Ken Wilbur’s 4 Quadrant Integral Philosophy Framework

Ken Wilbur conceptualized a 4-quadrant model for understanding the interchange of culture, systems, and society. His model of the Four quadrants is core to integral philosophy.

The framework uses two matrices where he framed culture in terms of: 1) look at an organization’s individual employees versus their collective workforce, and: 2) view both through the lens of an internal or external perspective.

The top-left quadrant (Individual internal) is a person’s values and beliefs, what draws them to and keeps them at organizations who share their values. Top right is individual external…how they behave/interact. The bottom left quadrant is collective internal, the organization’s culture. On the bottom right is collective external. That comprises the organization’s systems, processes, and procedures.

In Wilbur’s framework, to change your culture (internal/collective quadrant), you adapt one of the other 3 quadrants as follows:

1. Individual/Internal: Invite/challenge your people to explore how their personal values and beliefs support or undermine your desired culture

2. Collective/External: Design supportive systems, structures, and practices to create/support the desired culture you want to create; and

3. Individual/External: Empower your most influential (well-respected) people as culture Brand Ambassador role models, to behave in a manner that reinforces your culture.