Integral By Topic in this, or any, I-I forum implies that you have read COMMUNITY BASICS (found in the FILES section).en-USCommunityServer 2.0 (Build: 60217.2664)Re: Integral By Degrees: An Integral Business Story, 02 Feb 2024 21:58:48 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:18962russwv0,

This looks like a great start as a way to introduce integral thinking and perspective taking into business processes. You mnight be interested in an article I published in the Journal of Organizational Change Management --Assessing Executive Leadership-- as an example of languaging the integral approach in business terms. (See

In the meanwhile, if you are interested in writing this experience up in a still informal manner with some additional reflection, I would be interested in publishing it in the Integral Leadership Review. Contact me at

Integral By Degrees: An Integral Business Story, 14 Jan 2024 01:41:45 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:18188rbateman0

Integral By Degrees: An Integral Business Story


I had fun at work on Friday; I slid the thin edge of the Integral wedge into our companies culture.


In my role as VP of Operations, one of the things I do is lead a weekly Operations meeting. The intent of the meeting is to improve our ability to do things. To “sharpen the saw” as Stephen Covey puts it. I have four direct reports who attend who basically represent all the project, product, design and software development staff. Including my HR responsibilities that pretty well covers the company.


We’ve spent the past few weekly meetings brainstorming a list of about forty things that we could implement that would improve things. These range from leadership training to quality assurance to employee retention practices. As we began the process of categorizing and prioritizing, we found they fell into four broad areas:


  • Professional Learning
  • Culture
  • Capabilities
  • Business Processes


At this point in the process the list was rather daunting and the team began to show signs of uncertainty about how to proceed, although I did have a strategy prepared. However after staring at the four headings on the sheet in front of me I abandoned my prepared course of action and launched an entirely novel idea for me and them; the four quadrants.


Although I have been reading Ken’s books for three to five years, for the past few months I have immersed myself in the Integral mindset. I have been reading more of Ken’s books, purchased the Integral Life Practice Starter Kit, joined the Integral Institute and the Integral Spiritual Center, participated in the forums and have been consuming on-line multimedia at a steady rate. So it is only natural that when I saw four headings on the sheet in front of me I saw four quadrants.


Now, I am an 80/20 kind of guy. Once I feel I have 80% of the information I need to make a decision I move to the action plan stage. This approach is similar to one I have gleaned from my studies of US military doctrine. It is based on the idea that when you are given a mission you don’t have time to plan everything before you move out. You move out NOW and begin gathering information and planning as you go. This “learn as you go” approach is also in keeping with the spirit of Ken’s admonition not to confuse the map with the territory – data is great and a plan is great but don’t fall in love with it because it is going to change when the boots hit the ground.


So without a careful analysis as to whether or not the four categories on the page before me matched the I, We, It and Its spaces, I suggested to my staff a new approach as to how to prioritize and proceed.


Without telling them it was the Integral approach, and without using Integral language, I drew the four quadrant cross on the whiteboard. Then I added the diagonal lines and added about four little gradient marks (levels) per line. Then I suggested we place each of our four categories in the four quadrants and take the two things in each category we felt were the most urgent things and those would become levels one and two on each of the diagonal lines in each quadrant.


At this point they began to get the idea and they told me that we would have to do the four things at each level in each quadrant simultaneously (the horizontal approach in Integral terms) because they were all interdependent. I agreed.


I suggested that as we completed each level we would add another based on the fact that completing one level would give us new knowledge and insights. We would move out the diagonal lines, completing each ring of levels as if they were concentric waves moving out from the center.


The meeting ended with everyone feeling very comfortable with our approach and extremely positive about our ability to accomplish our ambitious goals for the next twelve months. The AQAL/Integral approach had moved us from feelings of uncertainty and being overwhelmed to a feeling of confidence.




As I explained, I jumped to the integral model based only on intuition. I did not have time for analysis. Now that I have time to reflect I see that our four categories and the four quadrants do indeed relate:


I - Professional Learning

We - Culture

It - Capabilities

Its - Business Processes


I certainly did not have time to play the Holon game and examine our goals (levels) against the criteria for holons and I am not concerned about that at this point. This is the thin edge of the wedge. I only wanted them to take away one lesson at this time: the quadrants, lines and levels model and the “do them all at the same time” approach.


If you are a business or organizational person, I suggest this is an example of a way to introduce the AQAL/Integral model to the workplace in a “no name brand”, generic fashion. I believe doing so reduced potential resistance that might otherwise have arisen.


