Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

2nd Tier’

The 7th Code

by Don Beck October 2006 Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck is occasionally prone to post what effectively amount to teach-ins or mini-lectures on the Spiral Dynamics e-lists. This is an extract from one such posting in 2000. You can e-mail Don or visit the Spiral Dynamics Integral website to find out more about his work. Clearly, the contours of YELLOW (G-T/Systemic/Authentic) have not been etched in tin much less set in concrete. But, with all due respect to other developmental models, this highlights the uniqueness of the Gravesian/SDi perspective in that it does address, with great specificity, how each new vMEMETIC code actually appears; what are the life conditions that spark and drive it; and how life problems ‘G’ will awaken the capacities (T) to deal with new realities, new challenges and new threats as well. What provides the totem pole for development is, in our view, the accumulation of the vMEMETIC codes or schemes (with the multiple expressions of content or themes) that form societal stacks that maintain all of the awakened codes and set the stage for new ones in the future. This is what we call The Double Helix; namely the interaction between life conditions experienced and the… Read More

The Thriving Organisation

Organisations Seen From The Second Tier Complexity Theory in the MeshWORK Approach to Businesses by Peter Fryer 4 February 2003 Author Peter Fryer was the Chief Executive of Humberside Training & Enterprise Council throughout its existence. He now works under the banner of ‘trojanmice’ and can be contacted via e-mail or you can call (+44) (0)1724 733303. How is your organisation faring in these rapidly changing times? Are you just surviving, are you surviving well, or are you thriving? Obviously surviving is crucial, but there is more to organisational life than that – a sort of Corporate BEIGE – much more. If we are thriving we are clearly doing well at all the things needed for survival but more importantly we are fulfilling our organisation’s true purpose. We are making the real difference that we intended when we set up the business and we are laying the foundations for our organisation’s existence for a long time. Thriving is not a state that is naturally reached by becoming better at surviving. No amount of continuous improvement (BLUE/ORANGE) will turn a surviving organisation into a thriving one. Thriving organisations have learnt to see themselves in a very different – 2nd Tier – way… Read More

Humberside MESH Network

A Tribute to a Network that went to the Cutting-Edge…! Updated: 21 October 2017 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018      2019     2020    2021-2023 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network “Well done, good meeting last night with good company and good learning at good value.” – Tony Cosgrove, Managing Director, Nortech Services Ltd, Hull “I enjoyed Thursday evening. A good atmosphere and excellent discussion.” – Cathy Byrne, Headteadcher, The Parks Primary School, Hull “The meetings are like a boost for me; I come away refreshed and energised.” – Helen Ezard, Driffield The Humberside MESH Network existed from July 2001 to September 2004. Its purpose was to enable members to develop further their understanding of the Gravesian approach, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and various complementary Psychology, Sociology and ‘Change’ models. At its peak there were around 30 active members from all over the Humber sub-region of the United Kingdom, with meetings attracting between 8 and 18 per session. The highly-interactive and thoroughly enjoyable meetings were held in Hull, initially at St Mary’s College… Read More


PART 4 How complex is people’s thinking? The issue of just how far the bulk of any population ascend the Spiral/Hierarchy – experience the emergence of vMEMES in an ascending sequence – is a contentious one. In 1996 Beck & Cowan conjectured that the percentages of the world’s population dominated by a nodal vMEME in their thinking was:- BEIGE: 0.1% PURPLE: 10% RED: 20% BLUE: 40% ORANGE: 30% GREEN: 10% YELLOW: 1% TURQUOISE: 0.1% The percentages, of course, don’t add up to 100% and there is no breakdown of percentage to continents, cultures or societies. Cowan (Chris Cowan & Nastasha Todorovic, 2006b) has admitted that the figures were a (very!) rough interpretation/extrapolation of various data sets (including United Nations data) while Beck has never commented (for public consumption) on the estimates. Nonetheless, in general it supported the notion that the bulk of the population – the Western population, at least – were not significantly beyond a BLUE (Kohlberg) or BLUE/orange (Loevinger) way of thinking. Further support for this notion came from research using Kohlberg’s concepts. Using what effectively was a 9-stage model incorporating 3 sub-stages, Lawrence Walker, Brian De Vries & Shelley Trevethan (1987) found general agreement with Kohlberg. They interviewed 40 boys and 40 girls… Read More

Glossary Nos

Nos   A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z 1st/2nd Order Change: in the Graves Model – and its Spiral Dynamics ‘build’ (Don Beck & Chris Cowan, 1996) – 1st Order Change involves modifications to the existing way of thinking without any fundamental change in motivation – ie: still within the existing vMEME Stack. 2nd Order Change involves shifts in motivation and significant changes in the vMEME Stack. 2nd Order Change is described as ‘Evolution’ when there is a relatively orderly shift in thinking, with insight into how the new way of thinking should be. When there is initial blockage to change and then sudden eruption into the new way of thinking, this is termed ‘Revolution’. In the case of 2 or more new vMEMES being accessed more or less instantly, the term ‘Quantum Leap’ is applied. See also Bateson Learning Levels and The Process of Change. 1st/2nd Tier: Clare W Graves (1970, 1971b/2002, 1978/2005) perceived that the first 6 levels of his model had a quality of ‘subsistence’ to them whereas the 7th and 8th were substantially different, having a quality of… Read More

