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Seven Cultures: which one is yours?

Use the Impact Cards to reflect on your personal and organisational culture!


To explore the diversity of cultures, we have developed a Culture Deck with seven cards as part of the Impact Cards. The Culture Deck is based on the work of Beck and Cohen (1986) on Spiral Dynamics, a model of the evolutionary development of individuals, organisations, and societies, which is now widely used. Beck and Cohen defined nine different cultures with specific values and characteristics through which humans have developed over the last several thousand years. Each type of culture is identified by a specific colour.  


Our Culture Deck has only seven cards (download here), as two colours of the original typology do not apply to organisations. Please use the cards to assess your organisational culture. Usually, organisations have one dominant culture card and another one or two secondary cards. That does not mean that there are no aspects of the other colours, but they might not be so critical.


Exercise on a personal level:


  1. Go through the seven cards. Which card is the describing your values and culture best? Are there secondary cards, which are also describing you as a person?

  2. Share your reflection with a peer or your partner and ask them if they would agree with your assessment of your culture.

 

Exercise on an organisational level:


  1. Go through the culture deck and select 2-3 cards that describe your organisational culture. Is there one card that you would say is dominant?

  2. Share your observations with the team. Is it possible to define the culture card or cards that clearly define your organisation?

  3. Would you say that your organisation misses a colour? What colour would you need more of?


Here are the Cultures:


#1 Purple, a closed and tribal Culture




#2 Red, valuing courage and power




#3 Blue, for those who like it orderly




#4 Orange, for the over-achievers, and those who wish to be




#5, Green, for those who like it cosy and rosy





#6 Yellow, for the trailblazers and smarties




#7 Mint, or the Buddha Card, as we like to call it





For Download: Schwarz, Joachim and Hans Rusinek, 2023: Impact Cards.


Reference:


Beck, Don Edward; Cowan, Christopher C. (8 May 1996). Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55786-940-1.



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