Spiral Dynamics

This year at the Scrum Gathering I attended a session about Spiral Dynamics`, which was quite inspiring because of the application it has on my field of work.

Theory now: “Spiral Dynamics is a model of human development originally established through the research and publication of psychologist Clare Graves (1914-1986). Graves theorized that development was a response to the interaction of external conditions with internal neuronal systems—humans develop new bio-psycho-social coping systems to solve existential problems and overcome the challenges of their worlds.”“

Translation from what I’ve understood: each individual, group, society evolves due to external and internal factors and this evolution is done in stages that Graves and Beck identified and categorized. The stages are greatly related to how the perception and interaction to the environment changes through the life time of the entity. The model is not complete as we cannot foresee where the future will lead us.

Following the individual example we evolve in our lifetime from a stage to another. We do not jump and there is no guarantee we can reach all stages. The same applies for groups and for societies. If you look at the picture above you can see also the human society evolution, but you can also see a persons evolution.

You can find more info anywhere on the internet. Wiki might be the first one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_Dynamics

But why I wanted to tell you about is how this can be used in our job. Say a team has reached the blue level, but their company transformed to red, if the team identifies the difference there are some advises on how they must behave in a red society and why if they stick to the blue ways they will have problems.

The same with individuals, if your team is green ( this is from where we can discuss of agile teams) and a new member joins and he is very young, he might be still in the red or blue zone, so acting green with him will fail as equality and community do not make sense to this new guy, yet. The team needs to treat his red or blue needs, be aware that he is not limited to the stage he is in that moment, but rather he needs time and context to grow.

Read a bit about it, it’s quite interesting 😉