may be seeking the answer to a specific problem (i.e. how to avoid a risk); Red may be persuaded to sit still long enough if he gets to show everyone how cool, sexy and powerful he is (!); and a person working in a range of colours (i.e. most of us) may be appealed to successfully by a multi-pronged message that hits on a range of reasons to keep coming back. How does that sound?

    Any observations that will enhance or replace this suggestion as a step towards a solution?