Personal values are unique to every individual and can loosely be described as a set of beliefs or intuitive feelings inside our heads. They act unconsciously as a guide - telling us how comfortable we feel about different situations,
Please see below a growing and non-exhaustive Halcyon list of values that we can try to live by:
Please see below selected recent values-related change:
- What Happens When China Leads the World? looked at previous iterations of Chinese foreign relations, and suggested that China won’t be pacifist and will push ‘its values’. Historically, the Chinese believed that their culture had a transformative power - it could change barbarism into civilisation. Confucius himself thought so.
- In a world ruled by profits and productivity, the moral values that previously guided us on how to live are being replaced by the motives of the market. But with environmental destruction and rising inequality our need to ethical guidance is more urgent than ever. Do we need to revive the role of the inner voice of conscience, asked IAI? Could attunement to our human compass guide us towards the good life, even when it directs us to challenge the basic conventions of society?
- During a crisis like the Covid-19 outbreak people become acutely aware of a desire to do the right thing, and our expectations that others will do the same. This shared sense of right and wrong holds communities together even as circumstances keep them apart. In the midst of a global pandemic, who would not want to do the right thing? Very few people are devoid of a sense of right and wrong; and even people who have problems with impulse control will often go to great lengths to avoid being found out because they know what they are doing is wrong. Our sense of right and wrong is likely to be felt quite sharply in the face of the crisis wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic. There’s an imperative to do the right thing. The question is, though, what is the right thing to do, and can we always trust others to do it?
- If we focus on differences, we risk only seeing differences. However, a study of 86,000 people revealed that when it comes to morality, human values and trust, people of all backgrounds pretty much agree. Across all backgrounds and all levels of society, almost completely agree with each other. By gender, age, education, income, religion - no matter how you slice it, the similarity of attitudes between groups is greater than 90% on average.
- Defining corporate values is increasingly important to organisations and society - and consulting firms are making millions of dollars helping organisations define such values. What we're seeing consistently, however, claims social innovator Aaron Hurst, is that this is not working: you can print values on posters and talk about them at conferences, but these values often fail to become part of the fabric of the organisation and they instead remain upper-management-speak.
- A German data scientist tried to prepare children for the age of Artificial Intelligence by emphasising what makes us uniquely human. To do this he created PISA - a test taken in 79 countries - to assess abilities in creativity, empathy, and collaboration. As Quartz reported, he hoped that signalling the importance of these skills might encourage educators to prioritise them, too.
- Psychologists have consistently found that the extent to which a worker’s values are compatible with their employer’s plays a crucial role in determining employee job satisfaction and company profitability. Some companies, particularly big ones, work hard to communicate their values. Having a strong brand makes it easier to attract people who are a good fit for the company, but smaller companies have to do things to stand out, and one of the most effective strategies is emphasising the positive social impact of their work, according to the BBC.
- Gallup analytics showed that just 27% of employees strongly agree they believe in their company's values, and 23% of employees strongly agree they can apply their organisation's values to their work every day. However, values-driven culture can fuel organisational growth and attract top talent. Talented people want to work for an organisation with a thriving culture. so it stands to reason that most organizations need to revitalise their values and intentionally foster an exceptional work culture.
- Gallup also warned that even minor problems with culture and values can create major barriers to success during times of change, so many forward-thinking leaders have used a data-driven approach to redefine their values and develop a culture in which employees embody those values.
- World Values Day is an opportunity to think about our most deeply held values and to act on them. This year’s core theme is about putting our values into action in our communities.
- Research, by Common Cause and others, suggests that most people care deeply about one another and the world around them, valuing things like equality, compassion and kindness. However, a large majority of people underestimate the extent to which their fellow citizens care about these things - and this can hold us back. Conveying a more authentic understanding of what people typically value has potentially transformative consequences: people who hold truer perspectives of others’ values report deeper connection to their communities, show greater motivation to become civically engaged, are more likely to support action on social or environmental challenges, and have higher wellbeing. Characteristics like flexibility, intuition, empathy and resilience are powerful tools with which to create better businesses.
- A leading businesswoman believes a fundamental shift is coming in how we do business. We are on the cusp of change driven by a more female-centric set of working principles that consumers, as well as employees, are demanding. Characteristics like flexibility, intuition, empathy and resilience are powerful tools with which to create better businesses.
- David Gurteen shared the video and the text chat file from his World Values Day Café,
- Further reading:
- World Values Day each year provides an opportunity to think about our most deeply held values and to act on them. If we are aware to our values and put them into action each and every day, we can change our lives and change the world we live in. See the World Values Day website www.worldvaluesday.com for information on events and activities taking place around the world as well as many useful tools and resources that can help in exploring our own values and those of our organisations and communities.
2018 and earlier
- A Fast Company article warned that the most urgent, most critical work challenge does not come from customers, activists, or shareholders. The most urgent challenge lies within. According to the 2018 World Value Index, only 14% (of Americans) strongly agree that the values of their employer match their own. Another 28% say they somewhat agree, meaning a majority are spending the majority of their productive lives in environments they don’t fully believe in.
- In Values Management and Value Creation in Business, the Bertelsmann Foundation asked how important it is to actually live a company's values and argued that values provide internal and external orientation and legitimise decisions and actions.
- In The Virtue of Selfishness, controversial philosopher Ayn Rand claimed that one's own life is, for each individual, the ultimate value because it makes all other values possible.
- "It makes us uncomfortable, but thinking about prudence, fortitude and temperance might be just what we need right now", claimed philosopher Mark Vernon. "Does humanity only value thing in pounds, dollars and euros? Or can we get to a new era of value; one where our happiness, our ability to be creative and where the knowledge that you are working with Nature and not destroying the future of the next generation to come is given a value much greater than that which can reside in a bank account?"
- A professor and former dean at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University argued in a 2013 book that corporations should restructure around three key principles:
- First, articulate clear values: why does the company exist, and what does it believe in?
- Second, appoint “trustees” to protect the interests of stakeholders and uphold the values of the corporation.
- Third, restrict voting shares to long-term investors - and he also believes that governments should use the corporate tax system to encourage “public values by private corporations”.