Training> NVCC and ISDO Courses



(Click the graphic to view a comprehensive presentation about our SDL1 and SDL2 training programs and how you can benefit.)


NVC Consulting offers a range of Spiral Dynamics® courses incorporating the Graves theory. Our introductory courses and workshops give students a taste of these powerful models and their possible applications.

Introductory sessions and presentations
We and our associates offer introductions to Spiral Dynamics® program in the United States, Australia, Germany and Holland. These sessions range from a few hours to a full day or more. They can be held as freestanding events or offered in conjunction with conferences and conventions. Contact us for more information or to schedule an introductory session for your organization.

SDL1 and SDL2 courses
Our original full-on courses, Spiral Dynamics® Level 1 and the more advanced Level 2, provide for intensive study of the underlying theory, models and their applications. They are rich in content and application. Both focus on learning and exploring the point of view. SDL1 is a four-day program; SDL2 takes place over three days.

We’ve designed these courses to provide an accurate foundation in Dr. Graves' underlying theory as well as applications of the various models to a number of areas. While variations on the Spiral model are being incorporated by several other organizations, our certification training is intended to provide as "clean" and close-to-the-source rendition of the Graves point of view as possible. It is our experience that to do so is not a quick-fix process and some time is required to digest this complex material. 

For those who find this work as intriguing and powerful as we do, for those who have had an introduction and sensed the need to know more, and especially for those who wish to extend their work from a solid base theoretical base rather than third or fourth hand reinterpretations, certification training is a necessary step. To learn more about certification, please click here for the “About Certification"

(While we draw links to many other perspectives, we make no pretense of teaching the work of Ken Wilber or other theorists in depth since it is hard enough to create a solid foundation in the Gravesian perspective in just a few days. Those interested should go elsewhere to learn about those philosophies, preferably to the sources for first-hand information.) 


Spiral Dynamics® Level 1 Training SDL1
The four-day in-depth overview seminar

Spiral Dynamics® Level 1 Training provides participants with a thorough grounding in the Spiral model and Dr. Clare W. Graves' ECLET model, often called "The Graves" in the NLP world. This course will give you a chance to learn how these models and theory can be applied in real-world settings, to interact with others who have used these materials and approaches practically, and to explore its applicability to organization development and human resource aspects through a systems lens. 

For those interested in certification training, SDL1 is the first step in our process. We’ve designed the course to bring both those who are new to this way of thinking and practitioners who already know something about the Gravesian point of view up to speed with current developments in value systems, memetics and evolutionary change theory. 

Participants "live" the levels-of-existence point of view as it is applied to business, personal development, education, leadership, change, and a host of other topic areas. The course covers assessment instruments and approaches to determining which vMEMEs are active within individuals and groups. It provides the basics for using the principles of the Spiral in the field, including introductions to the streams process for organizational design and strategy refinement, as well as the templates model for building organizational intelligences to fit, form, function and flow. In other words, this course helps participants answer the question "How should who manage (or teach or lead, etc.) whom to do what, when?"

Sessions are lively, interactive and fun—but also demanding, thought provoking and intense. Participants will complete a package of self-analysis instruments using both pencil-and-paper and online assessment. 

NVCC's Spiral Dynamics® Level 1
Content modules for certification training (partial list)

Introduction to the ECLET point of view
Differentiating vMEMES from memes Intelligences and the Human Spiral 
  Gardner – AQ - EQ - IQ - VQ - etc.
The E-C theory of Dr. Clare Graves
  The Double-Helix model
Spiral ‘languages’ compared to Graves 
 — colors, numbers and letter pairs
Tiers hypothesis
  First tier "subsistence levels"
  Second tier "being levels"
Principles of vMEME discernment
Basic (nodal) Levels of Existence
Change and transformation models
  Entering, nodal, exiting phases 
  The five change states
  Six conditions for change
  Open, closed and arrested conditions
P-O-A formula for leadership
Certifiction includes : 
  Spiral Dynamics®
  Tools (theory and practice) 
  Spiral Dynamics® Discover
  Spiral Dynamics® Values Profile II
  Spiral Dynamics® Change State 
  Account on Spiral Dynamics®    
  proprietary Spiral Survey System
Proper and ethical use of instruments
Applications (tailored to your needs)
  System Design
  Social and political activism
Meme hunt and skills demonstrations
Self-exploration and case studies


Spiral Dynamics® Level 2 Training, SDL2
The three-day application + transitions seminar

Spiral Dynamics® Level 2 Training is a more extensive look into the theoretical base and applications of the models introduced in SDL1 and how to apply them to real-world applications in a variety of areas. Completion of NVCC's SDL1 is a prerequisite for participating in Spiral Dynamics® Level 2.* 

This is the second step in the certification process; SDL2 concentrates on primary source materials and research. We go more in-depth into the seminal work of Dr. Clare W. Graves and the foundations of the theory central to Spiral Dynamics programs. Chris Cowan, who worked directly with Dr. Graves during the last decade of his life, brings bring a unique perspective to Graves’ elegant research and the powerful ideas it has generated.

