Values Orientation

Values OrientationThe benefits of understanding the contribution of values to successful individual and organisational behaviour change.

“Cultures, as well as countries, are formed by the emergence of value systems (social stages) in response to life conditions. Such complex adaptive intelligences form the glue that bonds a group together, defines who they are as a people, and reflects the place on the planet they inhabit.” – Don Beck, international expert on the psychology of values.

The answers to the most puzzling aspects of human behaviour are often to be found in the examination of peoples’ values and beliefs. In countries with diverse cultures, knowledge of how to recognise different value systems and their impact on behaviour is essential in order to:

  • Understand organisational and individual behaviour and successful adaptation to the environment.
  • Avoiding misunderstandings and suspicion about intended changes.
  • Know how to communicate change through anticipating how people evaluate issues.
  • Avoid embarrassment of using verbal and non-verbal communication that is out of step with the audience.

Frequently asked questions of Values in Personal and Organisational Development

Why should my organisation be interested in knowing about people’s values and drivers?

Your business or organisation must constantly adapt in order to remain viable and profitable in a changing environment. Knowledge of people’s motivational drivers and their propensity to embrace change is important because you will not succeed if you do not take staff and other key people with you.

In order to service the needs of customers effectively, the organisation must understand and respond to the values and needs of its stakeholders. If the organisation is to respond effectively to these needs, then staff attitudes and values must be in alignment with those of the organisation.

The Value Management process works at the individual and the group level to understand how individuals and groups embrace certain values and reject others, providing a coherent basis for attitudes and behaviours. Understanding the underlying values makes behaviour predictable and understandable. When these values are no longer suitable or do not promote positive adaptation to current needs and interests of individuals and groups, values and value systems can be changed in order to accommodate changed demands.

Values underpin all behaviour. People act in accordance with their belief systems, which are organising systems for individuals and organisations. These systems can be in harmony or disharmony. For example, if the organisation has a value system that rewards performance, and most of your people have a value system that emphasises nurturance and belonging rather than achievement of goals, then the misalignment of values could be catastrophic. Staff will expect rewards based on conformity and loyalty, whereas the organisation will seek to reward innovation and achievement. The organisation will be dysfunctional because the value systems are out of alignment.

Excellence in Human Resources Management can only be achieved with a sound knowledge of corporate and individual value systems. This will enable management to define the gaps and design development activities, which will maximise investment in training and development. Without such knowledge, the Human Resource Management function is likely to be a costly overhead, with little impact on the bottom line of the business.

How are Values and Drivers identified and measured?

We use the Spiral Dynamics model of Values Management developed by Clare Graves and popularised by Don Beck in the UK and USA, to give clients a clear understanding of individual and corporate value systems and the implications for decision making. Value systems have emerged in different communities, providing cohesive ways in which people relate to one another and to their environment. The model enables us to map the individual and the organisation in order to explain why and how people process ideas and react as they do. This is a vital step in the process of change management and transformation.

A colour coding system indicates the levels of values systems, several of which can co-exist and mix to form a blend of values.

THE LIVING STRATA IN OUR PSYCHO-CULTURAL ARCHEOLOGY
Stage/Wave Colour Code Popular Name Thinking Cultural manifestations and personal displays
8 Turquoise Whole View Holistic Collective individualism; cosmic spirituality; earth changes
7 Yellow Flex Flow Ecological Natural systems; self-principle; multiple realities; knowledge
6 Green Human Bond Consensus Egalitarian; feelings; authentic; sharing; caring; community
5 Orange Strive Drive Strategic Materialistic; consumerism; success; image; status; growth
4 Blue Truth Force Authority Meaning; discipline; traditions; morality; rules; lives for later
3 Red Power Gods Egocentric Gratification; glitz; conquest; action; impulsive; lives for now
2 Purple Kindred Spirits Animistic Rites; rituals; taboos; superstitions; tribes; folk ways & lore
1 Beige Survival Sense Instinctive Food; water; procreation; warmth; protection; stays alive


Stage/Wave
1
Stage/Wave
2
Stage/Wave
3
Stage/Wave
4
Stage/Wave
5
Stage/Wave
6
Stage/Wave
7
Stage/Wave
8
Beige Purple Red Blue Orange Green Yellow Turquoise
 
POLITICAL SYSTEMS AND POWER DISTRIBUTION RATIOS
Survival clans Haiti Tribal orders Somalia Feudal empires Taliban Authoritarian democracy Singapore Multiparty democracy UK & US Social democracy Netherlands Stratified democracy Holonic democracy
Confederal unitary Federal unitary Integral
 
ECONOMIC SYSTEMS AND RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION FORMULAS
Eat when hungry Mutual reciprocity & kinship To victors belong the spoils The just earn the rewards Each acts on own behalf to prosper All should benefit equally All formulas contribute to spiral health Resources focus on all life

Taken from “Spiral Dynamic” by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan.

What are the Value Systems?

The eight systems used in the Spiral Dynamics model to describe value systems, which have emerged and co-exist on earth:

Beige “I SURVIVE” Biological drives and the physical senses dictate the state of being. Life is a struggle for survival.
Purple “WE BELIEVE” The governing beliefs are rooted in the tribe, with threatening spirits and mysterious powers which must be placated and appeased.
Red “I CONTROL” Survival of the fittest, the strong survive in the jungle, the weak serve. Nature is an adversary. Power, control and a need to dominate others are the major drivers.
Blue “WE CONFORM” Obedience to higher authority and conformity to rules are the dominant theme. A Higher Power rewards good works and right living.
Orange “I ACHIEVE” I achieve through using the abundant resources at my disposal, making things better.
Green “WE SHARE” Humanity can find love and purpose through sharing and affiliation
Yellow “I LEARN” Change and uncertainty are the norm. Independence, self-knowledge and self-worth can be achieved through constant adaptation to a living system.
Turquoise “WE RELATE” Global communities share a joint responsibility to care for the earth. A delicately balanced system of interlocking forces is in jeopardy in human hands.

Where do I find out more?

Our reports provide detailed narrative description, supplemented by graphs and technical data for the organisation as a whole and work groups.

View a sample Value Orientations report:

Adobe PDF icon Value Orientations Report (PDF, 231Kb) Get Adobe Reader

Contact us for any additional information you might need on values management in your organisation.