The ABC’S of Change

Our change model is derived from Integral Theory, and covers the four essential ingredients of social change – AwarenessBehaviorCulture and Systems. Each ingredient is critically important, but insufficient on its own to create lasting change. From an integral perspective, these ingredients can be thought of as “zones” that must be addressed simultaneously because they are the four basic threads that make up the fabric of social reality:

  • A = Awareness, or the interior experience of you being you – your intellect, beliefs, values, intentions, motivations andemotions
  • B = Behavior, actions and anything others can directly observe about you – essentially, any aspects of A that you express outwardly
  • C = Culture, cultural values, worldviews and paradigms – similar to A, but at a group level
  • S = Systems and stuff – the human-built environment and products, and the earth, biosphere and atmosphere

These four zones arise as a result of transcending and integrating two fundamental dichotomies:  interior-exterior and individual-collective. The four-box matrix shows how these axes and zones are related. “Interior” in this sense means the subjective, inner human experience, or simply – what is going on inside your mind, or our collective minds. “Exterior” means the objective, tangible, material world, or simply – physical reality, at the individual and collective level. Usually we tend to focus on one or two of these zones and ignore the rest, but the framework reminds us that they are equally important if we want to create lasting change.

In practice we apply these perspectives throughout an engagement, to diagnose the problems, identify the leverage points and design effective solutions. Each zone has specific tools and methodologies that are woven together to create a whole system strategy for change.