Some next steps (probably separated by months each) in the evolution of the concept could be:

  • Each goal at each level should comply to holonic principles
  • AQAL colors/stages: each holon at each level should be at the same stage as those at the same level in the other three quadrants
  • The quadrants should comply to the “I, We, It, Its” constraints

Finally I suggest that moving to the “body, mind and spirit in self, culture and nature” aspect of all this and the AQAL/Integral branding only be ventured after the team was very comfortable and sold on the generic model and approach.

Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 15 Oct 2024 22:56:56 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:11242integrallynne0

Thanks, Nick and I were in contact with one another a few years ago, and I've admired what he's managed to accomplish!


Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 13 Oct 2024 18:34:29 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:11044PeterMerry0,

Not ready yet to publish the case studies, but for anyone with a similar context I'd be happy to talk.

1. We are just completing the first two years of an integral transformation project with a business unit in a major multinational technology company, and it has shifted employee satisfaction to 96%, and put business results through the roof. We have all the evidence now that Integral works. We used the SDi CultureScan instrument to great effect. We are now about to create a new Integral product in the unit, adding I and We to Its. The manager took up meditation about 6 months ago, and others are now catching on. The rest of the organisation is starting to take notice.

2. We are about to start a major project with an airline to integrate interior quadrants into an already pretty progressive application of the Six Sigma approach. Using Morel Fourman's integral performance management technology (see, we will enable the MT to measure not only LR development, but all quadrants. Once developed, this can be shifted to anyone using Six Sigma in an environment that is ready to embrace Green and beyond (ie recognise the importance of people in performance).

We're currently looking for a student to write up the business case of the first. I'm happy to talk on the phone / skype with people wth similar concrete applications.

Love, Peter
Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 13 Oct 2024 18:23:23 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:11043PeterMerry0 Lynne,

Check out Nick Drummond's work at He was at the SDi EuroConfab and is doing truly amazing work in education in Sweden.

Love, Peter
Re: corporations as models, 03 Aug 2024 15:45:53 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:3061dwh0

Russ -- thanks for your thoughts on this -- I have been immersed in medical and caregiving crises for two dads, so have been away for awhile. Look forward to checking the references you mentioned.


Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 24 Jul 2024 16:00:44 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1805russwv0 working with clients and leaders, to date I never mention AQAL or integral. We talk through the perspectives that are important to them. I generally find that the questions are more powerful than any answers I might bring. (However, I am ready to bring examples that may stimulate their thinking a bit).

As for the work on self, that lifetime dance, I see it as doing a striptease. Not sure anyone else would be pleased with my results, but I sure feel lighter and free and more in touch with the atmosphere around me.

Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 24 Jul 2024 04:28:11 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1797integrallynne0


I shall do so this week. Thanks for the recommendation.

 Russ and Molly and all, I love reading these posts and the perspectives that they offer. 

I must tell you quite honestly that I find that my buttons have been badly pushed at my school, and the last thing I did on the last day of school was to slam the door in my supervisor's face, after he told me that he's assigning me to the worst classroom in the's a way of him getting even with me for having a stroke after he harassed me, thus causing the faculty to turn against him and the administration.  Very nasty situation....

My micro- example, tho, is a serious question, and I do not wish to divert the disucssion to one about my situation, which I'm tending to on multiple fronts. I pose it as a concrete example from our very real lives.  We may have grown considerably in our AQAL understanding, our theoria may be the best in the state, but when confronted with Red, we/I may well revert to anger and old behavior patterns.  I assume that each one of us, coaches and leaders alike, can reference that type of response regardless of our altitude in many lines.

If you read some of the posts on the Integral Parenting thread, it again becomes fascinating to see the interplay of the theory and the practice, which is what fascinates me.  I find that by deepening my EMBODIMENT of Integral, I am able to act far more in alignment, far better "right action" in all  situations (save the Red responses). 

It is this embodiment that I find so critical in practice with others.  I find that the more I am aligned and embodied to the AQAL framework, the better able I am to hold that Center of Gravity, and the better able others at their own altitudes are capable of deepening the breadth and depth of their perspectives.

How do you know when you are embodying AQAL? How do you explain that to those you are coaching or leading?  I find it fascinating beyond measure that those I am working with cannot/might not have the words to explain what they are doing or feeling, but they know that there is something different going on.  One of the people I work on Integral community with, says that she reads my words, but doesn't really "feel" into what I am saying, or what it means.  Yet when we are in our group meetings, she tells me that she is beginning to get a feel of something discernably different inside her.

