Going places with your values

Going places with your values
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Highlights

“Values represent the aggregation of our life experiences, personal aspirations, family inheritance and cultural grounding…” “Values are fundamental to us as people, and for organizations they provide the same cultural and moral foundation…” Frankly these two quotes from the book best summarise the read and help us look at 101 countries with the customised and unique value lens of the author.

"Values represent the aggregation of our life experiences, personal aspirations, family inheritance and cultural grounding…" "Values are fundamental to us as people, and for organizations they provide the same cultural and moral foundation…" Frankly these two quotes from the book best summarise the read and help us look at 101 countries with the customised and unique value lens of the author.

If you are inclined to go on a journey of self-discovery, perhaps values could be a good starting point. After all aren't values fundamental to our being, or for that matter to an organization too? To know and unravel the moral compass that will help us survive, grow, connect, change and contribute to humanity is what an understanding of values can do. In fact, the author and her book The Values Compass comes across as a labour of sustained observation with a rootedness in the very vitality of values and how they could be life-changing, life-elevating or even defining large formations like nations.

"Values represent the aggregation of our life experiences, personal aspirations, family inheritance and cultural grounding…" "Values are fundamental to us as people, and for organizations they provide the same cultural and moral foundation…" Frankly these two quotes from the book best summarise the read and help us look at 101 countries with the customised and unique value lens of the author.

She has observed and encapsulated experiences of these 101 countries, arrived at a core description or should I say a core value that drives or distinguishes the country and its people from the others. The countries and their value descriptions have been in turn grouped under five sections – Change Values, Continuity Values, Connection Values, Communal Values, Core Values.

An example from each of these sections should give you a welcome immersion into the book.

Scotland from the Change Values section – what comes to your mind? Inimitable sceneries, Lochness monster? 'Influence', Scottish influence on the world has been distinctive is the author's discovery. Adam Smith's free market teachings, James Watt's steam engine or Kirkpatrick Macmillan's bicycle, Scottish influence is here to stay. Don't forget Sean Connery or knowing that the White House was built by by Scottish stonemasons.

Vietnam from the Continuity Values section – a country that was ravaged by war (1955-75) with 3 million deaths, land and water polluted by chemicals during and after the war, a population of nearly 70% living in poverty post war. Add to it the constant challenges of an uncooperative weather, you would think the country had its back broken. No. In 2017 Vietnam became one of Asia's fastest growing economies with a thriving diaspora that always wants to give back to the country. Resilience is Vietnam.

Jordan from the Connection Values section was eye-catching. I quote the author, 'in Jordan, if someone asks for help, you don't pause to ask why, who or when. There is no weighing up of who this person is or what their ulterior motive might be. Helpfulness is instinctive, immediate and unquestioning…'

Senegal from the Communal Values section reflects the author's insightful and experiential encounters where she explains the country's well known attachment to the thought of musla: taking life lightly, not being too serious about things that don't warrant it. This value in a way permeates Senegalese culture with multiple benefits – from undiluted helpfulness, polygamy, a thriving art, music and a comedy scene. All in all, a country that goads us to relax and focus on the things that really matter in life!

Finland from the Core Values section is a silent winner! The author's understanding is that silence, solitude and space are prized in Finland. You can hear a pin drop on the streets, the metros are curiously silent and Finns don't mind breaks in a conversation- silence is regarded as a part of the communication! Finland is consistently in the top ten happiest countries in the world, is silence their secret?

While you read and decipher the values of the 101 countries, the book also gives a valuable worksheet on how to decode your own values and live by them. Bringing about a new found confidence that self-awareness can bring to your life and ways.

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