We live in a world where we are too often disconnected or disassociated from one another: politicians from the public they serve, executives from their employees, people from the producers of what they consume, and so on. Furthermore, this world is becoming overly complex and confusing. Mission-critical challenges like politics, the climate emergency, and the leadership crisis create much distorted noise that causes us to miss opportunities to come together.
The challenges of the 21st century can only be tackled in one way: together!
In my new new book, The Turquoise Brick Road, I discuss how a theory created by US psychologist, Dr. Clare W. Graves, some 60 years ago can help create shared understanding, awareness and most importantly, a viable way forward for modern society.
Dr. Graves was a professor of psychology and the creator of the emergent cyclical theory of adult human development. His value-based framework was developed as a means of validating the work of his friend, Abraham Maslow, who went on to develop the well known ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ theory. Sadly, Graves died before his work could be published but some people have gone on to apply his logic to areas such as social change, personal or organisation development. You might have heard of Spiral Dynamics, Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory or Frederick Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations.
Drawing on the original work of Dr. Graves, The Turquoise Brick Road is designed to be a fun, thought-provoking read, making the original work more accessible to a mainstream audience. Including 8 stories and over 500 illustrations by Craig Cornock, it provides a stark and significant reminder that we have more in common than separates us.
The book explores the different ‘paths’ or worldviews of this open-ended framework and below illustrates how these different characters view the benefits of the book:
- Purple Lively, colourful stories about the families, communities and world around you;
- Red – Insight into how to use the tool for personal advantages, such as how to win faster;
- Blue – A logic that is easy to integrate with others while helping to make sense of the world around you;
- Orange – A method with which to predict trends and development patterns, providing a clear competitive advantage;
- Green – A guide to understanding people better, which in turn helps to live and work in a happier, more balanced and purpose-driven manner;
- Yellow – Shared insight that helps to match people, businesses and societies;
- Turquoise – A path to help the planet, with better understanding and appreciation of the growth stages required to get people and societies to live more sustainably.
I was initially inspired to write The Turquoise Brick Road after exploring some of the original work as part of my role as a NED. I was blown away by the contents, amazed that more people weren’t aware of the framework and how transformational it could be.
I believe this framework is mission critical for the continuation of our human development. It helped me make sense of past events, to understand in what ways history keeps repeating itself, and how common trial and error is, in the business world especially.
Sometime soon, we will need an orchestrated approach to get us out of the current ecological and social mess. I strongly believe that this shared insight will help us become more self-aware, develop more understanding and tolerance, consequently gaining greater awareness of what we need to change to save the planet and redeem our species.
We can achieve so much more.