Leadership – a SocioPsychological Perspective

Updated: 26 May 2016 What makes a successful leader successful? is a question that appears to have vexed politicians and philosophers from the beginnings of civilisation. Certainly, the number of books and articles on leadership by ‘management gurus’ and social psychologists since the end of World War II indicates an ongoing fascination with the topic and, arguably, a vital need to understand the nature of leadership. Peter F Drucker, Stephen Covey, Warren Bennis, Howard Gardner, James MacGregor Burns, John William Gardner, John Kotter and Peter Senge are just a handful of the heavyweight names who have contributed high-profile books on the subject. One unequivocal key factor which has emerged from the multitude of investigations into ‘leadership’ is that leadership and management are not the same thing. Drucker (1967) was perhaps the first to say this, articulating: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Covey (p101, 1989) provides an illuminating example to illustrate this point: “…envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jungle with machetes. They’re the producers, the problem-solvers. They’re cutting their way through the undergrowth, clearing it out. The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle… Read More

When BLUE fails, call for Clint!

Updated: 25 August 2016 For those of us who were raised in the 1960s and 1970s, Clint Eastwood was arguably the ultimate ‘big screen tough guy’. Never impossibly-muscled like the generation of ‘action men’ who came after him – the likes of Arnold Schwarzenneger and Sylvester Stallone – and rarely prone to the ridiculous levels of single-handed mass slaughter commonplace in their movies, Eastwood mostly played far more believable characters. And, because they were far more believable, Eastwood’s anti-heroes exuded a far greater sense of menace. Though Eastwood has long since moved on to become acclaimed as a director and filmmaker of quality, character-driven films with strong narratives, on the occasion this now rather-old actor gets his fists flailing, he is still believable as someone who would very willingly do you serious harm. Periodically there are still Eastwood seasons on TV, usually built around one or more outings of his 2 main anti-heroes, the mysterious ‘Man with No Name’ gunslinger and the homicidal maverick cop ‘Dirty Harry’. That Eastwood can still command a TV season of his films, when most of his contemporaries are forgotten by all but the most devoted, is testament to the enduring power of the myth Eastwood… Read More

Humber MeshWORKS

  A Tribute to a World-renowned Web Site Updated: 15 October 2017 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018      2019     2020    2021-2023 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network Humber MeshWORKS was a site I ran for just over 3 years in the early noughties. It was concerned with promoting the MeshWORK application of the Gravesian approach and its Spiral Dynamics ‘build’ and Neurological Levels into the Humber sub-region of the United Kingdom to improve the design of social and economic regeneration strategies. To enhance business leaders’ and business advisers’ understanding of organisational growth issues, the site also promoted Adizes’ LifeCycle. The original impetus to do something came from a chance meeting with Angela Ogilvie at a barbecue in Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the Summer of 2000. I had only recently moved into the area; and Angela was then Head of Year 9 at St Mary’s College in Hull. We discussed Hull, the major city in the sub-region, being in a near-continuous pattern of occupying bottom of the… Read More

Spiral Dynamics Leadership in the Integral Age

A DEFINITION OF 2nd TIER by Don Beck April 2002 Every year (since 2001) Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck holds a Spiral Dynamics integral (SDi) ‘Confab’ – usually in May and always in his beloved Texas.  SDi practitioners from around the world – including many well-known figures – gather for 3 days and more of networking, discussion and cutting-edge workshops – all leavened by good humour and the annual pilgrimage to the Fort Worth stockyards. This intriguing exploration of 2nd Tier concepts was prepared by Don in April 2002 for that year’s Confab and is reproduced here with his permission. You can e-mail Don or visit the Spiral Dynamics integral web site to find out more about his work. 2nd Tier/Integral Principles/Processes vMEMETIC Core Intelligences – The Brain Syndicate  7th Level (G-T/YELLOW) Systemic Natural functional flows Left brain with feelings More secular than spiritual Surfs the Spiral to keep each vMEME holon healthy and functioning Expresses self but not at the expense of others Strong vertical sense to detect problems in the Spiral’s spine and will present options Strong morphing capacity to ‘act as if’ in each vMEME zone Will walk away from ‘poor card’ stacks or rigid ‘City Hall’ structures Knows… Read More

Assimilation-Contrast Effect

Updated: 4 October 2015 The Assimilation-Contrast Effect is grounded in Social Judgement Theory, developed by Muzafer Sherif & Carl Hovland (1961) and Muzafer Sherif & Carolyn Wood Sherif (1968). According to Muzafer, when a potential issue of conflict arises, people – individual or group – approach it with one of 3 ‘latitudes’:- Latitude of Acceptance: – consists of the information you find pleasing and acceptable Latitude of Rejection: – consists of the information you find objectionable Latitude of Noncommitment: – consists of information you find neither pleasing nor objectionable The key to which latitude information fell into would depend on the level of ego investment – ie: how important the issue was to you personally and how committed to it you were. In other words, how much your sense of self-esteem was involved – clearly the domain of the RED vMEME. Muzafer found that working in the Latitude of Acceptance led to what he called an ‘assimilation effect’ – ie: you will find to some degree acceptable information that is not really that close to what you believe. On the other hand, when working in the Latitude of Rejection, there is a ‘contrast effect’ – ie: you find unacceptable even information that is… Read More