Values: The Obstacle That Keeps Us From Deeper Collaboration, Innovation, and Change

Dance of the ‘Victor Victim Villain’ Archetypes

Victor (Champion, Hero)

The three ‘V’s – victor, victim, villain. If you are human being, you can’t escape it. We all wear their cloaks at times in our lives. You are more dependent on these three V’s than you probably know.

Our ways of thinking shape our world. Whether we know it or not, the way we formulate our ideas do control how we see the world and how we make choices.

Consider for a moment how our inter-actions and choices emerge through them. How might these 3V’s show up as part of ongoing issues within your workplace and home-life? Most, if not all, of our decisions and actions emerge through the interactions underlying this ‘3V’ culture-making archetype.

Consider This …

Applying quantum physics to human behavior

Villain (Evil Bad Guy)

All models have rotation or spin. Thus each subject within a model becomes one of the others. The victor-victim-villain archetypal interaction has (like all models) a dynamic movement that moves each subject into becoming one of the others. In this case, the victor becomes the victim, the victim becomes the villain, and the villain becomes the victor. Have you ever noticed how this happens in your favorite movies? How the good-guy and bad-guy overlay each other’s light and dark sides? Batman and IronMan are two good examples that present this interplay. Have you also noticed, at least in our Western society, that there is often more attention placed on – not the hero, but on the villain? Because of this, the villain ends up being the real hero. This is the archetypal rotation in action. The policeman-assailant-assaulted scenario is another example how each person in the triad play an unconscious role in keeping this cultural engine running.

Awareness Shifts

Now then, in a (w)holistic view, do we need to allow the time it takes for each one of us to become the other? If so, this is a conscious act, is it not? Otherwise each of us (too often) get unconsciously caught migrating from one identity to another, and then fall back again, creating a polarized oscillation. Bouncing back and forth to and from the identity we had for ourselves previously. Instead of moving through one and into the next identity within this triad configuration, we stuck in one of them, and movement stops.

An Open Conclusion

Psychology, archetypes, and the dynamics of change

Victim (Suppressed Person)

What might be another model that could work better than the one we are unconsciously using today?

If we could become aware myth-makers, maybe we could design something different for a  relational dynamic model? We have become the result of  it designing us, rather than consciously using the model to create a collective intelligence that supersedes the interplay within the subjects of victor, victim, and villain.

What if we had an archetype for this dynamic? An archetype of archetypes? Would this allow humanity’s failing displays of destructive expression to be able to move downstream into other realms of possible life, form, awareness, and consciousness?

I’m writing a book on ‘cultural misfits’, and it’s just coming to my mind that this may be its charter – to transmute “objective isolated acts” (static) into “subjective interdependent actions” (dynamic). How we think about models – their influence on our beliefs, choices, and actions – may give us a way to begin consciously creating our way of life, rather than be unconsciously run by them.

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A new insight …

The Hidden Healer is ‘Vulnerability’

After watching this TED presentation I realized that the center of this complex, codependent triad, is the hidden healer to the turmoil created by the 3V interactions. It is VULNERABILITY. Watch the below well done presentation, which based on research, and you will see what I mean.

And what does this all have to do with COLLABORATION, INNOVATION, and CHANGE?

To become vulnerable, it means by default that you are connected to others. This simple yet profound point is unlike what most organizations teach. Instead they remove the irritating grit quickly to get to the strategic gems. Known as being ‘efficient’, it is a false premise and ends up not being effective at all, and certainly is not sustainable. In fact, when the grit is removed, it is a rare case where the innovation is not removed along with it. Turbulence, conflict, disagreement are healthy, but have to be placed within the context of our humanity, not our productivity.

More on this later, but it is very clear to me now that the gooey, yucky, sticky, muddy stuff that is created when each member of the organization or team consciously chooses to become vulnerable with each other, the whole game changes. Thus, this 4th V (vulnerability) is a baseline for healthy and effective collaboration and design.

Here’s the part that stops the show for most and they run away: At the core of our shells is vulnerability, which consists of those uncomfortable feelings we have when feeling exposed. And what binds the core together is the festering seed of SHAME.

Brené Brown: Listening to shame; Being vulnerable


As an experiment … I will be continuing my work on this post, so stay tuned.

note1,  note2

missing in the equation for social redesign: 


New Addition …


victor, victim, villain, vulnerability, vengeance, virtuosity

Here is a framework that can help you to hold powerful conversations.

A way of revealing individual value from community values. Inside this crystal is a movement of energy that defines the health of a community and the individuals that make it. It’s “V” formation shapes the alchemical vessel of community, allowing for the transformation of personal meaning and collective identity.













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