Emerging Shift in Consciousness

This is a short version of the historical effects of humanities continuing shift of consciousness and its effects on organisational structures. For the full version, please see my upcoming book, or attend one of our Enterprise Agile Coaching bootcamp classes. I offer no proof here, just the results.


  • No one person belongs to any of the stages of development.
  • At any given time, humanity exists in multiple stages.
  • There is an overall aggregate operational consciousness for a population of people at any one time.
  • The full timeline, historical events, and links between them, will be given in my new book and on one of the Enterprise Boot camp classes. In this article, I am giving the overall results.


Dependency is defined as the consciousness where we believe that we are part of an external plan and that our destiny is controlled by others. Typically, there are control structures set up to discourage behaviour that deviates from the plan, and there are those few who control and communicate the plan to others. People who completely deviate from the plan are usually punished severely.

Examples of dependent conscious societies are:

  • Pre 16th century Christian countries where Catholicism ruled absolutely.
  • Socialist, Totalitarian, or Communist States with central control and people tend to disappear or are discredited if they deviate from the plan.
  • Muslim countries where there are theocratic governments who stone people to death for not following Sharia law

Please be aware it is not just the law that forces people to conform to the dependent consciousness. People believe that they are part of the plan and want to do what is right, to fit in, and for connection with those who also believe. The law can very rarely control a population that does not believe in it.

Another part of the dependency consciousness is that reality is defined at objective and external. Reality is dictated by the few to keep order and to define people’s places in society.

This consciousness was prevalent across most of the planet until the 1600 CE.


Independency is defined as the consciousness where we belief that we make our own destiny and have free choice. Control structures through law, are set up to provide a safe environment for as many people to thrive as possible. Those who have attributes that are more favourable to current economic conditions will do better than those who do not. There are minimal controls to help those that for whatever reason are unable to economically thrive so that they do not starve.

Capitalism is a form of economic order that arises from independent consciousness.

Another aspect of individualism is the belief that reality is objective and external, but instead of being dictated that reality, we are free to experiment and learn what it is ourselves.

This consciousness is prevalent across most of the planet since the scientific enlightenment in the 1600s.


Interdependency is defined as the consciousness where we belief that we are both dependent on each other and independent to choose our own destiny. Whilst Independent Consciousness believes that we are separated from each other and the world by an existential gulf, Interdependent Consciousness believes we are joined by a shift of identity into a higher purpose of being.

Complete free choice is no longer guided by individual benefit, but instead the benefit of the connected whole to the scope of where the individual has expanded their consciousness to.

An example of interdependency thinking is climate change awareness. Some people have shifted their identity to a planet wide focus, being a citizen of the earth, and act locally in accordance with this belief, doing things that are of no immediate self-benefit. As more people shift in this way on this one subject, our organisational systems reflect this, and we have recycling collections, plastic bag levies at supermarkets etc.

Another aspect of interdependency is the belief that reality is subjective. That much of what we know is the truth but only part of the truth. We experiment with the external world and draw conclusions that make sense to use subjectively. There is no discoverable objective reality, only partial subjective views on it.

An application of this way of thinking is systemic coaching, outcome-based goals, and large group facilitation with shared understanding and decision making as its goal.

This consciousness is not prevalent yet but is emerging from the 1960s onwards.

A note on all models

You don’t need to read the rest of this article to gain the understanding of the model. These are footnotes.

Any staged model of personal development is flawed. The concept of time itself in relation to awareness is independently mutually exclusive, i.e. personal development is not timebound. Therefore, stages that are linked to time are inherently wrong for an individual and are non-deterministic.

Example: You can experience great jumps of personal development with flashes of insight that gives access to completely different states of mind and better decision making. These instantaneous realisations are non-deterministic and not timebound and can happen at any moment.

What we can see however, that there are trends over time for populations in how people behave and organise themselves based upon the recorded and documented beliefs. There are discernible patterns that can be used to guestimate a possible future and to understand more fully what is happening in the present. Whilst choosing the events to consider is largely subjective, we can use methods of selection that are random and not chosen to prove a pre-existing theory.

This model is the latter. A set of patterns that seem to explain very well what is happening right now and give us some likelihood of what is coming next.

This forms part of my theory of why we are going through such a period of organisational instability and change and why things like agility are so important. Other factors not mentioned here, but are covered in the book and on the class are:


  • Philosophical awareness
  • Technological advancement
  • Economic and trade complexity
  • Speed and volume of information exchange
  • Organisational structure and design


  • Freedom vs slavery
  • Happiness of the workforce
  • Culture



Simon Powers is the CEO and founder of Adventures with Agile. He has over 20 years’ experience helping very large organisations to thrive in the market and to be better places to work. His approach led him to create our transformative ICAgile Certified Enterprise Agile Coaching training courses, which run worldwide and online. Simon is one of the first ICE-EC experts in the world.