Civic Managers: Negotiate Diversity

hex_managersNegotiate Relationship Between Change & Diversity

Integral Civic Managers understand the relationship between change and diversity. Change has five significant states:

  • Alpha— is the current steady change state determined by stable life conditions in the city.
  • Beta— is when minor to moderate fluctuations occur, determined by moderate change in the life conditions. At Beta, the intention of the Civic Manager / team / City is to make minor adaptations to return to the Alpha state.
  • Gamma— is when major blocks occur in the normal energy flow caused by major change(s) in the life conditions. The Civic Manager recognizes that there is no way back to the Alpha or Beta State. Clearing the blockage requires meshworks of new thinking, new strategies, and new solutions, not previously available at Alpha or Beta.
  • Delta— is the change state that emerges after the Gamma block is broken. It is characterized by a surge of energy and new vision because of the emergence of new intelligences in the neighbourhood, area, city.
  • New Alpha— the new change state that emerges after the Delta surge, characterized by the new intelligences.

Change Can Happen Multi-dimensionally

Change can happen in any of the city’s dimensions: climactic, geological, biological, zoological, human physical and human intentional. The Integral Civic Manager uses globally intelligent lenses to monitor vital signs of change in all of them.

The effective Civic Manager responds to any and all states of change, appropriately applying strategic responses that vary from minor adjustments to moderate accommodation to major shifts.

Spiral Dynamics integral [iii] identifies 8 variations of change in human systems that are matched to the spectrum of five change states. Effective change in human systems depends on:

  • capacity to change
  • resolution of key problems from previous states of change
  • sufficient dissonance in the context to cause motivation to change
  • insight/breakthrough to an appropriate solution
  • overcoming barriers
  • learning to apply, implement change; and
  • (re)integration.


In Today’s City, it is difficult (if not impossible) to maintain a state of change in the Alpha-Beta range. Different residents have always experienced different life conditions in different areas of the city. But today, a plurality of change experiences now results from a never ending stream of immigrants arriving in the city from different global life conditions. Extreme diversity of human systems in today’s city has resulted in the “Global Village”. Our Global Villages include people from multiple countries of origin, languages, cultures, ethnicities, races, economic and political systems, all co-existing, for the first time in history, in close geographical proximity.

This diversity creates highly complex life conditions that are continuously introducing change factors into the city. Such diversity and constant change continuously challenges existing governance systems and people’s expectations.

Integral Civic Managers are challenged to [iv]:

  • manage and resolve conflicts that arise because of diversity (of all kinds)
  • manage staff (who may represent the dominant culture) to respond to multiple cultures
  • employ analysis skills that recognize and respect multicultural perspectives, while maintaining rights and responsibilities for all
  • educate elected officials, citizens and senior levels of government, about the effects of diversity on change and planning systems
  • reinvent planning systems able to respond effectively to the increasing diversity of the city
  • change the planning process to be inclusive of the diversity of human systems in the city
  • make planning codes and bylaws, legislation, and heritage and urban design practices reflective of the city’s diversity
  • design participatory processes that bring racial and ethnic groups into the planning process

Negotiating change and diversity, effectively in the Global Village requires a full range of leadership capacities and a meshwork of connections including city staff, council members, agencies, private sector partners, civil society representatives and other levels of government.

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