Educational Videos

—New Educational Video Series—

Charles Johnston is in the process of putting together a new video series that addresses some of the more important implications of culturally mature perspective and leadership and also aspects of Creative Systems Theory that have particular direct implications for our time. The initial contributions follow:

1) The Challenge of Cultural Maturity: Making Sense of Our Time presents a brief introduction to the concept of Cultural Maturity and its power as a tool for providing needed guidance as we look to the future.

2) The Origins (and Implications) of Creative Systems Theory describes how CST came to be and how appreciating the theory’s origins helps clarify possible confusions and also provides important insight into the theory’s contribution in the larger story of understanding.

3) What Cultural Maturity Is Not: A Comparative Look at Different Views of What the Future Asks of Us.

We can learn a lot about the concept of Cultural Maturity by comparing and contrasting its conclusions with other ways of thinking about the times in which we live and the tasks ahead.

Educational videos to come over the next year:

4) Parts Work: A Direct Route to Cultural Maturity’s Cognitive Reordering.  The technique CST calls simply “parts work” provides a sophisticated approach for developing culturally mature perspective and culturally mature leadership capacities.

5) Applying Creative Systems Theory to Organizational Dynamics and Leadership. Looking at how CST adds to more familiar thinking with regard to organizations and organizational change invites important insights not just with regard to organizational systems, but also into how CST takes us beyond usual assumptions in most every sphere.

6) The Myth of the Individual.  The recognition that our traditional notion of what it means to be an individual stops short of a fully systemic picture of individual identity provides one of the most striking arguments for Cultural Maturity’s changes. It also provides an essential tool not just for rethinking identity, but also for understanding what relationships of all sorts today ask of us, from loves new demands to the future of leadership and government.

7) The dilemma of Trajectory and the Concept of Transitional Absurdity. CST’s developmental/evolutionary perspective clarifies how progress’s direction to this point cannot continue to produce advancement going forward. It also clarifies how “overshooting the mark” when it comes to the tasks of Cultural Maturity can produce decidedly unhelpful—and even crazy—outcomes.

—The Evolution of Narrative—

Charles Johnston was recently asked to answer a series of questions on the evolution of narrative and its implications for Cultural Maturity for the “Humanities Department” project.  His answers can be found at:


—Historically Important Videos—

The following videos are of historical importance. Each also marks a major theoretical contribution. Creative Systems Theory had its beginnings 40 years ago. At various times over the course of its development, different aspects have gotten greatest emphasis. They were also often then documented in particularly interesting and nuanced ways.

The Creative Systems Personality Typology

This sequence of videos was recorded the first time Dr. Johnston formally presented the Creative Systems Theory’s temperament framework, the Creative Systems Personality Typology (in 1984). (See for a detailed description of the typology.)

Part #1

Part #2

Part #3

An Evolutionary History of Music

This video sequence is excerpted from a day-long presentation done by Dr. Johnston once each year during the Institute for Creative Development’s initial bricks and mortar years. It uses the history of music to illustrate—and provide a deep immersion into—the “Patterning in Time” (developmental) aspects of Creative Systems Theory. It was recorded in 1995.) (See www. for a more detailed description of the presentation and reflections on its significance.)

Intro and Pre-Axial Stage:



Late-Axis and Multi-Layered:

Transition and Integrative Stages: