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AVIs to Date: 27643 Values Analysis of RSA Documents
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Overview

People associated with the Minessence Group have been researching and working with values for 22+ years. This has culminated in the development of the Minessence Values Framework (MVF). The MVF comprises 128 values, eight values clusters, seven generic worldviews--each value has attributes such as goal/means, energy giving/draining/neutral--each value has a temporal dimension past/present/future [this dimension is dependent on worldview], and much more...

Priority values of an individual, couple, group, or organisation can be mapped onto the MVF. Priority values are identified either by taking an inventory of their values online, and/or by scanning for value-laden words in their significant documents, speeches or presentations. A brief introduction to the mapping process can be viewed at: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=154379074586565.

A real-life example of the values mapping process, using speeches by Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, and Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader, as the source texts, can be viewed at: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=145651118792694

Beginning in 1988, the Minessence Group has also been tracking the popularity of values in society. From time to time we publish observed value priority changes in the Minessence eZine. The most recent, which includes a graph of Empathy vs Rights/Respect (1988 to 2010), is available at: http://bit.ly/dbLV3u.

At the request of Matthew Kalman Mezey FRSA, I undertook a values-scan of two RSA documents, a June 2010 pamphlet titled Twenty-first century enlightenment, by Matthew Taylor, and the RSA’s Purpose, vision & strategy web page. The London-based Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been “a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress” for over 250 years. It has 27,000+ Fellows worldwide.

RSA Purpose, Vision & Strategy

All values indentified in a scan of RSA's Purpose, Vision & Strategy document are mapped onto the MVF Chart below (click on the image to view a full size PDF version).

Analysis of RSA's Purpose, Vision & Strategy document identifies the following Top 10 values as important to RSA's future (ordered from highest to lowest):

  1. Pioneerism/Progress - Pioneering new ideas (including technology) for societal change and providing the framework for realising them.
  2. Interdependence - To value personal and inter-institutional co-operation above individual decision-making.
  3. Creative Ideation - Transforming ideas and images into concrete form.
  4. Organizational Growth - To creatively enable an organisation to change and grow.
  5. Research/Original Knowledge - The systematic investigation and contemplation of truths and principles that lie behind our experience of reality to create and communicate original insights.
  6. Cooperation/Reciprocity - To work with others in ways that enable everyone's unique skills and qualities to supplement, support and enhance each other.
  7. Design/Pattern/Order - Using systems thinking to create new patterns/structures in organisations, the arts, ideas, technology, etc. -- e.g. fashion, architecture.
  8. Organizational Mission - To define and pursue an organization's mission in such a way that the organisation is beneficial to its people and society.
  9. Work - To have the skills, confidence and desire to engage in productive work.
  10. Membership/Organization - To take pride in belonging to and having a role in any form of organization.

RSA Twenty-first century enlightenment

A different set of value priorities emerges when the RSA Twenty-first century enlightenment document is scanned. This is to be expected as the document includes much historical information in relation to The Enlightenment Movement. The values here will be those which have attracted people to the Movement over the years. The Top 10 from this document are:

  1. Interdependence - To value personal and inter-institutional co-operation above individual decision-making.
  2. Organizational Growth - To creatively enable an organisation to change and grow.
  3. Design/Pattern/Order - Using systems thinking to create new patterns/structures in organisations, the arts, ideas, technology, etc. -- e.g. fashion, architecture.
  4. Accountability/Ethics - To hold yourself and others accountable to a code of ethics derived from your values. To address the appropriateness of your behaviour in relation to your values.
  5. Creativity - Transforming ideas and images into concrete form.
  6. Discovery & Insight - To be motivated by moments of discovery and insight.
  7. Wisdom - To seek the wisdom that stems from understanding a set of universal principles that govern all things.
  8. Oneness - To gain new levels of meaning and truth by experiencing a sense of union with something greater than the self, through meditative practice, openness and acceptance.
  9. Pioneerism/Progress - Pioneering new ideas (including technology) for societal change and providing the framework for realising them.
  10. Social Affirmation - Seeking personal respect and validation through the support and respect of significant others.

The values map resulting from the scan of this document is below (click on the image to view a full size PDF version):

But the values above are not the values of The Enlightenment!

The core Enlightenment values are:

  • Autonomy (which we call Independence),
  • Universalism—i.e. the idea that all people are deserving of dignity and share fundamental rights (we call: Human Dignity & Human Rights) , and
  • the human end purpose of our acts—i.e. the basis for social arrangements should be what increases human happiness and welfare (we call: Global Macroeconomics & Equality)

No drama. The core values of The Enlightenment are the values those committed the movement desire in the social system they wish to create. It is normal for social systems, take the economy, for example, to have values of their own which differ from the people impacted on by the system. What is important is that one's personal values, one's organisation's values, and those of society are congruent, i.e. compatible or in alignment, with each other (to further understand the concept of values alignment see: http://www.minessence.net/presentations/MTV.aspx).

