IAM a member of a local group called Bridge Networking.  I enjoy this as an asset for growing my business, but more important, doing good in the community.

It’s a values-based organization, which is a primary reason why I stay engaged and contribute.

It was a lot of fun to have a great discussion with the group this morning around what values really look like.  Here’s the structure I introduced:

  • GOALS are measurable and achievable, and are based on …
  • VALUES which are foundational, and are based on …
  • A WORLDVIEW which is largely invisible and hard to describe.

Part of this structure comes from my training in cross-cultural work, where the values and worldview are what trip you up all the time.  Especially the worldview, which is largely unarticulated and unquestioned – it’s the air you breathe, and not even noticed until someone points it out.

Here are some great examples we came up with:

Worldview Values Goals
Money is necessary, a good thing, and it’s important to acquire and keep it. I strive to be financially independent, which means not having to worry about money constantly and do what I want. I want to get rich, be a millionaire by age 40, or have enough money in the bank that I can fully retire at age 65.
We’re all in this together, our role in society is to take care of each other. I want to contribute, to give, to be seen as generous. I want to contribute X% of my money, time, and talent to charitable causes.
Knowledge is important, both acquiring and sharing. I want to learn, grow, and share. I want to both seek and give information, and be a good communicator. I want to take certain classes, and get a particular degree. I want to get good at speaking, writing, reading, and traveling to learn from others around the world.

These are some excellent examples which were created by the group.  And here were some of the observations we made from this exercise:

  • The stuff on the left tends to be societal norms and expectations, so very broad.  The stuff on the right is more personal, even if you feel like society is pressuring you to make certain choices.  The important thing is that you have an ability to choose.
  • The stuff on the left is hard to articulate – it can take whole sentences and paragraphs, because we don’t tend to talk about it very much.  But it can very important to think through, especially when you’re going a direction that might potentially be surprising to others.
  • It’s really interesting to talk about values in a group context, because that’s where you get a sense for alignment around a common purpose.  If you want your company to be about more than just paying people to do a job, then the values are the glue which help bind and inspire them.

I’d like to give my deep thanks to the Bridge Networking group for helping pull this together today!