Holistic & Systematic People Development™ (HSPD)

The Common Trend

Every organisation focuses on their core business first, like they should. Get the ‘right’ people in, give them training on the products and teach them how to sell. Time flies buy and at the end of the year or when the leaders find a lack in performance; interviews, motivational talks and some kind of training is employed. Sometimes it is done in-house with a specialist trainer or training methodology and at other times one is allowed to choose from a laundry list of personal development courses available in the HR directory. Either way, one-off training methods are employed. There wouldn’t be serious tracking, consolidation & validation of these training programs by the leadership or human resource department of the organisation. Simply because there is no bandwidth to do so. Consequently, time and money may be wasted.

By the way, these one-off training programs are as effective as they should be because the founder and developer may have spent a life-time creating it and may have succeeded with it in some ways. The problem is, each of these ‘gurus’ may have created a niche area of personal mastery that they are great at and may have written one or a few books on it. To name a few, we have, Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, Brian Tracy, Ron Kauffman, John Maxwell, Keith Cunningham etc. The problem is, these ‘gurus’ are great but they specialize in certain niche areas and do not provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to personal mastery. Till the early seventies there was no such mind science that provided a holistic & systemic approach to people development. This profound approach to personal mastery is founded on Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Snap-shot of NLP - The foundational modality used in our approach to people development

Founded by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the early 1970s, NLP is the art and science of personal excellence. Art because everyone brings their unique personality and style to what they do, and this can never be captured in words or techniques. Science because there is a method and process for discovering the patterns used by outstanding individuals in any field to achieve outstanding results.

This process is called modeling, and many of these skills and techniques of NLP were derived by observing the patterns of excellence in experts from diverse fields of professional communication including; psychotherapy, leadership, business, hypnosis, law, forensics, sports and education for more effective communication, personal mastery and accelerated learning. It has devised a trail of very powerful methodologies to “shorten the learning curve”.

NLP studies the patterns or “programming” created by the interaction between the brain (“neuro”), language (“linguistic’) and the body. From the NLP perspective, it is the interaction that produces both effective and ineffective behavior, and is responsible for the processes behind both human excellence and pathology. In a nutshell, NLP is a behavioral science that provides:

a. An Epistemology – A system of knowledge and values. “How do we know what we know?”

b. A Methodology – Processes and procedures for applying knowledge and values.

c. A Technology – Tools to aid in the application of knowledge and values.

NLP is a dynamic process that evolves with time and updates itself by validating success phenomenon with the aim of providing structures and processes that are dynamic, relevant and adaptable for any given time or context.

What’s the difference between other Personal Mastery programs and NLP?

NLP is a study of strategies of excellence by modelling the best in all fields of human performance. The resultant comprehensive body of knowledge and experience can be transferred (programming) to anyone or team, allowing the desired state to prevail in a fraction of time the originators took. It is packed with processes to remove negative behaviours and install empowering behaviours from all levels of the Logical levels.

What is holistic & systematic people development?


a. The word Holistic is defined as looking at something as a complete organism e.g. looking at people as a Spirit, Mind and Body. The word Holistic in the context of people development from an NLP perspective can be explained using a model called the Logical Levels of Learning and Change.

b. The concept of Logical Levels of Learning and Change was initially formulated as a mechanism in the behavioural sciences by Gregory Bateson, based on the work of Bertrand Russell in logic and mathematics. The term logical level, as it is used in NLP, was adapted from Bateson’s work with Robert Dilts in the mid 1980s and refers to a hierarchy of levels of processes within an individual or group. The function of each level is to synthesize, organise, and direct the interactions on the level below it or beside it, in the case where the organisation is more flat.

c. Changing something on an upper level would necessarily ‘radiate’ downwards, precipitating change on the lower levels. Changing something on a lower level could, but would not necessarily, affect the upper levels.

d. These levels include (in order from highest to lowest): (1) Identity, (2) Beliefs & Values, (3) Capabilities, (4) Behaviour and (5) Environment. A sixth level, referred to as “Spiritual”, can be defined as a type of “relational field” which encompasses multiple identities, forming a sense of being a member of a larger system beyond one’s individual identity.


a. A system is defined as “a set of interconnected concepts or parts that must work together to perform a particular function”. Systems of all types are made up of many interacting subunits that must be coordinated if the system is to survive or serve its purpose. This requires a degree of communication, feedback and flexibility of interaction between the parts of a system.

b. NLP techniques and distinctions initially emerged as expressions and manifestations of a set of core principles and presuppositions about human thought and interaction drawn from cybernetics. The systemic presuppositions established and embodied by people such as Gregory Bateson, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson for example formed the underlying philosophy and ‘epistemology’ of NLP.

c. In addition to Gregory Bateson’s work in the area of cybernetics, Systemic NLP incorporates new ideas and principles from other systemically based models and methodologies, including self-organisation theory, neural network technology, and artificial intelligence. Fundamentally, systemic thinking is at the root of effective problem solving and the ability to create functional teams and organisations. It involves understanding and taking into account the larger “ecology” of the system within which one is operating. Therefore, systemic approach to people development is critical for synergizing effort within an organisation, to sustain systems implemented, to anticipate the need for change and to manifest the changes expeditiously.