Values Clarification

The values clarification process involves people analysing the things they are doing by comparing and contrasting them. This provides items for discussion in terms of what takes priority, what is important and why. It also enables the identification of actions that people can take that are compatible with their identified values and which they can design into what they are doing. This provides a “mind map” of goals, objectives and ideals as well as a policy or plan of action. This is a very powerful process.

With individuals it can help with important decisions ranging from
·         careers exploration
·         what to study
·         what type of house or car to buy,
·         where to go on your big overseas holiday
·         and plenty of others…

With organisations this process involves identifying shared values and beliefs as well as identifying “personal agendas.” As such it contributes to:
 strategic planning
(by identifying what the organisation stands for, what business it should be in and by the process of developing “policies for action”)
 leadership development,
(Leadership gurus Kouzes & Posner (2004) maintain that a “good leader” is one with credibility and integrity. They continue that a first step in achieving credibility as a leader is clarifying one’s own values and understanding the standards one lives by).
 organisational development,
(similar reasons to Strategic Planning, above)
 working with team “culture,”
(a common definition of “organisational culture” is it’s system of “shared values” and how these determine “the way we do things round here.”)
 goal setting,
(through the identification of priorities, expressed as goals and objectives and by developing pathways of actions to reach those goals)
 intervention with sections experiencing interpersonal difficulties and conflict,
(similar reasons for Strategic Planning and organisational Development above in terms of identifying personal agendas and shared agendas. Also the process identifies misunderstandings about the meanings people attach to words and situations and enables common language and understanding to be developed)
 branding of product or service
(enables the organisation to determine what it stands for and hence how it would like to be seen by the market – aggressive, benign, caring, ….)
 and a broad range of other organisational decisions such a what to incorporate into the design of new buildings and office space
(the process identifies the shared values of the different constituents of building user – owner, managers, employees, customers, clients, suppliers agents and so on.)