Thanks for all of these great posts!


Re: corporations as models, 20 Jul 2024 19:39:24 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1672russwv0,

This is a classic both/and. Much of what I-I has been about is developing the individual to enhance their capacity to grok whatever part of the universe is important to them and to understand that even within a larger universal framework. That is shifting in that more and more, e.g., integral sustainability, we are seeing applications of integral theory.

My own article in the Journal of Organizational Change Management (July 2024) is suggesting a way of constructing a model in client language for helping them see themselves, each other and their leadership roles in a more integral way.

On the Frank Visser site, Barrett Brown of the Integral Sustainability Institute reports of a United Nations project involving leadership in addressing HIV/AIDS that is built on an integral approach. This project was also reported on in the pages of Integral Leadership Review, September 2024

Your closing question represents for me one of the dances we are doing as we evolve our capability and capacity to take an integral approach. The answer is, of course, yes! And more! We have ideas about the more—e.g., lines of development. But the lines, streams aspects of integral theory are not well developed at this point. We have somewhat arbitrary classifications such as mental, emotional, physical and spiritual or the multiple intelligences of Howard Gardner or even the 18 factors of emotional intelligence in the work of Goleman at al. There is much for us to learn here.

Also, we have multiple stage models and a lack of agreement on what constitutes stages. We don't yet have agreement on perspectives in the four quadrants (here I haven't read Ken's latest work that I understand will be coming out in the book, Integral Spirituality, so I cannot comment on that). We are still dancing with different ways of thinking about a holarchy!

The implication is that the field is ripe for development. And that is happening. The number of publications (books, articles, white papers, blogs, etc.) is growing rapidly and I suspect will be growing exponentially. When the new journal, AQAL, is published, there is going to be a data dump the likes of which the world of integral has never seen before, even with Ken Wilber's prolific output.

Our challenge is to work through what we can and forge approaches that we can take into the world in forms like the UNDP and in working with businesses and other organizations.

One last note on "repond more effectively," it depends. An assumption that one might make is that having the capacity to respond in a way that enlists the support and participation of a host of people at various developmental levels to address issues of concern for each of them—and that hold the preservation of the world ecologically to support human life—is working more effectively. Understanding what constitutes effectiveness for a diverse set of others is essential to that process if one is going to try and exercise influence "effectively." I sure hope that the more we learn and develop an integrally informed perspecive, the more effectively we will influence the world to support what is important to us. Having said that, implicit is a recognition that what is important will be different for different people and even for ourselves as we develop our integral capabilities. It is just so damn tempting to hold up peace, sustainable ecology, motherhood and apple pie as ultimate values to work toward effectively. Hey, one could do worse.

Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 20 Jul 2024 19:03:26 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1665mollygee0 for the lag time -- it's been a busy week.

I didn't even know about AQAL at the time the DD situation unfolded.
Re: corporations as models, 16 Jul 2024 22:37:15 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1504dwh0

Well, IMHO, integral approaches to leadership, leader development, organizations, culture and their development offer a frame that allows us to build strategic intention, collaboration, competition, etc. to achieve what is important to us. There is a place for each of these and more.

Russ (and others) ... to what extent are integral approaches to leadership and organizational change an extension of one's own integral development, and to what extent is it useful and valuable to deliberately analyze a situation using an AQAL framework ... this is kind of the same question I was asking Molly, where it seemed to me that her response to help resolve a problem came from her "integral intuition" on one hand, but I was/am wondering the extent to which she deliberately thought about what aspects of an integral approach applied to that particular situation.

So, if I am in Lynne's situation within an organization (and not many years ago I was), I assume I will respond more effectively the deeper/higher I develop in a variety of lines (and not just the better I learn various efffective leadership and change strategies)? Is it also helpful to deliberately analyze the situation through an AQAL lens?

Is there an interplay between "integral intuition and integral analysis"?


corporations as models, 14 Jul 2024 22:50:05 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1445russwv0,

I appreciate the line of inquiry you are opening here. The question of what models exist that we can use to guide how we are developing any of our institutions is an important one. For me, the answer is, all of them!

The corporation, by the way, is not one model, but many. There are probably as many different approaches to management, leadership, organization structure, processes and systems within corporations as there are in the whole spectrum of human systems from family to governments.

