Life’s challenges are not the same for everyone. For some change or conflict provides an opportunity to move boundaries and to learn a new mind-set and skills, while others choose to remain in their comfort zones. There are also those who prefer the easiest way out.
Why is this the case and how does it relate to the behaviour of individuals and groups in changing circumstances?
These behavioural phenomena are in short the core of Spiral Dynamics, a comprehensive model for human development and cultural evolution, developed by the world-renowned Dr Don Beck of Texas, USA.
Dr Beck has been involved in some of the world’s most complicated transformation processes, including South Africa during the years of transition after democracy. He also played an important behind the scenes role in the successful 1995 Rugby World Cup Tournament.
Dr Beck will be visiting South Africa later this year as a guest of USB Executive Development (USB-ED), the public executive development and training company of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), to present a program in Spiral Dynamics.
that will be presented from 25 to 27 November 2013 at Spier Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch, is a first for South Africa and promises to be an introduction to an ongoing initiative for the application of the Spiral Dynamics
model within the South African and African context.
According to Prof Arnold Smit, head of the Centre for Business in Society
at USB-ED, the Spiral Dynamics
model offers a comprehensive and relevant framework for a better understanding and effective facilitation of people’s behaviour during times of change and conflict.
“As soon as one understands the mind-set and values systems of people, one can begin to create a mutual way forward and find solutions that work best for everyone. It is not about changing people, but rather to create the space and circumstances in which people with different mind-sets and values in a specific situation can find a way forward, together.
“It is also not about compromises, but rather the progressive integration of mind-sets and values for new possibilities,” says Prof Smit.
The perspectives of the Spiral Dynamics model are extremely helpful and appropriate to change and conflict management in organisations, especially those that South Africans are currently having to deal with. It helps to better understand and handle such situations and not to remain focussed on the existing and stereotyped groups in South African society.
“South Africa currently finds itself caught up in stereotypes and the Spiral Dynamics model offers a way out,” says Prof Smit.