Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change” as Want to Read:
Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  630 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Spiral Dynamics introduces a new model for plotting the enormous economic and commercial shifts that are making contemporary business practice so complex and apparently fragmented. Focusing on cutting-edge leadership, management systems, processes, procedures, and techniques, the authors synthesize changes such as:

Increasing cultural diversity.

Powerful new social responsi
Paperback, 343 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spiral Dynamics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Spiral Dynamics

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Conrad Zero
While the creator of Spiral Dynamics is no longer with us, this reworked and updated version presents a theory of human "progression" through various stages of value systems. Each stage of the system is represented by colors. It reminds me of Abraham Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs theory, only with more layers and technicolor.

This book is essential reading for many reasons. One is diversity training. Different people have different values and filters on the world. SD not only simplifies and explain
Stephen James
Nov 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: change
important but , in my humble opinion, very poorly written book - the work of Graves did not deserve to be buried in such a shambling text - it made an extremely useful and creative model of human development into something obscure and elitist ( for really smarty people who have university education) - the KEY to these ideas can be found in 'A Theory of Everything' by Wilbur - who managed to make the theory much more accessible to everyone.
Alexandr Blokhin
Думал прочитать эту книжку за 12 дней, но на прочтение ушёл почти месяц. Думал, что это очередная бизнес-литература, где достаточно прочитать начало и конец абзаца и смысл будет ясен. Начал так читать и понял что в книге очень ёмкие предложения, в каждом предложении содержится очень много информации и бегло прочитать не получится. Половину книги вообще не понял, что в целом и подразумевается контентом книги. Скорее всего, придётся книгу прочитать снова через 4-5 лет.

После этой книги я ещё больше
Krzysztof Herdzik
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great theory to be applied for individuals, teams, groups, societies and countries. Helps to understand not only what happened in society and individual development but also helps to predict where human development goes.

Helps to understand changes in organisations, development of people based on their values. Helps finally to design leadership of XXI century.

One minus star for the language used - Texan, low quality literature style...
Francis White
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Brilliant theory, check the Wikipedia entry and leave the Introduction until after you have read it!
Jeremy Garber
A fascinating typological model for how individuals, groups, and societies react to pressures in their environment based on their primary mode of existing in the world. Based on the research of Dr. Clare Graves, a psychology professor at Union in New York, Don Beck and Christopher Cowan present a dynamic model of the progress of societies from the earliest days of survival to the present complex age. The Spiral Dynamics model offers a range of what they call "vMEMES" that persons use to react to ...more
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Well, I finally read this one, after 6 month, as it's not a book to be read in absence of tangible proof and real-life examples. Overall, it could be summarized as recommendations for management, which, like any other recommendation shouldn't be taken to the letter, and certainly shouln't be implemented completely.
I have previously mentioned the book downside - excessive use of clichée literary embellishments and thesaurus, peppered by very informal speech - it hurts the overall credibility of t
Elizabeth Schwartz
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grown-up-books
Although written in a business context, it holds a philosophy about the parallels of human socio-evolution and individual growth which are mind-blowing.

It is a controversial stipulation because critics say it creates a euro-centric process and assumes all cultures will follow the same process. However the theory relies so much on the nature of human beings to stick with what works until it doesn't any more and to start something new that better meets the essential needs, especially of individua
Sergii Khlivnenko
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the most powerful book I have ever read. I have changed professional direction and lifestyle, after I first time I have heard about Spiral Dynamics in 2014,.
The book describes the idea is about the only way for development of systems: individuals, organizations and societies. There is no short way to the top, but constant vibrations between self expression and self sacrifice straight to new levels of consciousness. Life conditions need the most suitable mindset and values, not the most
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
another one that's really hard to rate. The content is fantastic, and very useful for anyone wanting to really understand Spiral Dynamics. But if you're not over 50 and Texan, you can hardly read it - because it's not written in English but in Texan! That is a great set back and hopefully something more up to date will be written soon (it is hard to see a writer rave about GM or the banking sector, or the moral excellence of the US military, with no awareness of 9/11 or the massive corporate sca ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! Although it seems the author sees more business applications to its content than anything else, I found that there are some profound implications for fostering understanding between people. We live in such a polarizing society it's nice to be reminded that people and issues are complicated and can rarely be divided into black and white or left and right. If you've ever found yourself desperately trying to figure out how someone could believe a certain thing and genuinely want to ...more
Natasa Tovornik
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-dynamics
I love the priciple fo Spiral Dynamics, find it a powerful tool and a great model to understand different dynamics and needs for change.
The book itself is quite complex, written in a complex language. It can take a while to read it. As well, I would appreciate an update, as the book was written in 1995 and many things that are described as future, actually lay in the past.
Stefan Bruun
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Puts words to a concept that I would have loved to see described this clearly much earlier. The necessity of going through a particular developmental stage to go to the next is a concept that can be applied so much more broadly in life to improve the understanding of individuals, communities, and societies.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you don't want to get lost in the streets, you will need Google maps like almost every other homo sapiens :)