Follow minessence on Twitter Paul Chippendale, Director, Minessence Group

Any questions about this page or the Minessence approach? Then please email me

Comments-- Add Your Comment

Jeff Mowatt Hi Matthew, a couple of years ago I set out to relate the core values of what we describe as a 'profit for purpose' approach to social enterprise. It had begun with our founder's white paper on a people-centered approach to capitalism and the fundamental predicate that humans are not disposable. Last year, when Karen Armstrong began her campaign for the Charter for Compassion, I realised that I was describing reciprocity and joined as a partner. You, we, me, ethics and people-centered economics is a blog, where I describe how the case was argued and led to the estabilshment of our working model in the UK. http://socialbusiness.socialgo.com/magazine/read/you-me-we-ethics-and-people-centered-economics_5.html
20/06/2011 4:00:55 PM

Gunrther M Weil 

When I explicitly began working with values in my organizational development consulting work I found a great deal of similarity between the lists of espoused values help by senior executive teams across a variety of organizations. This observation led me to surmise that these stated values were not necessarily the actual values of the groups. Rather, they appeared to be either avowed or desired values and/or values deemed “politically correct” among their peers. This insight led me to research the field of values in the search for empirically based, validated values assessments and profiles. After some false starts I came across the Hall-Tonna scale and utilized that methodology for a number of years. In early 2007 I began collaboration with Paul Chippendale and the Minessence Group, which currently is the basis of my work utilizing the Minessence Values Framework (MVF) and AVI methodology--www.valuementors.com.

With regard to the challenge of making these ideas accessible to a wider audience and serving as a basis for practical action:

I have consistently found that the MVF and AVI are eminently practical in serving diverse populations. These currently include organizations both public and private, professionals in transition, financial, planners, and wealth /philanthropic advisors. In collaboration with Paul Chippendale I have adapted the core Minessence Values Framework (MVF) and customized specific outputs to serve these groups. For example, the MVF generic Seven Worldviews has been adapted and is being utilized in philanthropy and fundraising in the form of “The Seven Philanthropic World Views”. See: http://joi.ito.com/weblog/2010/06/18/how-to-raise-fu.html

Current projects include the development of a AVI based financial advisor/client alignment software platform to reduce client turn-over and an exploration of the possible deployment of the ValScan methodology (values mapping software) in the domain of public relations for the purpose of aligning an organization’s actual values (as measured by the AVI) with the values that are communicated through their executives, websites, blogs and other collateral materials.


15/10/2010 5:33:14 AM

Jackie Malcolm and Dougal are absolutely right about how differences arise between what we say we value and what we appear to value by virtue of our actions and attitudes and this can give arise to all sorts of unintended consequences. One of the things I love about the AVI and its approach is its capacity to capture the complexity of values that have tensions between them and then provide some simple ways to think about moving forwards. As Paul says that conscious commitment to live the values you would rather be characterised by is powerful indeed. I am a relative novice to the AVI (only 5 years to Dougals 14 years) but have been repeatedly amazed by the transformational potential of its analysis both for individuals and organisations that stand ready and willing to evolve.
14/10/2010 11:36:10 PM

Malcolm In reply to Mathew I think this values tool actually helps to simplify the complexity inherent in organisations. In my view values analysis presents a powerful lens into the complexity of both individual people and organisations. Hereafter I’ll just refer to people but what I say will refer to both people and organisations. Following Argyris and Schon’s idea of ‘espoused theory’ versus ‘theory in use,’ and Edgar Schein’s three level model of organisation culture, I find that it is useful to contrast values people espouse with values they actually use. In my experience it is common for people to say one thing and do another, while remaining unaware of the dissonance. Identifying and talking through the gap between what is espoused and what is in use can be life changing. This requires careful psychological and anthropological analysis of existing practices as mentioned by Dougal. I believe those people and organisations who find a way to reduce the gap between what they espouse and what they do are healthier, happier, and more productive. In order to even have this debate a robust measurement methodology is necessary. I have found the AVI helpful in this regard. Given my argument above I wonder if difference highlighted by Paul’s analysis represents an opportunity for RSA?
14/10/2010 1:13:15 PM

Dougal Hi Matthew, your comments about accessing wider audiences and having those audiences use the information/ideas about the values to shape practical action are ones, that my company deals with everyday. The company I'm with, Cultures AT Work, has been working with the AVI values inventory for about 14 years. Our focus with the inventory is on using it within organizations to help people better understand themselves and the workplace cultures they are in/influencing. This is our way of getting a ‘wider audience’ to understand their real values and explore them in the context of both their role within the organization and, if they choose to, within the context of their ‘whole’ life As corporate anthropologists, we teach our clients how ‘make meaning’ from the values information and how to integrate values/cultural conversations into their day to day business. This way leaders/everyone within an organization can delve into one form of the organization’s ‘collective consciousness’ (or at least dip their toes in!) Having an organization use the AVI to conduct an audit of the human values at work within it, and by using similar questions to those you pose in your presentation on 21st century Enlightenment, (“What do these values mean?” “Do they work for us?” “How do they meet the challenges we now face?”) can give everyone within an organization the opportunity to explore, shape and take, practical actions that honour both the values they hold and the values they may aspire to.
13/10/2010 11:10:53 AM

Paul Chippendale Matthew, I've found the best way to work with complexity is to lead people from simple to complex. That’s why we have a range of reports from a simple Top 5 values list through to a 70 page work-book. We find the ACCL (Acceptance, Commitment & Conscious Living--see: http://bit.ly/bNfWa9 ) approach works well with people: (1) accept that it’s normal to have bad things happen in one’s life. Learn to decouple one’s brain from the bad. (2) Identify your priority values and commit to them [neuroscience shows that what we focus on reinforces that part of the brain, so it’s best to focus on that which we want rather that that which we don’t like]. (3) Live life consciously aware of one’s values.
13/10/2010 9:10:44 AM

Matthew Taylor The problem I have...is its complexity. By this I don’t so much mean its inherent characteristics as the difficulty of making these ideas accessible to a wider audience and convincing that audience that the ideas can usefully shape practical action. I would like to think about how the RSA could help to popularise these ideas and get them into more mainstream policy debate.
12/10/2010 8:53:00 PM

Paul Chippendale When you add a comment here, you are given the option of leaving your email address so you can receive follow-up comments
1/10/2010 8:08:55 AM

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