LeadU presents ValuDynamics Manifesto

Leadership University

ValuDYNAMICS Manifesto @F-L-O-W


A Draft of Assumptions for ValuDYNAMICS

In a context setup by the Leadership Approach, there are about 7 different systems in play whenever we consider ValuDynamics as a set of System Dynamics, or for that matter when we "judge" we — using all of these systems in a metasystem of judgment attempt to categorize in essence good or bad, this or that, fit or not, go or run, etc. (note each values basin would have a different gambit for the consequences of judgment; in survival beige: the 4fs = feed, fight, flight, or procreate… in an enterprising system orange, win-win, in a contribution system such as yellow… allow or disallow?

The following manifesto helps to outline my own thinking of ValuDYNAMICS in light of these seven DYNAMICS listed here: Capability – Bias – Style – Level – Role – Values – System.

1) I want to retain the integrity of Spiral Dynamics, which I refer to in my work as Spiral Gravesian Dynamics SGD, because the acronym SD is already taken by System Dynamics, which originated with Jay Forrester.

I want to leave SGD alone, as a way in which to explain parts of reality as we face them... and just attribute well in ValuDYNAMICS which uses parts of everything, including a few original ideas of my own and those that emerged in my long relationship with Dr. Don Beck.

2) By switching out of SGD into ValuDYNAMICS, it avoids confusion about Spiral Gravesian Dynamics (SGD), SGDi, SGD1, 2, etc. and its derivatives which are springing up everywhere with their own rendition of Spiral Dynamics which was created through a partnership with Beck, Cowan, and Graves.

I recommend the 1996 book Spiral Dynamics for reference.

3) Unlike the spiraling structure, which I believe to be true, there is a networking structure, which I also believe to be true; working in conjunction to support a scaffolding effect for the spiraling

ValuDynamics manifesto

4) The basins which Graves/SGD identified over time are worthy of maintaining as a way to explain the discreet value systems

5) People moving through those basins is not always the case and is limited by a lot of things, capability being one (Graves noted this), people leaf out rather than keep growing/spiraling

6) Inbornness vectors us to accumulate more density in frequency in those basins where we are naturally inclined, or designed if you like, although design implies consciousness and mostly our design is unconscious, at the minimum sub-conscious.

7) As new memes are generated, value systems accumulate, discard and protect through immune systems the accumulation, acquisition, and assimilation of memes which deny the prime directive identified in the nodal system.

8) As memes are dis-integrated, and stripped away, parts of the memes are assimilated to give the appearance (if needed) of AAA (acquisition, accumulation and assimilation)... to the extent necessary to evolve the system for fitness.

9) People are different because of inbornness and it is usually the culture they reside in which dictates how the scaffold of memes — density and frequency — are available for AAA; inbornness dictating why — directly and indirectly — memetic emergence occurs as a subconscious response to fitness requirements.

10) Hybridization (stripping, and re-assembling) occurs as a way for AAA to function as a fitness generator within the cultural scaffold, and among other cultural scaffolds which are they themselves becoming as fit as they can through a much larger and longer process, which is more immune to inbornness — although indirectly not — than the individual who is "bound" by inbornness to display capability, bias, style, level, and roles in the face of becoming individually and collectively fit in the circumstances.

11) Valuing is a process that seeks to provide a "return" on behavior (RoB) through means and ends relationships which are vectored by inbornness in the individual and by fitness in the collective, although fitness is driving the individual as well, but not so much as inborn architecture.

12) While it’s difficult to separate a chicken and egg dilemma, motives are ends (the reasons why we value) and values are means in which to accomplish service to those ends. Motives do not change over our lifetimes as they are inborn (although most motive structures are very complex system dynamics making it difficult to just say this is the cause and effect, as it’s often difficult to unwind combinatorial effects. Yet, just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean it can’t be done, or doesn’t exist as a cause and effect at some level).

With the exception of those events which can cause deep personality change, such as trauma, or physiological damage, the motives don’t shift. The means in which they are served and valued do continually shift through the emergence of a belief system constructed from experience, which is vectored by the motives… and hence → valued, as does the conditions which are the matching tension causing values to shift — not motives, but ValuDYNAMICS.

13) Means as well as ends can be occluded because of the layers of indirect and direct functions that are present to construct both our experience, and our future direction which experience often directs, and is served by.

14) Identifying ways in which to represent all of this process is important and I have chosen NETWORK Dynamics to figuratively represent the AAA of values against the ground of inbornness.

15) Where this gets tricky is when we look at apples and oranges while both being fruit, and coming from trees, are different in terms of their flavors, use and deliverables--as is the individual and the collective. Few systems can explain both, but Spiral Dynamics come close as long as one makes a discreet claim that individuals do not follow necessarily a spiraling path of values accumulation in MOST cases--a rare, very rare number of humans (not worth using as an exemplar) can emerge from the subjectivity of their own capability, bias, style, level and role to move through increasingly complex values because they are not limited by subject/object or hierarchical complexity.

16) By using a networked approach, we see that values are actually a way in which the motives direct fitness through AAA in the individual and to some extent the culture, but the culture is not bound by an individual's inbornness but seeks to amalgamate the scaffold for the many, choosing instead and often to relegate the needs of the many to the strength of the few individuals who agentically in some form direct the AAA of the cultural scaffold. Over time, the cultural scaffold becomes representative of the best practices, which are in fact, without an exemplar, making it difficult for the many to shift the scaffold to their own design.

17) This attempt to conform and utilize an increasingly more complex scaffold is navigated by fewer and fewer over time because of the limits of capability to produce ValuDYNAMICS which are more complex and thus multi-faceted — beyond the capability, bias, style, level, and role for most individuals.

18) Instead individuals begin to fragment complexity rather than becoming fractals of complexity... fragmentation leading to polarization and conflict among competing ValuDYNAMICS.

19) As time goes on, the few are matched with the confusion and dis-integration of ValuDYNAMICS and forced to realize that most can not be, do, have, become, and contribute in concert with accelerating complexity, and seek to create Values approaches which either attempt at requiting the polarization through understanding, or the construction of systems which make force compliance, as understanding wanes.

20) Complexity is at the root of all problems — each solution becoming the problem of the next level and human inbornness, or genetics has not yet produced — per se — the capability to modify this inbornness in any volume, therefore until that happens, complexity will be the enemy of the people and the culture as conflicts emerge.*

*Segue for Systems DYNAMICS here because if we can’t do much about it, we can study it and understand why what is happening is happening; until we can do something about the structural situation of the gene-meme gap that is creating the tension as a result of accelerating this gap.



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Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing... to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University


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