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The Dynamic Spiral  with G&L SHIFT Certified Coach 

La Spirale dynamique avec G&L SHIFT Coach Certifié 

The Spiral Dynamics Model is the result of the work of Clare W Graves, an American psychologist who taught at Union College in New York.


Graves began his research after the Second World War and continued it until 1978. By having a large number of subjects work on the definition of "a mature person" then by having all the answers obtained by such a large number classified. of subjects, it highlights homogeneous groups of responses, always the same, whatever the sociological or cultural factors, which reflect different states of the personality which are always reproduced in the same sequence, whatever the individuals.


He thus validates his theory scientifically and statistically. He calls it ECLET (Emergency Cyclic Level Existence Theory). His research was then taken up and continued by Christopher C. Cowan and Don Edward Beck who built the theory of the Dynamic Spiral Model. It is presented in 1996 in a book of the same name. Initially designed to communicate Graves' ideas to an audience of managers, the model quickly finds other promoters and targets, thanks to the ease with which it allows to apprehend the culture and the psyche of human groups.

Spiral Dynamics - a holarchical, open and evolving model

Spiral Dynamics, what is it?

A pictorial and open representation of the step-by-step evolution of human consciousness and of the value systems determining the relationship to reality developed by humans throughout evolution. A sociological instrument measuring the successive value systems developed by humanity since its creation. These value systems apply to any human entity: individual, group, society, civilization.

Each system is characterized by different beliefs, behaviors, communication systems that determine the way of living, creating and organizing a society for the people who adhere to it.

As opposed to a model which would classify levels, in the hierarchical sense of the term, the dynamic spiral is an oligarchic, evolutionary and gradual model. Each new value system encompasses, transcends, transcends and includes previous levels. None of the value systems can be considered terminal.

New systems emerge based on the complexity of the problems that humanity has to solve and the limits that any system has shown. However, old systems can be reactivated if living conditions make it necessary.

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What Spiral Dynamics is not?

  • It is neither a personality typology, nor a psychometric assessment instrument.

  • It is not a closed representation, a finite model. The spiral, by definition, is never finished.

Spiral Dynamics - Its characteristics

There are currently 8 value systems listed in the Spiral, which appear in a given order, each corresponding to a color: beige, purple, red, blue, orange, green, yellow, turquoise.


A value system appears when the environment (“living conditions” in the general sense) no longer suits, or no longer sufficiently, the needs of individuals. This is the case for the development of a human being, but also for the development of human societies and civilization.


The appearance of a new value system is gradual, it takes place in several different ways, either directly or in stages, with possible revisits of old value systems. However, we have seen a recent acceleration in the emergence of the most recent value systems.


The Dynamic Spiral shows how individuals can be simultaneously at one or more levels of consciousness. It also makes it possible to understand the environment in which each individual evolves, whether on a personal, professional or societal level.

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Our use of the Spiral Dynamics

Used internationally, notably by Don Beck, to facilitate dialogue between communities (Mandela's South Africa for example), this tool can also be used in many other ways.


We use it in our individual or collective support, in particular to address the issues of change of individuals and organizations. In these contexts of change, it allows for example to reveal a system to itself.


In career coaching, it makes it possible to ask questions about the adequacy between professional projects and values.

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