The Values Prism
Now that we have set the context of our discussion, we can explore how we have put these principles into effect in our business.
While we know that defining a shared set of values is important, we also know that many organizations have been doing that for years with little to no effect. As such, if we’re only paying lip service to our values and not taking steps to fully integrate them into the very fabric and design of our organizations, then we’re simply not going far enough.
For values to have any real power in an organization, they need to be honored, valued, and held sacred by all those who work there. They need to touch people at the heart-level, and inspire and galvanize them to serve the Company mission.
It’s also important to recognize that our company values do not exist in silos. Each one interacts as a part of the larger values system. As such, we can’t afford for our values to be ill-defined. Everyone in the organization needs to have a clear grasp and thorough understanding of what the values are, how they relate to one another, and how they apply to us as individuals and to the Company as a whole.
We therefore created what we call the “Values Prism” as a way to define, articulate, and express our chosen values, while simultaneously creating context, depth, and meaning.
The Values Prism Explained
As we touched upon in our previous blog, in the examples we’ve seen of more evolved organizations, leaders tend more toward holding their businesses as a living organism or living system.
The values of an organization operate in much the same way. Just because an arm and a leg serve different functions doesn’t mean they aren’t connected. So, at the center of our Values Prism is the beating heart of the organization:
Unconditional Love is the very heart and foundation of our entire experience.
It is the life force that wants to be lived through all.
It is therefore the central axis around which a company revolves and the underlying energy that gives the organization life. Through evolutionary development principles, we learn that the more Unconditional Love we are able to open up and make ourselves available to, the more our experience elevates up the evolutionary spiral and the more effortlessly creative, inspired, and effective we are.
As such, the more we can individually and organizationally embody Unconditional Love, the less we feel the need to prove ourselves and the more firmly we can rest in our inherent goodness and value even in the face of intense challenge or conflict.
When we’re not constantly thrown off balance in reaction to the conditions of our external environment, there is space to discern where the Love-intelligence is guiding us so that we can be responsive and capable stewards of the living business organism.
So, with Unconditional Love at the heart of our culture, how do we relate to our SELF?
Our SELF is our unique expression in this world. It is our individual avatar through which the energy of Unconditional Love moves. The more wisdom and mastery we have of our SELF, the more Love we experience and the more the business and its culture can flourish.
Wisdom and mastery of SELF are developed by crossing the threshold of our first internal value — Transparency.
Transparency relates to our level of SELF-awareness, or our level of consciousness of any emotional blind spots or unconscious conditioning that may be inhibiting how much Unconditional Love we are able to experience.
If we want workplaces of trust, if we hope for deep, rich, productive, and meaningful collaboration, we must be prepared to be responsible for our own stuff (self-responsible), accept ownership of our experience (be self-managing), and continually aim to reveal more of who we really are.
Relating to your SELF and others with Transparency is therefore essential. Doing so takes Vulnerability, but through that Vulnerability you also become sensitive to the truth of what you’re experiencing, you’re suddenly engaging life with a fuller information-set and greater Clarity emerges — our first external value.
With Clarity we are able to make wiser and more aligned choices, moment-to-moment. With the continual commitment to, and synthesis of, Transparency, Vulnerability and Clarity, wisdom of SELF begins to crystallize.
So how does the SELF relate to the TRIBE?
It’s important to remember that as human beings, we’re social animals; we have an innate evolutionary drive to bond, to be attuned, to be seen and accepted among others in our TRIBE. For our SELF to integrate into the TRIBE we must cross the threshold of our second internal value — Participation.
Participation is the choice to show up, engage, and take action to see and be seen. Through Participation our interactions can then:
- Keep us accountable to others;
- Ensure we can be maximally supported by those around us; and
- Ensure others will be able to reflect back to us that which we’re otherwise unable to see.
As a part of the TRIBE, and as we continue to practice being vulnerable, clearing out the emotional stuff that gets in the way of us being able to see what’s going on with Clarity, one develops greater Presence, the ability to be more present with others. And, through Presence, Connection forms — our second external value.
Presence, or the gravitational pull into the present moment (as opposed to being pulled into the past or the future by our emotional concerns), increases as one participates in TRIBAL contribution.
In turn, this process creates space for healthy relationships to form among members, and a sense of belonging to emerge, giving rise to the intimate and trusted Connection between SELF and TRIBE.
With the continual commitment to, and synthesis of, Participation, Presence, and Connection, the coalescence and integrity of the TRIBE grows.
So from there, how does the TRIBE relate to the WORLD?
We recognize that our TRIBE and the organism (in this case Transformation Agency) that we are entrusted with are all part of a larger interconnected system. We are committed individually and as a group to do our part to positively impact that larger system of which we are a part.
The Transformation of WORLD is therefore core to the organization’s purpose; it is what allows us to extend our impact and Unconditional Love beyond ourselves. Transformation of WORLD is fostered by crossing the threshold of Meritocracy — our third internal value.
Meritocracy is a key ingredient to extending one’s gifts beyond the TRIBE, into the WORLD. It is through giving one’s gift to the WORLD, in a way that recognizes our contribution (rather than necessarily our hours, title, or specific experience) that an individual can find and leverage their Creativity and experience Freedom — our third external value.
Through a Meritocracy one unlocks a new level of purpose-driven, creative horsepower, a fuller picture of an individual’s originality emerges and the currency they receive is directly linked to the living energy they’re investing in advancing the TRIBE and having a global impact.
This chain reaction culminates with the access of a higher degree of Freedom. The person feels liberated within their SELF, within their TRIBE, and within the WORLD. Freedom serves as an amplifier for all of the previous values and a catalyst up the evolutionary development spiral, moving a person ever closer to their highest expression.
With the continual commitment to, and synthesis of, Meritocracy, Creativity, and Freedom, transformation on a global level is not only possible, it’s accelerated. Like the evolutionary development spiral, the experience of moving through the Values Prism is cyclical in nature. It is not a ladder that is climbed once but a process that is lived into consistently. Transformation.
Values Prism Summary
So, to recap, that’s Love at the core. Which flows out to Self, Tribe, and World. Which relate internally to Transparency, Participation, and Meritocracy. And externally to Clarity, Connection, and Freedom. All of which can be accessed through Vulnerability, Presence, and Creativity. Transformation Agency’s 13 Core Values.
While the Values Prism was originally designed for Transformation Agency to create a workplace that aligned with evolutionary principles, where we could put our innate gifts to work and feel free to be our authentic Selves, the model isn’t static and the values that populate the prism can be chosen to reflect what’s important in the context of each company’s own unique culture.
In our case, we sought to create:
- An underlying culture of self-responsibility, self-management, trust, and openness;
- A safe space to engage and foster deep connection with others who share our vision and passion; and
- An environment that rewards participation, accountability, and actively encourages expressions of creativity.
Stay up to date with what we’re doing at Transformation Agency to learn more about how we have chosen to reflect our values throughout our organization in our structure, practices, culture, communications, and attitude to growth.