Characteristics Yellow Value System

On this page, you will, step by step, find the most important characteristics of the Yellow value system. Please click on a subject to navigate to the text. The image on the right-hand side of this page is an example of an organization form that is typical for Yellow.

What is the essence of the Yellow value system?

Core Values:
Systemic, integral, emergent
Synergy “ I am learning.”
World View:
The world is a complex, self-organizing, natural system that requires integral solutions.
Life Motto:
“I manifest myself, but not at the cost of others.”
Life Theme:
Effective action to support the whole.
Life Philosophy:
I am searching for freedom and embrace (integral) space and complexity.

What is the origin of the Yellow value system?

50 years ago
Geographical Location:
The Western World
Systems thinking and holists such as, for example, Einstein, Bohm, Wilber and Graves.
In reaction to:
At a given point, the Green value system may cause frustration because complex problems that humanity is confronted with cannot solely be solved by consensus and a people-focused way of thinking and living. Moreover, the Green group process takes a lot of time and energy, which can be used in more useful ways. The need to take oneself and the world to the next level causes people to break out of the group and to offer their unique contribution to the world in a complete independent and free way. This is done by combining different existing ideas, theories and models and distilling new connections from them. The world is now seen as an integral whole, in which the value of all value systems is acknowledged. However, some values and manifestations are more suitable and appropriate than others. There’s a freedom from fear, from nature, from the boss, and from others, as one simply does what one needs to do. There’s a new consciousness emerging, which sees life just as life, and that life is an integral part of a big and vast universe in which humans just play a small role.

What did humans develop when the Yellow value system was first activated?

Authenticity, systemic thinking (and-and), develops skills to become an instrument for the greater whole and access to a free (holistic) consciousness.

What are the characteristics of the historical development of Yellow?

Energy Sources:
Integration of energy forms; solar and wind energy, biomass, nuclear energy and thermal energy. It chooses everything that is needed right now for the bigger whole.
New (social) networks, new ways of working, innovative products, which include sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Integration of science, religion and personal spiritual development.
Cultural Theme:
Expression of the self in natural systems, and multiple realities between chaos and order.
Art Forms:
Integral art
Innovators, connectors, bridge-builders, and visionaries.
Systems thinking, system theory, and quantum mechanics.
Symbiotic people and synthetic life.

What are the manifestations of Yellow as the dominant value system in our society?

Community forms:
Projects that integrate economical, sustainable human, spiritual and planetary dimensions of living, dwelling and working.

What are the general characteristics of the Yellow value system?

  • Overarching view of living systems
  • View life as a chaotic organism in which change is a constant and in which insecurity is an acceptable way of living
  • Integrative structures and evolutionary streams
  • The need to develop natural living environments that support human evolution in a step-by-step and phased way
  • Integration of head, heart and gut feeling
  • Focused on both process and content
  • Moves freely in different value systems
  • Change is a constant: it’s emergent and about long-term thinking
  • “Acupunctural interventions”; small actions with a big impact
  • Personal freedom without harming others or nature
  • Thinks and acts from an inner-directed core

How do you recognize the presence of Yellow?

Yellow is recognized by the large amount of ideas, connections and complexity that it introduces. Yellow’s starting point is an overarching vision about a system (on an individual, group, organizational, national, planetary and/or cosmic level) and then determines what the system needs to grow and blossom. In order to do so, Yellow will pass by personal and purely human-orientated interests. Yellow is also characterized by an enormous drive and focus (Yellow knows exactly in which direction it wants to move). Yellow has the ability to look far into the future and, at the same time, keep things close at home and integrate the past. Yellow often has visionary and revolutionary ideas about the future.

How do you recognize the absence of Yellow?

There is a lack of focus from a broader perspective. There is no overview or vision about the future. The skill to look at a problem from different angles is lacking. People are “afraid” of chaos and turbulence. Energy does not “flow” and structures and processes exist primarily to keep things as they are. There is not a lot of vision and the issues of the day take up all the energy.

How to deal with the Yellow value system?

