book-based test «Spiral Dynamics:
Mastering Values, Leadership, and
Change» (ISBN-13: 978-1405133562)

The Beige Value System of Spiral Dynamics

What is the theory of Spiral Dynamics?

Spiral Dynamics is a model of the evolution of individuals and societies' value systems (memes). Each has its code and color with a unique set of value orientations and priorities that form its beliefs and values. People and societies dynamically move through these levels depending on the changing conditions of life, experience, and challenges that stand in their way.

Who created Spiral Dynamics?

The beginning was laid by the research of Dr. Clare W. Graves

The term Spiral Dynamics was used by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan in the book «Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change.»

What color are you Spiral Dynamics?

ColorIn a lifeIn a business
TurquoiseThe Global visionSynthesis
YellowFlexible streamWin-Win-Win behaviour
GreenInterpersonal relationsSocial networks
OrangeCompetitionProject management
BlueThe power of truthBusiness Process Management
RedThe rule of forceStarting up a personal business
PurpleFamily relationsFamily relations
BeigeSurvivalOwn farm

The beige value system represents human development's most basic and instinctual level. It is characterized by a focus on survival and physical needs and a lack of self-awareness or ability to reflect on one's actions. This value system is associated with pre-human and early human societies and is considered the most primitive of the eight value systems in the Spiral Dynamics model. It is seen as an undifferentiated, reactive stage of human development and is primarily concerned with meeting basic survival needs.

Significant quotes from the «Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change.»

«At the Core of BEIGE - Life Conditions' (LC):

`My existence centers on survival. Energy is devoted to staying alive and meeting the needs of my physical being so I am not hungry or thirsty. I must reproduce my kind, so I respond to sexual urges as they occur. I do not know what you mean by `future,' laying plans, saving for a rainy day, or `self.' My body tells me what to do, and I am driven by senses talking to my brain, not so much a conscious mind.'

At the Core of BEIGE
  • Survive at the most basic level
  • Satisfy physiological needs
  • Form protective/supportive bands
  • Entities exist as biological units
  • Simply make it through the night/day
Let us emphasize that BEIGE does not necessarily mean a stupid or deficient human being, only one for whom LC' problems are intense. It is the beginning point for all of us, and many exit through BEIGE at the end of life's journey. Tragically, a lack of stimulation or malnutrition can leave BEIGE disproportionately strong and may well limit access to more complex thinking for millions of youngsters. This entrapment may haunt the twenty-first century as much as global war influenced the twentieth.

When BEIGE is in control, people form bands (not yet organizations), just a step above the herd. The objectives, though unstated, are survival and procreation. Band members seem to have a holographic sense of place and each other, much like a herd of elephants, a flock of geese, or a pod of whales, and may well communicate on frequencies with which `civilized' people tuned out many moons ago. The endorphin release that so often eases the final hours of the terminally ill may be a residual BEIGE adaptation to grant the wounded individual peace and thereby release the group to move on, often a necessity under harsh LC.

Today, one can always find examples of BEIGE in cradles and kindergartens, among mentally ill street people, or in hospitals. Sometimes, BEIGE surges when a person is psychologically overloaded. Extremes of stress the nervous breakdown, profound grief, a catastrophe like Rwanda, or even trying to live in Sarajevo under attack will trigger regression toward BEIGE for some people.

With the exception of newborn infants who pass quickly through the BEIGE zone or those with brain damage who may be blocked there, the BEIGE we find today is more often a backwater, regressive "MEME. In fact, many of the seeming BEIGE manifestations - dysfunctional street people, victims of famine or warfare, extremes of poverty and deprivation - are fallout from more complex 'MEMEs at work in society as they draw energy and resources into their spheres, leaving others without.»

Valerii Kosenko
Product owner SaaS pet project SDTEST®

Valerii was qualified as a social pedagogue-psychologist in 1993 and has since applied his knowledge in project management.
Valerii obtained a Master's degree and the project and program manager qualification in 2013. During his Master's program, he became familiar with Project Roadmap (GPM Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement e. V.) and Spiral Dynamics.
Valerii took various Spiral Dynamics tests and used his knowledge and experience to adapt the current version of SDTEST.
Valerii is the author of exploring the uncertainty of the V.U.C.A. concept using Spiral Dynamics and mathematical statistics in psychology, more than 20 international polls.
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