7

Managing People At Work: Spiral Integration

Don Beck and Chris Cowan

Organizations are constructions of the mind. Words printed on wall charts, symbols of rank worn around the neck, and spaces occupied as manifestations of power are but artifacts and icons. The real connections are within the vMEME profiles (part of our psychological “DNA”) of people, those invisible webs that order society and snare relationships. We carry them with us in our heads every waking moment. Each location along the Spiral has its own mental configuration like a radar scope on which the contours of its ideal life form are painted. Which blips are most important varies depending on which vMEMEs are active. The screen appears to …

PURPLE … as a magic circle that makes all inside feel safe.

RED … as a self-centered empire where one feels powerful and in control or weak and submissive.

BLUE … as a fixed pyramid that gives stability, permanence, and assigns one's place.

ORANGE … as a game-board matrix that promotes opportunity and rewards skill.

GREEN … as a warm, supportive community of equals that cares for its own.

YELLOW … as flowing networks that shift functions up, down, and across natural layers.

TURQUOISE … as a living organism that brings order from within chaos.

Get Beyond Leadership: Balancing Economics, Ethics and Ecology, Revised Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.