Alpha: Alpha is a condition where individual, organizations, or cultural Value Systems successfully address the problems of existence. An individual “has it together” in the real world. The company is citizens in an effective way. The environment is relatively stable. Organizations are satisfied as they are. The culture has created the forms and structures that match the problems. In a symbolic sense, “God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world”
Beta arises with doubts. Something’s wrong, but what is it? The old ways of living no longer work; the boat rocks. Successful living may have introduced new unforeseen elements into the environment. Maybe nature has played its tricks on us. Maybe we’re just bored because we are no longer challenged- we’ve got it too easy.
We may have personal problems; companies may show evidence of decline; communities might experience stress, conflict, and discord. We still don’t understand what’s happening. So, what do we do?
1. First, we try to do “more of the same” because we believe nothing is wrong with The System, only its implementation or enforcement. We “hunker down,” “rededicate our lives.” or “ get with the program”
2. Second, we look for ways to reform, fine-tune, or adjust The System while keeping its main features. (See below: Change of the First Order.) We experience a nostalgia for “ the good ole days” when everything seemed to work. (We forget why they didn't) .
3. We recognize that The System is only A system; there are others. A window opens for a possible transition, through the Evolutionary Option into New Alpha. (See Change of the Second Order.)
Gamma is a time of growing frustration, feelings of being trapped, and an entire array of antisocial, self-destructive , and acting out behaviors. The anger comes from knowing whats wrong and why;
understanding what will relieve the tension and create a New Alpha; but fearing that powerful and often punitive barriers stand in the way. There barriers can be internal to the person or group, and/or imposed by external forces seemingly out of their control.
Gamma may lead to violence, destructiveness, armed rebellion, and revolt against the status quo. This becomes the Revolutionary Option as individuals or movements literally or symbolically throw themselves against the barriers. In milder cases, its a time of wanting to escape, run away, break out, and be free of the bonds that entrap us. Gamma is often seen in people experiencing the panic of a mild life crises or when going through a major personal trauma where the future looks hopeless.
Since forward movement seems blocked at Gamma, we may experiment with Regressive Search. We explore old ways thinking, dust-off solutions, revive the tried and true and believe the “old-time religion was good enough for my father and it’s good enough for me”
Delta is a period of excitement and rapid change where the barriers are overcome and previous restraints drop away. People take charge of their own destinies. The past no longer controls the present.
The Delta energy surge is often raw, enthusiastic, and unrestrained. Old ways of living give way to fresh solutions as unexpectedly different structures begin to emerge in a swirl of Activity. This exuberance ignites creativity , resourcefulness, and dedication to the task of designing a new age or a person.
Eureka and Ah, Ha are heard everywhere as the new thrill of liberation mobilizes people in search of the new utopia. Delta often brings stress into relationships and may even trigger negative reactions from those left behind. Too much Delta, too soon , too emotionally displayed , can produce a serious backlash that actually reinforces the old barriers.
The New Alpha.
The new Alpha is consolidation of the ideas and coping systems that emerged during the Delta state into new systems, paradigms, and arrangements. the individual returns to a steady state as the world once again in sync. The organization is congruent to its marketplace or within its professional niche. Society itself appears to be in stride with its environment. Many come to believe the ultimate has been reached; the world will stay this way forever. Over the horizon, around the corner, or up the road lies a new beta.
Stimulated by turmoil, Variety, uncertainty, challenges, novelty, unpredictability , surprises , and the need to adapt to sudden changes. Thrives on shifting patterns, air-cleansing storms, and constant motion.