I’ve been MIA from my blog for the past year, but for good reason. I’ve been writing a book, and just published The Change Code: A Practical Guide to Making a Difference in a Polarized World at the end of last year.
One of the questions I get asked most often is what prompted me to write the book. Well, I’ve always felt like I had a responsibility to do something to help make the world a better place. I led change and transformation efforts in healthcare for more than two decades, but it felt like it wasn’t enough.
In 2011, I started writing and blogging, and in 2014, I published an article in the Huffington Post called “7 Ways to Change the World.” This brief article spread quickly, and people around the world contacted me to say it was inspiring them to take positive action in their communities. Then a few years later, a publishing company included that article in a college writing textbook. This really showed me the power of a simple, hopeful message.
Around the time of the 2016 elections, I’d hit a low point in my life. I was experiencing burnout in my corporate job and felt like the world’s problems (climate change, immigration, poverty, homelessness, healthcare) had become dire. As a generally optimistic person, I felt really discouraged. People seemed to be more polarized than ever, and I didn’t see how we could solve our way out of this situation. How are we supposed to tackle all of these seemingly insurmountable problems when we can’t even talk to each other?
I knew I needed to do more, but I wasn’t sure what. Then I discovered the work of a developmental psychologist named Clare W. Graves. His theory, which is also known as Spiral Dynamics, gave me hope and helped me understand what was happening in the world today. It turns out that the polarization and rising tensions in our country and the world are a normal part of our developmental process and are actually signs that we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift, from one developmental layer to the next. It also restored my optimism by giving me a glimpse of what’s possible for humanity if we can move through this tumultuous time. Graves’ model changed the way I looked at the world and I knew I needed to share it with others. I call it “the Change Code” and it is the underlying framework for my new book.
The Change Code combines all of my passions for psychology, spirituality, and consciousness with my 20+ years of experience leading change and transformation efforts. I knew I had connected to what would become my life’s work. Graves’ model has been called “the theory of everything” and has many practical applications including personal development, change leadership, innovation, and strategy. I’ve been applying this theory and connecting with others from all over the globe who use it in their own change initiatives. I’ll be sharing more about The Change Code in the coming months, as well ways you can apply this knowledge as a leader, innovator, and changemaker.
Learn more about Graves’ model of Spiral Dynamics with a list of my favorite resources.