The Theory That Explains Everything

Spiral Dynamics Integral is a meta-model. It offers a view to understand reality from multiple perspectives in a coherent way. This is why it is sometimes (jokingly) called The Theory That Explains Everything. Although jokingly, in its essence this statement is true, as Spiral Dynamics is applicable in every situation and can be applied on an individual, team, organizational, societal and global level.

Next to explanations and raising more awareness, SDi also provides tools to better understand developments and changes in the world around you, in your work, in your relationships and in yourself. In a nutshell, SDi enables you to look at reality in a different (read: free of value judgments) way. You will read newspapers with new eyes (read: more coherently), and watch, listen and perceive the news and current affairs programs from a perspective. Seeing the world through SDi lenses enables you to understand how today’s society has become what it is, and what next natural steps forward can be taken.

How to apply SDi?

SDi has many different applications. It can be applied and used in a variety of ways and in diverse stages of change as an evolutionary development model and as an instrument for facilitating change.

In general, SDi can be applied as:

  • an instrument of analysis to get clarity on questions and issues;
  • an instrument of research for collecting data about personal, business-related and societal situations;
  • as an instrument of design to develop and align appropriate living conditions, business organizations and societal solutions;
  • as an instrument of implementation to support societal and organizational change, cultural development, mergers, team development and personal coaching.

The areas of application in which SDi is most widely used are:

Organizational development
Organizations are continuously evolving. SDi supports this by asking questions such as “Where do we stand as an organization? “ “Where do we want to go?” “How can we dot this?” “What will be the natural next step?” The last question is mostly about “What are people’s motives?” What are the natural tendencies and points of special interests? “What are the blind spots and how can we mitigate them?”

Organizational structure
What kind of impact has recent developments on the organizational structure? SDi supports organizational choice and design based on the level of desired autonomy, connection and structure. Is there a central or a decentral movement and what is the level of customer focus?

Supporting development and organizing processes
Which changes are desirable when we take the development and the organization into account? What is needed to realize this? Which motives will be positive stimuli and which will be negative stimuli in this development and how can we use them to achieve success?

Societal development
In a societal and/or community related context, the SDi model offers deep insights to be able to relate innovatively with problems about territory and district development, health care, welfare, integration, education, environment sustainability and living. In these contexts, SDi is aimed to optimize diversity between people and organizations to reach a common goal.

Integration and mergers
How can we integrate different departments? How can teams work together? How do we design the organization and ensure synergy will emerge?

Cultural development and transformation
How do we support the development of the desired behavior? And the unwritten rules that work? How do we reform our culture in a natural way towards the changing environment?

Projects and programs
The change-side of an organization often asks for specific attention and support, because the focus is very specifically on creation and new things, whereas the run–side takes care of support and continuity. How do you professionalize projects and programs? How do people change who are occupied with change? What is needed to make the first natural next step to maximize the chances for success?

Team formation and teambuilding
How can we understand the strengths and weaknesses of a team from common values? How can you consciously manage team development towards a more complex cooperation level? When taking into account the nature of the work and the business tasks at hand, which capacities and abilities in relationship to the team’s motives will be the correct mix to achieve results?

Personnel recruitment and selection
What are the personal motives and in which way can someone develop his or hers appropriate work style? In which way can someone be as competent in areas, which are not immediately obvious seen from his, or hers value system? For example, a very directive leader who can also work with a consensus-model, or meticulous organizers who can also confront others. And to which extent knows someone his or herself, his/hers motives in relationship to his/her behaviors, his/hers dark sides and blind spots?

Employee satisfaction
What are the dominant values, what is important to us? What can we do to increase employee satisfaction? Which elements play a role in the dissatisfaction and what can we do about it? To what extent are they open for change and to what extent do they experience resistance, urgency and perspective to change?

(Inter)Personal: coaching and supervision
What are my motives and values and how do I express them in my work style and personal leadership? What gives energy and what doesn’t? How do I manifest what I find the most important? How can I show positive behavior from my motives and recognize negative behavior? Which natural qualities and talents do I have based on my values, and which blind spots? What are the next steps in my development and what can I already do to start leading myself?

Spiral Dynamics Integral in practice: cases, customer questions and references
Would you like to learn more about the specific applications of SDi in practice?
Please go to the Synnervate website where you will find concrete cases, customer questions and references about SDi applications in the field of team, leadership and organizational development
You can also contact us, so we can refer you to a specialized SDi Practitioner.

Spiral Dynamics integral in a social context: salons, research, collaboration & transition projects
Would you like to know more about the use of SDi in social developments and research?
Visit the Center for Human Emergence website where you can find information about salons, projects and publications.
You can also contact us.