We create work environments where people can flourish.
Introduction Auke van Nimwegen
When he first came into contact with Spiral Dynamics at the beginning of this millennium, at once Auke van Nimwegen (1963) understood what he had been seeing and intuitively been feeling for years. “I saw what went wrong, but I couldn’t articulate it, I missed the language to explain it; until I came across Spiral Dynamics…”
He has had years of work and living experience at that moment. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and his first steps in entrepreneurship in The Netherlands, he traveled all over the world. He worked for several years as an ICT specialist and consultant in various countries and continents, including Australia, Asia, the United States, and Poland. Employers included Impact Benelux, Microsoft Asian Pacific Region, and Microsoft Netherlands. He led ICT projects in a range of different branches such as banks, telecom, pharmaceutical, government organizations, and utilities.
Through his many travels, he got acquainted with different cultures and he learned to see and recognize the similarities and differences between them and to adapt to them. But he also saw gaps in the systems at the different companies, there was often something missing: the human factor.
|“There is often something missing in the systems of companies: the human factor”
He became increasingly interested in other methods of organizing and back in The Netherlands he set up his own company, Centior, in 1997. The company was successful, with a healthy mix of entrepreneurship, human dimension, and adaptive leadership.
Inspired by new types of leadership, among others from the books by Ricardo Semler, he attended various training courses in personal development, trauma therapy, bodywork and leadership.
When he came across Spiral Dynamics (SD) in his quest of a better understanding of the interaction between people, organizations, and society, many pieces of the puzzle fell together. What he intuitively felt, saw, and put into practice for years, had a name. And most importantly, it gave him the language to articulate what can go wrong between people and organizations and in society. And words to explain how it could be done differently.
What did SD teach you? Auke: “Not every employee benefits from certain organizations, you have to look at which organization suits which people best and vice versa. It has also taught me to be more understanding of other opinions and cultures. And the understanding that different cultures require a different kind of leadership. I also suddenly understood why certain cultures felt better to me than others during my foreign adventures. SD gets you quickly to the essence of things. It provides insight into how conflict situations arise; it makes clear why some parties do not go together, and which interventions are successful, and which are not. It explains the dynamics between people and provides insight into both man and his living environment.”
|“I saw what went wrong, but I couldn’t articulate it, I missed the language to explain it; until I came across Spiral Dynamics…”
In 2005, he attended the Spiral Dynamics level 1 and 2 certifications with Don Beck in the United States, who together with Chris Cowan further developed the work of Graves, the founder of SD. Since then, Auke has been working together with Don Beck who has authorized him to deliver certification trainings and train other trainers.
With his ICT background, knowledge of entrepreneurship and his training in the field of personal development, he started working as an independent organizational consultant and integrated SD into his work. He provided trainings to companies, groups of people and individuals and also applied SD in a more social context, to social problems, such as in deprived neighborhoods.
During this period, he met Paul Zuiker. Together they started to provide trainings and worked on projects collaboratively.
Due to lack of a good tool to work with SD, they decided to develop it themselves. With his IT knowledge, Auke then built his own online assessment system. They developed algorithms to interpret the data automatically which is presented in comprehensive reports. ValueMatch instruments measures not only people’s personal values, but also the culture of the organization they work for.
In 2011 their collaboration resulted in the foundation of a company that sells these assessments to other professionals and trains them to work with these assessments: ValueMatch was born. The assessments are distinguished from other SD assessments by the pure interpretation of Graves’ work and have therefore been validated by Don Beck.
Now, Auke and Paul train both independent and in-company professionals in SD and the use of the ValueMatch tools worldwide. ValueMatch has built up a large international network with customers in more than 20 countries. The assessments are now available in 9 different languages and everything is offered online. Auke provides the day-to-day management within the company and maintains the online system. In addition, he provides online group trainings and guides professionals in their work in applying SD and ValueMatch assessments in various organizations.
|“Spiral Dynamics gets you quickly to the essence of things.”
What does he find fascinating about his work? Auke: “Analyzing situations, improving them to find a solution to a problem, searching for the depth, going beyond the superficiality. What are the things that are going on unconsciously and what is really going on between people?”
|1976 – 1980
|College Blaucapel, Utrecht – Netherlands
|1980 – 1981
|Orchard View High School, Muskegon – USA
|1981 – 1986
|Higher Technical Education, Utrecht – Bachelor’s degree cum laude
|2001 – 2005
|Instituut Emotioneel Lichaamswerk, Lage Vuursche – Coach & group therapy trainer education.
|Spiral Dynamics level 1, 2 and 3 certifications. Authorized to deliver certification training and train trainers.
|1986 – 1987
|Apprenticeship Technical University, Gdansk Poland
|1987 – 1991
|Impact Automation, Utrecht – Manager system engineering
|1991 – 1992
|1992 – 1993
|JNA Network Services Australia – Senior systems engineer
|1993 – 1996
|Microsoft Asian Pacific Region – Senior consultant lecturer
|1996 – 1997
|Microsoft Benelux – Senior Consultant
|1997 – 2003
|Centior, Utrecht – Founder and technical director
|2003 – to date
|The art of Leadership, Utrecht – Independent Consultant
|2011 – to date
|ValueMatch B.V., Utrecht – Co-founder and managing partner
|2009 – 2023
|Board member Stichting De Wending
|2018 – To date
|Member of the Spiral Dynamics trainer board
|2023 – To date
|Board member of the Don Beck Spiral Dynamics Integral Foundation