Spiral Dynamics in Action > Spiral Dynamics at work

Getting the right person into the right job with the right materials at the right time supported by the right systems and structures is what Spiral Dynamics programs are all about.

Imagine a systems designer with N'-level capacities (integrative, interdependent, existential, flexible, questioning, accepting) working in a company with a D-level worldview (punishing evil, rewarding good works and righteous living). In a company that values punctuality and dress codes more than competence and creativity, the designer feels underutilized and frustrated by a management system focused on issues that seem secondary and narrow. To the organization, the designer might seem oddly anti-authority and self-centered. If they're stupid, they'll miscategorize him as "a Red."

If it’s smart, the organization will adjust its management system to fit the person. If not, it will lose valuable brainpower when the designer moves on. Many people need to be managed quite differently today because they have moved on the spiral even farther and faster than their bosses, teachers and even parents. Successful organizations are in danger of failing if they continue to manage people in the ways that made them successful in the first place.

Marketing efforts, strategic plans, and merger and acquisition efforts often fail because business leaders assume the audiences and cultures they’re attempting to reach share the same values systems they do. Different organizations— companies and governments—occupy different positions on the spiral and need to develop managerial and governance strategies that match their people, their visions of the future and the jobs they perform today.

Managers should develop a consistent and systemic approach to all the issues within the organizational loop—recruitment, selection, placement, training, internal management and external marketing--so they align, integrate and synergize. Today’s challenges are fluid and complex. To respond effectively, organizations should link their functions, intelligences and decision structures by creating their structures from both the top down and the bottom up.

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