The Mindmaker6 ® tool is a simple paper based tool that introduces you to the ideas of Professor Clare Graves who was interested in the developement of Values systems in individuals. We are interested in his ideas because leading and selling to disparate groups means you need to have some idea of what emotional triggers will motivate them. According to this view, values are either mainly self (i.e. results) focused or group (relationships) focused. As individuals or organisations develop they move between these focuses.
As they develop they are capable of including more complexity. Eventually they become aware of the choices they can make and can adopt different values for different purposes. They become able to integrate systems thinking with people skills – a critical skill in today’s networked world.
There are other versions of Graves’ ideas in the world – mainly the 2 flavours of Spiral Dynamics. However it has always seen to us that Dudley Lynch’s interpretation is best suited to the practical world. We have to manage our relationships quickly in a rapidly changing world. We don’t have the luxury of 2 years to train. We need to be able to learn and apply immediately the most powerful models we can find to build and stabilise the relationships we need to build the world of the 21st Century. Generation Y seem to know instinctively that their relationships ARE their only resources in a world choking on the old transactional ways of doing business.
There is a good overlap between The BrainMap ® and Graves models. We can map the behaviour of different types of people and indeed organisations in this way. These values systems are mindsets that we become accustomed to using. Like The Brainmap, we will have one predominant centre of gravity but are likely to have a couple of othe centres that we use regularly -in fact it delivers a spectrum of values systems that we can use proactively. Spiral dynamics assigns colours to these mindsets while Dudley gives them names. They can be understood using these labels.
- Kinspersons – Purple – Gangs
- Loners – Red – Small Businesses
- Loyalists – Blue – Public Sector, Army, Church
- Achievers – Orange – Big Business
- Involvers – Green – Voluntary and Education sectors
- Choice Seekers aka dolphins – Yellow – Knowledge Businesses
Dolphins incidentally value their freedom and elegant use of resources. They are the gifted amateurs and early adopters that we find in our research projects.
Understanding this is important for writing effective copy for organisations in the public or voluntary sectors that respond to different imperatives to the commercial sector,
Motivation and Behaviour
The traditional salesman sees customers as motivated by fear, greed or fashion, In the business to business world, fear is usually the stronger motivator, However in the consumer world it’s more complex. Individuals ARE motivated by altruism. And they are also strongly motivated by dissatisfaction with their existing situation.
We want you to understand how your audience thinks and feels and then telling your story in the language that they would use to describe it to themselves. Otherwise you end up only being able to sell to people like you – and there’s a limited supply of those. To make your way in the world you need to understand where other people are coming from – what motivates them and how you need to communicate with them. This is what the MindMaker6 tool is all about – it unpacks and makes workable the Graves Spiral for those doing the world’s work.
This diagram shows us the basis of communication to these different mindsets. It’s really important to understand this stuff – if you talk to people in language that makes sense to them you’re more likely to get the results you want.
The right brain systems – purple, blue and green are defenders and care for the group. The left brain systems, red, orange and yellow take the initiative and are self orientated.
Let me tell you an illustrative story. I once had a job in a public sector organisation after about 15 years of being Managing Director of a 10 man company. I was always getting into trouble for using the wrong language and focusing on the wrong issues. You see – it seemed natural to me that the most important thing was to get the results I was tasked with. However I had no feeling for the sheer political complexity of the organisation and what was considered appropriate in terms of maintaining the cohesion of the group. After about 18 months of pain which I somehow survived by being too competent to fire I eventually developed a quite unexpected flair for organisational politics and achieved some good things that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t learned to play the game.
Mind you I still get caught out. I got into trouble for referring to man-days in a recent bid where consultant days would be considered gender neutral. I also got told off for referring to market research as research – because research on people trips out a whole dimension of ethical considerations.
It’s all nonsense of course – but it just demonstrates how important it is to understand these value systems.
As a rule of thumb – don’t use “me” language with “we” people or they’ll resent you and try to cut you down to size. And don’t use “we” language with “me” people or they’ll see you as weak and try and take you out. And above all don’t try to use charm on accountants.
So I hope that’s given you some insight into why this material is so powerful and such an essential part of the toolkit of the 21st Century business person.
To find out more have a look at the MindMaker6 tool – which allows you to see where you fit on the spiral – or more accurately – which value systems you regularly use.