I remember working with a client, then president of 20th Century Fox Television, who said he wanted his management team to be like one big happy family. And that is what he had, a family approach to management. He was the mother, his bear of an executive VP was father and they both treated everyone else like children (perhaps this is a bit overdrawn, but I hope you get the picture.

On the other hand, some Boards of Directors have organized themselves and manage themselves as an effective governing insttitution with the corporation. You will find this sometimes in employee owned businesses.

There are hierarchical structures, matrix structures, "floating" swtructures and the like. Corporations can be agile or stuck in bureaucracy. They can be entrepreneurial, inventive and mired in red tape in different functions at the same time or different stages of the life cycle (Adizes).

In any human system, our challenge is to learn from what is there. If we want to create change, then we need to begin by discovering what is there and working from there—as integrally as we can.

Kaplan and Norton, in their groundbreaking work with the Balanced Scorecard have had a huge impact on corporate strategic planning by expanding the focus almost exclusively on financials and marketing to four categories: internal, external, financial and developmental. No matter what kind of organization or individual you are this is a fine set of factors to develop strategic intention around. Mike Jay has developed a coaching approach that does just that.

Well, IMHO, integral approaches to leadership, leader development, organizations, culture and their development offer a frame that allows us to build strategic intention, collaboration, competition, etc. to achieve what is important to us. There is a place for each of these and more.

Now the question is what is the mix in your system? Where is the pain, where are the aspirations, what are the strengths, whose got the power (and what kind of power), who wants change, how can you get any of them on the same page with coalitions that support blue and orange and green and any other levels that exist? How can you create some small wins around limited objectives to build an experience of success, how can you leverage those small wins into win/win and win/win/win situations with ever greater degrees of complexity.

I think that when we can see no way to do those things, there is no alternative than submission or revolution and each of those has severe implications for all of us.

There is, no doubt, so much more to be said about all of this. Hopefully, as participation grows there will be more and more input. And I hope those who are interested in these things also check out the Integral Leadership Review. It is free. The articles, etc. range from theory to practice, from public to private sector, etc.I hope I am not violating any guidelines by encouraging folks to check this out.


heretic, rebel, a thing to flout,
he drew a circle that shut me out,
but love and I had the wit to win,
we drew a circle that brought him in.

E. Markham
Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 12 Jul 2024 00:29:14 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1318dwh0

Drat! Please ignore the attachment to my previous message. Formatting makes it unreadable. Another new trick to learn!


Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 12 Jul 2024 00:20:50 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1317dwh0

What does this look like in a real world instance? I once served on a county human resources advisory board and chaired the developmental disabilities committee. I had no particular expertise in the area, which freed me to see the arc of discourse, decisions, evaluations, etc. over a period of several years. At one point, the committee and board were snagged on the reef of a dilemma. Mainstreaming of folks w/ DDs had resulted in a sharp increase in the day-to-day challenges faced by many individuals and families who could no longer rely on sheltered workshops, day treatment, and other structures for support. (This is a much truncated picture.) Budgets were smaller and smaller; schools, neighborhoods, churches, communities with no experience were needing to not only integrate but meet the needs of the DD community, and apart from a few very lovely success stories from projects led by visionary leaders with a high ratio of support personnel to clients, there were no models. The board and committee were stalled because they had just spent 5 years doing what they thought they were supposed to do (and what the families, advocates, and DD clients thought they wanted) and people were falling through the cracks.

One day on a site visit for an annual evaluation, I remarked to our staff person that we might consider that the fact that our current problems were the result of our best ideas was not a bad thing, but merely a natural consequence or progression in a process of learning how to do something we did not know how to do. The mood and attitude of the group shifted remarkably, and we started taking action without needing to "see around the corner" because we had shifted our standard from doing the right things to learning from our choices.

Hey Molly ... can you say more about "where" your remark came from? I am wondering the extent to which you reflected upon the the problem people were facing and simply responded from who you are and/or the extent to which you deliberately analyzed the situation from an AQAL perspective.

I ask that in part because you summarized in 2 paragraphs a way of approaching this particular issue that has taken me 14 pages to describe (an approach which is attached here and will be part of a new topic on Integral Disabilities, Alzheimers and LongTerm Care).

Dennis (who you may recall as a struggling puppy-dog in Westminster, now two years later already an old dog learning new tricks).







Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!, 09 Jul 2024 03:33:04 GMTee28e699-b6ce-41f9-9b68-f4b3d2b14a5b:1164ralphweidner0

have you listened to the IN two part dialogue between john mackey and ken wilber?