If you take a look here: http://bit.ly/9WiMDQ
you'll see two colourful 'Values Maps' I've had produced – by analysing Matthew Taylor's recent pamphlet 'Twenty-first century enlightenment' and the RSA's ‘Purpose, Vision and Strategy’ webpage.
I'd be interested to hear any feedback that Fellows may have about either of these.
The webpage also includes a graph of the popularity of the value of ‘Empathy’ compared to ‘Rights/Respect’, between 1988 and 2010, and values scans of the speeches of Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, and Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader.
As you can see, these 'Values Maps' are bar-charts which depict all the values found within the text, grouped across a somewhat Maslow-like spread of 8 clusters of ‘satiable’ or ‘insatiable’ values. (NB this model actually rejects the hierarchical/evolutionary approach of Maslow, though).
The Australian values analysis expert who did these scans suggests that the values present in Twenty-first century enlightenment are not what one would immediately think of as the archetypal Enlightenment values – though I think I would contest his interpretation.
An interesting point that emerges is that the particular value that might knit together the values that the values analysis of the RSA texts found with the more individual-focused values of the Enlightenment itself is the value dubbed ‘Collaborative/Individualist’ (ie ‘Commitment to a group and its purpose in order to simultaneously maximise both individual independent action and interdependent co-operation’).
Another issue that the scan of the RSA’s ‘Vision’ throws up is the very noticeable lack of focus on the ‘Self-Actualisation’ column of values, compared to the adjacent ‘Emerging Order’ column, which is the most strongly represented. You’d expect these 8 columns of values to form something more akin to a bell curve – but instead there’s a huge gap in the ‘Self-Actualisation’ column. This column relates in particular to the individual capacities and behaviours that underlie the ‘Emerging Order’ values that the RSA so clearly supports. (The columns alternate between more of an organisational focus and more of an individual focus, apparently).
The very modest ‘Self Actualisation’ column in the RSA’s ‘Vision’ points towards a classic trap that the RSA may be in: developing the vision for collaborative teamwork, the leadership, (the rhetoric!) etc – but without all the people themselves fully making the journey, gaining the tools they need as individuals to make the collaborative organisation a reality. Producing the right external behaviour alone can be very ‘brittle’, unless the underlying journey of inner development has taken place, towards becoming more open to learning, strong enough to be both open and vulnerable. (Tools like Prof Robert Kegan’s ‘Immunity to Change’ exercise might help build these individual capacities, that could be lacking).
This whole model is based on something called the ‘Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values’, which worked out that there are 125 key values, some of them ‘goal values’ and others ‘means values’. It seems to be fairly academically respectable and valid, not some off-the-wall clap-trap.
The software that scanned the pamphlet and the webpage looks for these 125 or so values, and also has a big thesaurus of 1000s of equivalent terms.
I hope this all provides some food for thought :-)
As I said, I'd love to hear your thoughts – please share the webpage with others Fellows, or people who may be interested: http://bit.ly/9WiMDQ
Matthew Kalman Mezey