Because your trainers have been working full-time with the theory for 50+ years and applying it in areas ranging from business management and municipal planning to education and social transformation, there is no better source for a clear and accurate understanding of how "the emergent, cyclical, double-helix model of adult bio-psycho-social systems development" can have a positive impact on individual lives and organizational futures.

Spiral Dynamics® Level 2 is for individuals who want to "get behind the scenes" of human emergence and really understand the deep forces that produce trends, waves and strategies. It also provides a venue for discussing specific applications, projects and research initiatives. Because the advanced seminar is designed to expanding background knowledge and share field experiences using the theory, enrollment is limited to those who have successfully completed NVCC's Spiral Dynamics® Level 1 training. Participants will demonstrate five applications of theory and apply what they learn to real-world problems and issues to complete this program.

This program involves 3-5 hours of preparation prior to attending.

Spiral Dynamics 2
Content modules for certification training
(partial list)

History of Dr. Clare W. Grave's research 
Correlation with other models and
  related theories
Dimensions of a Gravesian value
Gravesian Principles
Spotting vMeme clusters, 
  differentiating memes from vMemes
Systems mixtures and sub-systemsProtocols for the transitional levels
  Transitional systems
  Facilitation/ coaching/ leadership
   through the transitions 
Change theory (advanced)
  The three potentials for change 
  The six conditions for change
  The variations of change
  Curves of transition phases
Signs of open, closed, arrested
The temperament variables
The psychological variables
Dr. Graves’ research approach and
Explore LC and MC characteristics 
  of 18 sub-systems
The Humpty Dumpty Effect
   Symptoms and solutions
Lifecycles of vMemes
Spiral alignment (The Streams Process)
  Three phases
  10 steps in creating strategy
  The plumb line process
Using P-O-A: the entry formula
  Facilitation and data gathering
Spiral integration across systems
  Social systems
  Case studies and discussions
  Participants' cases
  Organizational analysis
Intermediate assessment certification
  Values Assessment Approaches
  Change State Indicator
  (Other tools as appropriate)
Acceptable user guidelines and ethical
Geopolitical observation and scanning
Levels of psychological existence and

* Please note: Successful completion of NVCC's SDL1 is a requirement for admission to SDL2. We have found that various other offerings presented as Spiral Dynamics, SDi, SD-integral, and similar offshoots are not comparable. Because of differences in emphasis and our concentration on Gravesian theory in depth, we have found that other basic courses do not adequately prepare students for our intense Spiral Dynamics® Level 2 program. 

We regret any inconvenience this might cause, but have found that participants are consistently glad they fleshed out their knowledge with our SDL1 approach and content as the grounding helps them in applications and to get full measure out of SDL2 learning. It simply is that other programs focus in areas we do not.

We sometimes extend our "repeater discount" for SDL1 to those who have completed other multi-day introductory courses so they can participate easily in our SDL1, and then join our Spiral Dynamics® Level 2 theory & applications course. This is a courtesy extended at the discretion of the local sponsoring organization. Please check with us to determine if your training is eligible for the repeater discount.


Spiral Dynamics® Practicum
The one year online follow-up to Level 1 and 2 Seminars

The Spiral Dynamics® Practicum is open to those who successfully complete the NVCC SD1 and SD2 courses. It is built as a one year follow-on to the classroom experience to consolidate what you learned and to uncover what you don't yet understand so as to close those gaps. 

The Practicum is built to enhance your analytical skills while you build 'spiral muscle' to get a firm grip on the systems. It is intended for both personal and professional development, and relies on a combination of methodologies built around our online learning management system (LMS) which gives students flexibility in a peer community where they can do lessons, participate in ongoing discussions, blog, and even conduct research in a secure environment. This is not for those who want to remain cerebral and keep emotional distance from the work; they should stick with books. The Practicum demands personal engagement and forces some instrospection to explore how the systems express within us and others personally.   

Participants are expected to complete a sequence of video-based lessons and related activities. They must be open to feedback from both the instructors and their colleagues. These lessons reinforce and expand on materials covered in the seminars, particularly those things most students find troublesome. The Practicum gives you a chance to further "clean your lenses" to see the Gravesian levels more clearly by consciously working through some of the prejudices and blind spots we all have as baggage. You will review common pitfalls encountered when trying to apply the work and develop your own customized ways to avoid them. The Practicum is not just content; it requires further involvement with live volunteers to refine skills in assessment and facilitation, and to do real-world projects which build your competence, confidence, and 'spiral muscle' to use the work more effectively. 


