When Values are a Verb

Values as a Verb (poster)In Creating the Future’s immersion courses, one of the posters that greets participants is the one to the left here – Values as a Verb. Put simply, values are nothing but empty words if they are not put into action.

At its August 2012 board meeting, the board of Creating the Future therefore discussed the talk it wants to walk. The question posed to the board was this one:

“What conditions – including values and beliefs – need to be present in others, if Creating the Future is to accomplish its mission?”

Here is some of what board members shared:

  • Basic fundamental needs would need to be met – health, community infrastructure, education – and we would all need to value that.
  • People would need to value a sense of belonging, strong relationships
  • People would need to value communication and information sharing – sharing rather than hoarding knowledge
  • Respect and acceptance that we are all equal and contributing something of value
  • People would need to value critical thinking
  • People would need to value and appreciate other’s ideas. A community of trust, honoring different ways of seeing things
  • “My success is our success, and our success is my success.”
  • People would need to live in gratitude and gratefulness
  • People would need to remain open to possibilities.
  • People would need to value mutual respect, compassion, and a core belief that we can accomplish more together than any one of us can on our own.
  • People would need to “believe in our collective power to live well, effect change, honor the past and create the life we want for everyone.”
  • People would need to value taking more time to reflect and honor the process of slowing down & thinking

After brainstorming this list, the board discussed the fact that this was not only a list of conditions the organization would seek to create outside in the world; it was also the checklist for the board’s own decision making.

To be the change we want to see in the world – a world where all beings live well, individually and collectively – we will do everything in our power to ensure every action we take as an organization walks the talk of the values we want to see in others.  These will be the touchstones for our own decisions, the starting point and ending point for every action we undertake.

Which leads to this question for your own work:

What values and assumptions do you want to see in others, to bring your own vision to fruition? And what will you do to ensure you are walking that talk yourself?

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