Yellow experiences freedom and change as a constant. Today, all may be all right, but tomorrow everything needs to change. Yellow needs the space to move freely and be able to act for the sake of something bigger. Yellow can easily flow in and out all value systems and wants to know “how” things are put together. It’s essential to give Yellow space to explore what-is and what it all means. Focus the energy to search for those acupuncture interventions, which are appropriate for the work in the Now to help tomorrow’s vision emerge.

What are positive stimuli for Yellow?

Formulate an inspiring, over-arching vision/purpose for the benefit of the work (and/or the world) that needs to be done, and with which people can connect. Organize work based on values instead of based on goals. Focus the attention on both process and content. Make room for brainstorming and philosophizing about complex problems.

What are negative stimuli for Yellow?

Know no vision of direction. Not being able to flexibly flow with changing conditions. Labeling. Only have eye for the process or the content. Fixed structures and no space for knowledge development, analysis and conceptualizing.

Essentially, Yellow is not good or bad. Yellow exists. And we distinguish healthy and unhealthy manifestations of Yellow.

What are healthy manifestations of Yellow?

Critical, curious without judging and keep asking questions. Can easily distinguish between the essential and the ancillary. Creative and innovative and has a continuous flow of new ideas and ways of thinking. Uses the most appropriate and workable methods and behaviors to realize strategies and builds on already existing knowledge and models.

What are unhealthy manifestations of Yellow?

Get bogged down in complex analysis. Builds castles in the air; inventing beautiful futuristic solutions, which are not pragmatic. Not able to finish something because there’s always something new that requires attention. Everything is criticized and made more complex instead of doing what actually needs to be done. At times, Yellow may seem cold and distant as it sometimes forgets to connect to people (because of its enthusiasm).

Which prejudices may other value systems have about Yellow?

  • Purple may experience Yellow as having little feelings about traditions and mutual relationships as it constantly brings everything and everybody up for discussion.
  • Red may experience Yellow as too much theorizing and not enough action. Yellow builds castles in the air and dreams about things instead of just taking action.
  • Blue may experience Yellow as undisciplined, because Yellow wants to continuously change rules and agreements to serve a continuous moving system. Blue thinks Yellow takes too much time to philosophize and too little time to make agreements about the process.
  • Orange may experience Yellow as a complicating factor to achieve results. Orange thinks that Yellow is too occupied to complicate things and sees connections, which, according to Orange, are not even there. On the whole, Yellow is not pragmatic.
  • Green may experience Yellow as cold individualists. According to Green, they are loners who are not enough part of the group, act too much on their own accord, and keep emotionally at a distance.

What are typical Yellow leadership characteristics?

  • Ensure a clear vision and a purpose (purpose-directed objectives).
  • Be an inspiring beacon for your people.
  • Show that you have an overview and an understanding of how everything is connected and works together. Make choices from a larger context.
  • Focus attention and message towards the over-arching purpose of the system.
  • Able to make complex things simple and to communicate them in an understandable language.
  • Able to distinguish between the essential and the ancillary.
  • Be critical in a ‘healthy’ way, creative, sharp and open-minded.

What are appropriate interventions when dealing with individuals or groups in Yellow?

SFor Yellow, teamwork is a game of talents in which everyone offers his or hers unique contribution because it’s fun, informative and fascinating. Yellow teamwork assumes an integral approach of the problem in which all aspects and facets of the case get the recognition they deserve and are integrated.
Gaining trust
Show you can understand the complex way of thinking. Study the cases very well and ask critical and informative questions. Always keep an eye on the whole while discussing and understanding issues. Surprise the other with enriched insights and distilling new connections.
Be concrete and critical based on a clear analysis of the subject or problem. Yellow enjoys feedback because of the learning curve. Have the person formulate and explore the answers to questions him or herself. Ask a lot of motive-driven questions (“Why?”) and connect with the unique contribution that everybody wants to offer.

Please watch these videos that, according to us, contain typical Yellow elements.

When you find it difficult to relate positively to the Yellow value system, please read the proverbial phrases below to experience the general accepted wisdom of Yellow.

  • We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them
  • Imagination is more important than knowledge
  • There are no facts, only interpretations
  • Wisdom is knowing what you do not know
  • Good wine needs no bush
  • Do right and fear no one
  • Turn your hand to anything
  • The darkest hour is before the dawn
  • If someone strikes gold, everyone will know

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