Today, I am reviewing and recommending the book The Change Code by Monica Bourgeau. This book is about political polarization, understanding and applying Spiral Dynamics and becoming a change agent. Yes, all topics I written on about many times!
The author says that she was intending to write a book about addressing our high levels of polarization when she discovered Spiral Dynamics in early 2019. That she was able to learn and incorporate Spiral Dynamics into a book in such a short time is impressive.
I have to admit that I deeply related to her sense of wanting everyone to know about this life changing theory. When I first discovered the work of Claire Graves and his “theory of everything” via an article in the Fall 2002 issue of the magazine What is Enlightenment? (later known as EnlightenNext and now out of print), I was so blown away….having so many “a-ha’s” that gave me greater understanding about why things around me were the way they were….. that I began studying it, writing about it and telling everyone about it.
Then and now I believe it to be one of the most enlightening theories to help understanding the workings and interactions of humans. Everyone should learn about it. Hence, I have covered it here on “the Bridge” since we started this site in 2010. More about that in an article tomorrow. Now back to The Change Code.
Bourgeau has written an engaging introduction to the work of Graves and the subsequent application and popularization of the theory by Don Beck and Chris Cowan. Yet, Spiral Dynamics (which she calls “the Change Code”) is interwoven into the book simply as a major tool for us to use to address the issue of political and social polarization.
The author addresses the issue of polarization….what it is and how it is created and is blocking us from solving the major issues facing us in modern times. She calls us to become change agents in our own way and gives use tools and ideas to incorporate such things into our lives. Those tools include Spiral Dynamics…but others such as Polarity Mapping, Appreciative Inquiry and Deliberative Engagement. Throughout the book are short descriptions of the work being done by others as agents of change, designed to let us see the applicability of the theories and tools….and to give us motivation.
Some of the things that I especially appreciated about this book were: (1) her attempt to make Spiral Dynamics accessible to those new to the theory; (2) her breaking up the book with charts and side boxes and exercises to make it an easier read; and (3) her using the book as a call to personal action. I also like how she brought in the importance of spirituality to the process of being called to assist the planet and society as well as her guidelines for finding common ground with others. The latter certainly reminded me of the work of Living Room Conversations.
My only minor quibbles with the book were that she opted to use the name “the Change Code” in place of “Spiral Dynamics” and I would love loved a bit more time and description of some of the other change agent tools. But those points aside, I would highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to understand Spiral Dynamics better and considering how they can be involved in reducing our polarization and addressing our worldly issues. To order the book, here is a link.
Bottom line: I highly recommend!