Values shift (a self-coaching exercise)

Looking for the exercise to download? jump to the bottom of this post. image: (CC BY 2.0) Kevin Krejci

I just received a set of “values cards” related to the Leadership Challenge Workshop of Kouzes and Posner. I was hoping to find a resource I could recommend to Stoos colleagues.

As I looked at them, I realised there was one missing. Oh, and another one… hmm, I thought, I had better do a cross check. I looked up the Scrum Values, the XP Values and a list I compiled from various sources last year, in a virtual Stoos workgroup on Values.

Uh oh. There were a lot of important concepts missing! I want to offer this resource to clients and colleagues, so it needs to reflect the values I hear in those circles. I added one value after another, stopping when the original deck of 50 extended toward 100. Look what was missing there:

AUTHENTICITY
INCLUSIVENESS
FOCUS
COMMITMENT
FEEDBACK
BELONGING
COLLABORATION
COMMON GOOD
FUN
JOY
EXCELLENCE
FAIRNESS
LEARNING
MEANING / PURPOSE
NATURE
RELATIONSHIP
RELIABILITY
VULNERABILITY
SELF-EXPRESSION
COMMUNITY / FELLOWSHIP
INFLUENCE
REPUTATION
PEACE / SERENITY
STABILITY
ETHICAL PRACTICE
VALUE CREATION
PROSPERITY
FINANCIAL GAIN
CONTRIBUTION
KNOWLEDGE
GRATITUDE
GENEROSITY
SOLUTION FOCUS
FLOW
INTERDEPENDENCE
PLEASURE
CHANGE / VARIETY
FORGIVENESS

I see a couple of patterns here:

  • things once assumed about work, that have now become one option among many: for example: FINANCIAL GAIN was so obious, it need not be stated. Now it is now part of a menu of motivators that may also include COMMON GOOD, INFLUENCE, POWER, and VALUE CREATION, among others
  • a number of them were missing because they “went without saying”, in the traditional world of leaders who thought and workers who executed – they were assumed attributes of leadership, like: ETHICAL PRACTICE, KNOWLEDGE, PURPOSE. (Uh, yeah. Like at Enron?) These days, to keep up with the pace of change, we need everyone to be a leader, making good decisions in-the-moment, and it is worth talking together about these things and what they mean in the context of different roles in business.
  • things once considered “personal matters,” not talked about in the workplace, have now openly become big motivators for teams and whole organisations: things like FELLOWSHIP, JOY, NATURE, HEALTH and FORGIVENESS – and even FUN!

What patterns do you notice? What else do you think might belong here? (you don’t know what was on the original cards… but contribute your most important value, if you like!)

Deb

Free download:
Here is are my own cut-and-print values cards (pdf), along with a suggested exercise to use them, to get to your own resonant values list :-)
Or: buy it as a deck of cards, with instructions online. (takes a few weeks to arrive, tho.)

Late addition: thanks to Carrie, Thomas and Steve for your observations. I incorporated them!

Comments (10)

  1. I don’t see COOPERATION, but perhaps COLLABORATION and FELLOWSHIP cover that. I don’t see KINDNESS, which is one I love.

  2. Hmm, is CONNECTEDNESS (not on list) the same as BELONGING (in list)? I see a semantic difference between both, and in German it gets even more complicated…

    And then OPENNESS.

  3. THE EXERCISE:

    At the end of the post, I have now added the values list I compiled from many sources, including comments from Thomas and Carrie, here.

    At the end is an exercise I designed to use them yourself or with a group.

    There are plenty of other sources of exercises on the web and in books – or get creative and make your own, like I did!

    Enjoy!
    Deb

    amplify your strengths, live your dream, love your life & make a difference!

    1. Yes, it has similarities to “moving motivators”.

      However, I prefer that people not have a pre-assigned name for such an important thing as core values. There is more engagement, more learning about myself, when I assess the things I grouped together and give them my own name. That is why I prefer the 100 items, so people can see how they group together and get a feel for their own version of things.

      But apart from this, the two are similar in terms of mechanics.

  4. Thanks for this. I just received 3 packs of the Kouzes and Posner values cards and like you I was seriously disappointed with the values listed. I notice compassion, authenticiy, alturism, inspired, pioneering and mastery as examples where not in the deck.
    I wonder if this is a positive sign? I wonder if societies values are shifting and the ones in the pack are indicative of the older way of doing business?
    Just some thoughts.
    Mary

    1. Hi Mary.

      Thanks for visiting and for your comment. I have noticed a few missing from my own exercise (invitation, abundance, for example), and when I get around to adding them I will see if the ones you mention are there too. For now, there are blanks that can be used to expand the selection.

      You wrote: “I wonder if this is a positive sign? I wonder if societies values are shifting and the ones in the pack are indicative of the older way of doing business?” In my opinion: absolutely. Thank goodness! :-)

      Deb

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