My Journey With Sustainable Business (Episode 107)

This week, we turn the tables.

Chris Chittenden, senior ontological coach and past podcast guest, interviews me about my journey with sustainable business.

I found the experience liberating.

We discuss why I started a series on climate change, clean technology and sustainable business, the people and ideas who have influenced me, how I work with regret, and how I express these commitments in the life I was given.

I hope that this taste of my journey gives you insight and courage on your own journey.

If you get value from this, please share with friends.

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Episode 97: Spiral Dynamics With Jon Freeman

Spiral Dynamics

Waiting four years to discuss Spiral Dynamics on my podcast is like waiting that long on a show about desserts before bringing up chocolate.

Yes, Cindy Wigglesworth used Spiral Dynamics to help us make sense of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, but this week is our first in-depth exploration.

And I’m excited to share it.

Spiral Dynamics is my go-to framework for understanding politics, global events, cultural evolution, and the many big challenges we face as a people and planet. It also explains what happens inside of large organizations, a place where I do most of my coaching and consulting. Whether the topic is global climate change, right wing nationalism, competing economic theories, or race and culture, Spiral Dynamics gives me a way to understand the core worldviews that animate everyday conversations.

That’s why Spiral Dynamics is called the “master code” or code of all codes.

To illuminate this framework, I spoke with Jon Freeman, who, after a long business career, discovered Spiral Dynamics and became one of its leading teachers.


  • 9:30 Small bands roaming the savannah to warlord gangs to rule-bound towns—and beyond
  • 14:30 The worldviews dominant within big companies and organizations
  • 25:30 Why you want all worldviews present in organizations
  • 31:00 Reinterpreting the 2008 financial crisis through the Spiral
  • 39:00 The dangers of ignoring the virtues of Blue rules
  • 50:00 Why the U.S. underestimated China
  • 56:30 Humanity prepares for a momentous leap—the shift to second tier
  • 1:03:00 Reinventing Blue order in big corporations
  • 1:08:00 The rise of mafia enterprises and right wing nationalism
  • 1:15:00 Brexit, immigration, and complexity
  • 1:19:00 Climate change, clean tech, and Spiral Wizards in a time of catastrophe

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Overview of Spiral Dynamics

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Episode 63: Using Worldviews To Explain The Election With Cindy Wigglesworth [The Amiel Show]


Still trying to make sense of the U.S. presidential election? Me, too.

This week, leadership consultant and author Cindy Wigglesworth helps us understand what happened through the lens of worldviews. With an approach called Spiral Dynamics as our guide, Cindy describes how worldviews emerge progressively as we grow, what happens when they rub against each other, and how to reintegrate worldviews that we have kicked under the rug.

It’s a rich topic, one with interlocking questions about our political moment. For example:

What happens when the Blue “rules and roles” worldview gets attacked on one side by the Red “powerful self” and on the other side by Green “pluralism?”

Might liberals’ pluralism have underestimated the visceral appeal of the fierce Red within Donald Trump and many of his supporters?

What happens when Orange “achiever” values take the form of crony capitalism–and what would a healthier capitalism look like?

What new and more advanced worldview might be called forth in our culture if the survival of our species is at stake (if it isn’t already)?

This conversation with Cindy is part three of my post-election series. Although I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about parts one and two, I realize that politics—even at this dramatic moment in history–isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If so, stay tuned for future interviews with Deb Helsing about Immunity to Change, Steve Waddell about large systems change, and Sean Casey Leclaire about men and leadership.

But, first, Cindy Wigglesworth. Cindy is a recognized expert in spiritual intelligence and its application to leaders and organizations. She describes her approach as faith-neutral, faith-friendly, and science-friendly. She created the SQ21 assessment of spiritual intelligence and is author of SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence.

This conversation about the election, although informed by Cindy’s wisdom and compassion, doesn’t focus explicitly on spiritual intelligence. On the other hand, I think it will recharge your spiritual batteries as it did mine.


  • 7:30 Spiral Dynamics stages: red, blue, orange, and green
  • 15:00 Different reasons people voted for Trump
  • 18:30 How Bernie pulled Hillary more into Green
  • 22:00 Green pluralism often attacks Blue rules
  • 25:40 Strategic approach to societal survival issues
  • 31:30 How to reintegrate the virtues of your Red (Powerful Self) and Blue (Rules and Roles) world views
  • 40:30 How we can disown world views as we grow
  • 45:00 Variety of forms capitalism takes
  • 48:30 Critiques of capitalism—and their limits

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Liberalism often underestimates the value of enforcing society’s rules and roles

–Cindy Wigglesworth   Tweet this quote

Spiral Dynamics worldviews discussed in interview

  • Red: Powerful Self
  • Blue: Rules and Roles
  • Orange: Achiever
  • Green: Pluralistic
  • Yellow: Strategic

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