By Andy Green (SERIOUS Creative Director)
A very senior communications manager at a University in Yorkshire once boasted to me of their being a “Values-led organisation!”.
I had to courteously disabuse of the uniqueness of her positioning: “Everyone and every organization is ‘Values-led’. Even Adolf Hitler was ‘Values-led. They might be different values to you or me, but his actions and behaviours were still led by his values.” Values in general are not unique assets. Our personal brands and organisational values are what drive our behaviours.
Everything we do is driven by ‘Values’. Values, as a word, is so often misused that it can ironically be valueless. I define Values as ‘things you do even when it hurts’. If you suffer pain but you are prepared to do something then that is an indicator of your Values at work. A good way of identifying your Values is by examining your behaviours: what gets done – and what doesn’t get done. Explore and examine the evidence of your actions and you will uncover an underlying Value.
Understanding Values and their significance to communications, branding, and relationships is so profound. On my creativity, brand story and brand workshops I always advice delegates to identify your 5 top values (‘5’ is a magic number, most of us can only remember 5 things, so what is the point of having a longer list?) By identifying your Values it enables you to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ quicker.
By identifying your Values it provides great insight into your Brand, what it stands for, what it does, and what should it do on future occasions. Wouldn’t it be great if there was somehow a way of getting an authoritative analysis of your Values?
Well help is at hand. A person I have immense respect for is Jackie LeFevre of Magma Effect. She is the leading expert in the UK on identifying your Values. She uses a system called ‘A Values Inventory’ (AVI) It uses a range of quick, easy-to-do, yet authoritative tools to dig beneath the surface and identify your Values.
The results are amazing. Here’s what the AVI found out about me and my top 5 Values.
1. Transformative Communications (100%).The desire to communicate transformative insights which change the way people view the world and live.
2 Creativity (93%) Transforming ideas and images into concrete form.
3. Fantasy/Play (86%) Experiencing moments of intuitive insight leading to increased understanding.
4. Discovery & Insight (79%) Experiencing moments of intuitive insight leading to increased understanding.
5. Minessence (71%) To miniaturise and simplify complex ideas or technology into concrete and practical applications for the purpose of creatively enhancing society. For anyone who knows me this is absolutely spot on. It knows me better than I know myself! As a result I can be reassured that much of what I do is in life, and the choices I make, are aligned to furthering, enhancing and deepening their reality through my exposition.
As the great psychologist Carl Jung once observed: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” What are you waiting for? Take action now! Or are you going to leave it to fate?