Monthly Archives: November 2014

Understanding each other’s belief systems

Leon de Caluwé’s theories on Belief Systems can help Super7 team to become successful. Teamwork is essential in Super7 Operations, and understanding the points of view of your team members can help you and your team enormously.

Recently, I had the privilege to attend a seminar by Leon de Caluwé, the well-known Dutch professor and advisor. Leon de Caluwé is one of the thought leaders in the field of Belief Systems and their impact on change. He explained that there are five Belief Systems that color a person’s approach to change. De Caluwé has associated each of them with a color. All of these colors can be found inside each of us. We predominantly use one or two, and the others are our allergies. But it is best to be able to use all of them to some extent, to be able to understand “from which planet your team mates come from”, as De Caluwé puts it. Below, you can find my summary of the theory, by listing words and convictions that you may hear when working with someone from that particular planet. I strongly recommend Leon de Caluwé’s excellent books for anyone working with Super7’s.

Yellow print thinking:

  • Power
  • Support
  • Coalitions
  • Key players
  • Strategic questions
  • Mission, vision, goals
  • Keeping your options open
  • Getting people to change though fear

Blue print thinking:

  • Results
  • From A to B, from Current State to Desired State
  • Analytic and rational
  • Think before you act
  • Change is simple
  • Getting people to change through pressure and competition

Red print thinking:

  • You must avoid “must”
  • A favor for a favor
  • After work drinks
  • Social pressure
  • Communication
  • Team work, cooperation, teams
  • Togetherness
  • Change is appealing
  • Getting people to change by seducing them

Green print thinking:

  • Being adaptive
  • Feedback, customer panels
  • Safe environment, being open and vulnerable
  • Paternalistic
  • Learning by doing
  • Free to choose what you learn, but not free to choose how you learn
  • Learning organization, organizational development
  • Learning and changing are synonyms

White print thinking:

  • Self-steering, autonomous teams
  • Moving in the same direction
  • Where is your energy, what is your strength
  • Transformation theory
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Tolerating variance
  • Getting people to change through shared vision and removing obstacles

You might have guessed it: Super7 Operations is definitely invented by white print thinkers, in close cooperation with blue print thinkers. But Cooperational Excellence can only be achieved when people understand each other.

Menno R. van Dijk