If you don't want to get lost in your journey of psychological development, this book is written for you
Suzanne Hazelton
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Whilst I love the concept of Spiral Dynamics, I found the book a bit heavy going. For more of a review - including links to a great overview on Spiral Dynamics, take a look at my blog --> January 2012
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, development
The spiral wizard can understand how the world develops and evolves. This seems to be a very important read for anyone who would be a leader and anyone who wants to know how each individual develops.
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting, but complicated at times
Mario Luef
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book describing the different personal value levels and the shift between them in the life of a person. This book will make you think - you will rethink your decisions.
Shaun Vos
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful in understanding world views.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty years ago, this would have been a great read. But it has dated horribly...
Alex Lee
Aug 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, psyche
I read this book because it offered an easy structure of how to classify ego growth. Plus it was from psychologists. But unlike psychology (or perhaps like psychology), this book is a mirror: it takes what is supposed to be a science of describing development and treats it as a prescriptive model for how things are supposed to be.

Having gone through the gambit now, there are a couple features I find to be puzzling. What is the swing between self and group as the focus important? And the expansio
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting perspective on the things in the range from human being up to societies and world. Of course, as any classification attempts, especially of this span, it has its flaws and contradictions, but it leaves itself a vital loophole of layered/spiral concept. For me it becomes not a universal compass as it might pretend, but rather an interesting projection/toolkit which might be useful in some contexts, especially in complex macro-process analysis for big human organizations (companies+). ...more
Dean C. Moore
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an effort to apply the teachings of Ken Wilber to the business place and corporate work environment. Beck isn't the writer Wilber is, so I can't say this is nearly as fun a read as any of Wilber's books. But the implications of applying Wilber's methods in the business world, and particularly in the corporate environment, are staggering. Having worked in the corporate environment for some years myself, I can assure you that his methods are employed by abler senior managers across the boa ...more
Paul McAtee
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very much in the text-book style which can make it challenging to stick with but eventually presents one of those great universal type models that seems to explain everything. I read this right after Tribal Leadership because it is referenced a few times there and the two models are rather complimentary. The second tier vMEMES they defined (yellow and turquoise) do come off as a bit idealistic but also opens the door to realizing there are probably more vMEMES out there than just the 8 that they ...more
Julian Haigh
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
If it weren't that most self-help books are totally useless, I'd write this one off as well. The thing is that this is the management system for people who don't like systems. There are developing 'value' MEMEs that different people adhere to based on their outlook on the world (as determined by their life situation: country, age, education, etc) and by adapting our communications to these arch-MEME types we can better organize and get things done. Far too formulaic and the pop culture went unde ...more
Jorė Astrauskaitė
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
It takes about one third of the book to loose scepticism about all the spirals and wizards. Another third is extremely useful in understanding the complexity of world and giving good insights on what shaped behaviours of people, organisations and world. I will definitely get back to some of its parts. The last part about global matters lost my attention, but for someone interested in a topic should be quite interesting.
Overall, it was really worth the time
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
An amazing concept with the potential to change the world.

But it was one of the most hard going books I have ever read, and I read a lot of books. The way it was written, it's repetitive nature and use of jargon is shocking,

I think it could have been better explained in less than half the pages and with some more practical applications rather than being mostly academic theory.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of five books I keep at my fingertips. It's a wonderful source for my work endeavors designing collaborative cultures and for communicating and connecting with my various communities. It is dense reading and well worth the slow journey through it - lots of gems and insights are contained within these pages.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book presents an excellent classification system while not quite pretending to be a unified-field theory of its own.

It is a bit much in the beginning and almost uselessly vague towards the end. But in the middle 200 or so pages, when it simply classifies without predicting, it is very much worth the time it requires.
Julian Powell
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: integral-studies
Dense but important work. Beck and Cowan were contemporaries of Abraham Maslow, and I believe Spiral Dynamics is a crucial innovation in developmental psychology with vast applications. SDi is deeply influential to my thinking and worldview.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening
  • Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges
  • The Life Divine
  • The Ever-Present Origin
  • The Translucent Revolution: How People Just Like You Are Waking Up and Changing the World
  • The Art of Systems Thinking: Essential Skills for Creativity and Problem Solving
  • The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development
  • Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence
  • Don't Be Nice, Be Real: Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others
  • Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change
“Once again, it must be reiterated that beliefs and practices that developed in response to earlier, and presumably different, environmental pressures tend to persist, and the result may come to be far less than efficient utilization of an environment” 0 likes
“Competency is more valued than seniority; knowledge is more useful than status.” 0 likes
More quotes…