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Values-driven change or resistance?

In recent months values have been a focus of mine. What do we as individuals, organizations and societies believe and how does that inform the way we think, make decisions and act? While driving over the weekend it occurred to me that clearly understanding and acting from our values is not where it all ends though. The next question is do we use them as a lens to encounter the world through or one in which we resist it?

As I perused through a list of values, here are a few that jumped out as possible to encounter or resist the world through

  • Tradition: do we embrace the past in ways that place importance on where we come from or as a way to shirk any new ideas?

  • Faith: do we use ours to stay grounded in a belief that there is a force or being larger than ourselves in the universe or as a platform to shame and shun non-believers?

  • Power: do we seek this to advance a collective or personal agenda?

  • Patriotism: are we proud of where we come from, its faults and glories or do we suppress anything negative and assert absolute superiority over other places?

  • Job security: do we believe in worker’s rights and a dignified employment opportunities or we believe jobs should never change despite changing economic, technological and financial forces?

It occurred to me this may move into the work of Carol Dweck whose work talks about fixed vs growth mindsets (two minute video). Here is how the two mindsets might play out through the lens of a student

  • A fixed mindset student believes their basic abilities, intelligence and talents are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that's that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.

  • A growth mindset student understands that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don't necessarily think everyone's the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.

I will be interested to see if over the coming weeks and months if Dweck’s work weaves its way deeper into my own beliefs about the power of values at work.

Go Forth Boldly

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