Spiral Dynamics® Level 3 Training, SDL3
The 12-18 month advanced curriculum via ISDO's online LMS

Spiral Dynamics® Level 3 is the ISDO "graduate school" and the advanced training in this program. The curriculum includes eight compulsory courses with additional elective options. These will include more about assessment methodologies and pitfalls, applications of the various models in greater depth where many concepts will be expanded. Explorations of the many parallel models of human development that Graves understood will be included as well as those which have emerged subsequently. 

The ISDO Spiral Dynamics® Level 3 is designed to prepare consultants, coaches, analysts, and trainers to use the work in their own practices well. Graduates may be invited for further training and to become authorized ISDO trainers in proprietary NVCC SD programs and applications of Dr. Graves's work.

Participation for Spiral Dynamics® Level 3 requires certification in Spiral Dynamics® Levels 1 and 2 training as delivered by NVCC, as well as successful completion of the Practicum with a minimum of one year experience in applying the materials and models, completion of all activities, working through and developing case studies. Train-the-trainer work and practice instruction are included for those invited to join. Participation in SDL3 is by invitation.

Participants who sign up for Spiral Dynamics® Level 3 are required to carry out several tasks, projects, assignments, and activities in each course. They may select a core competency area for focused work, including teambuilding, diversity, human resources, organizational change and transformation, leadership, management, etc. depending on their area of expertise. The rigor of this course will ensure a high quality of training, mastery of materials and cohesion of theory. 

This program is preparing a cadre of experts who can accurately teach and apply this point of view, who can analyze the systems accurately, present the varying aspects of the underlying theory well, and act as regional resources while maintaining the integrity of the work as it evolves. 


Spiral Dynamics® COURSES

NVC Consulting also offers programs that enable participants to apply the principles taught in Spiral Dynamics® programs tailored for specific needs, contexts, settings and situations.

Spiral Dynamics® Corporate Transformation
This course, taught by Chris Cowan and Natasha Todorovic, applies the Spiral and change models to practical issues of transformation and organizational development interventions in the public and private sectors. It addresses issues of assessment as well as methods to structure and implement change. It runs for four in-class days as a freestanding program or for three days as part of a seven-day SDL1 and SD CT package. Assessments are administered prior to the course within an applied client setting. This program requires a live client organization with 50 or more employees willing to participate in the case study.

This hands-on approach begins with a refined awareness of the individual—whether as client or consultant—then shifts focus to explore the dynamics of groups, teams, leadership and strategic planning. Corporate Transformation participants look at a range of change methodologies, as well as ways to determining what kind of change is appropriate, how to set strategy and how to move from good ideas to great results. 

The basic frame relies on the models covered in a standard Spiral Dynamics® training, of course, but we introduce a wide range of other tools. Corporate Transformation involves a case-study company that participants research and analyze during the course. They generate recommendations based on assessment data, observations and simulations—taking taking theoretical understanding into real-world application. 

The program requires a minimum of 14 participants. It can be conducted entirely in-house or as an open seminar in which participants other than employees of the host organization are invited to participate. If your company is interested in participating in Spiral Dynamics® Corporate Transformation, please contact us.

Spiral Dynamics® Leadership Skills for Managers
We’ve designed the Leadership Skills for Managers course exclusively for managers in business and other organizations who are ready to make the transition from management to leadership.

Through the insights garnered by Spiral Dynamics® contents, programs and assessments,  we’ll explore what it takes to build dynamic teams, prepare for change, groom fine managers and identify outstanding leaders. You’ll learn how to inspire employees to higher performance, maximize your positive impact, develop more productive working relationships and really understand people's needs.

You'll learn dozens of practical tips, techniques and tactics to help you develop and customize your leadership approach to meet today’s requirements and tomorrow’s challenges. As you learn how to recognize and respond to the seven leadership needs, you’ll be more than a manager, you’ll become a respected and effective leader. Our expert guidance will enable you to:

  • Discover what makes people "tick"
  • Manage change in a positive, productive way
  • Learn a new language for individual and organizational transformation
  • Coach individuals to achieve their potential
  • Manage conflict so it’s a constructive part of your organization’s culture.
  • Tap your innate leadership potential to motivate high performance
  • Employ the proven empowerment techniques of successful manager-leaders
  • Prepare yourself and your employees for cultural challenges and sensitivities
  • Develop and communicate a vision for the future that will focus employee efforts
  • Effectively introduce changes to your company and get the support you need to implement them
  • Plan for your company's future, spark employee commitment, build hard-working teams and inspire productivity
  • Take on a leadership role that's critical to your company's ability to produce—and survive
  • Build teams that enable members to use all of their skills and knowledge

Spiral Dynamics® Customized Program(s)
Do you have a specific theme, outcome, need or set of problems you and your organization would like to solve? Do you think that our approach can help you bridge the gap? Contact us, and we'll be happy to customize a program for your group, team, organization, to meet your needs and goals.


NVCC's trainings are in conjunction with ISDO, the International Spiral Dynamics® Organization.

SPIRAL DYNAMICS® is a trademark owned by NVCC.              © Copyright 2000-2006 NVC Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
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