Collective identity and shared values in a blink

Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions.

— Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

Organisations and places thrive when individuals thrive. As a consequence, developing a vibrant culture begins with an understanding of collective identity and shared values. These are the triggers for every human action and interaction, conscious or unconscious. Over the previous 15 years, a group of global experts analysed the identity, values and stories of over 100 teams, organizations, and places.

Helping them answer the following questions:

  • How can we brand ourselves for our customers?
  • How can we strengthen our identity?
  • How do we put our common beliefs into action?
  • How do we make values-based decisions?
  • How can we maintain our integrity as an organisation?
  • How can we attract and keep young people who stand up for their values?

Shared Identity

Visualised in a blink

Their knowledge and experiences have been compressed into a framework that serves as the foundation for ValueMaps. A tool for quickly discovering teams', organisations', and communities' collective identity and shared values.

Groups will rediscover their identities and values in a single day by combining ValueMaps and an inspiring workshop approach. Field findings prove that it delivers rapid and long-lasting results. Hey, we provide global support to a wide range of organisations and communities. Contact me for more information.

Unique Profiles

Finding collective identity

The ValueMaps are unique profiles that depict the collective identity and shared values of organisations, teams, and communities. A ValueMap with its typical colored matrix is shown in the image below. More than 500 persons shaped this map. 

The genotype and fenotype are represented on the horizontal axis. Eight archetypal identities are presented on the vertical axis. The participants' selected values are plotted inside the matrix, generating the collective identity and shared values. The next step is an interactive workshop.

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The ValueMaps materials are distributed under the

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

Archetypal Organisations

Eight archetypal identities are critical elements of ValueMaps. With archetypes, we mean universally recognised symbols, primordial patterns of psychological processes that channel energy, experience, and emotion. Within every individual personality as well as every social system. For the ValueMaps, we developed eight distinct archetypal identities. Each with its own unique set of characteristics.


These organisations are primarily bent on self-preservation and independence. The people that work here strongly identify with the organisation. If the organisation is doing well, the people are satisfied. If the organisation is not doing well, the people are unsatisfied.


These organisations bubble with energy and are constantly in motion. People in this organisation aim to satisfy their emotional needs. This can be seen in many ways such as the use of language. Everything is aimed towards self-fulfillment, the content and structure of the work are guided by this.


Within these organisations there is a drive to make accomplishments: from their own free will and their own strength. People who work here are decisive and are constantly looking for new challenges. They are proud of the work that they do. There is little room for mistakes, which is the same as failing.


These organisations place importance on having a social identity. Typically they look for a service-providing role. People in these organisations aim toward developing long term relationships with partners [internally and externally]. The whole is more important than the sum of its parts, but this depends mainly on individual drive.


These organisations take on activities that suit their missions. The people in the organisation therefore take on personal responsibility. They do what the say. These organisations are distinguished by creativity and inspiration. People who work here would like to make a contribution to the whole.


These organisations are aware of their role in the world, they have a clear vision. People who work here inspect their projects carefully and consciously direct these. These organisations grow organically, are innovative and work for a ‘good cause’.


These organisations are aware of their dependence on their immediate surroundings [organisations, people, institutions]. People that work here are driven to develop their knowledge further. There is constant searching for establishing new connections. They communicate in the same varied way.


These are not organisations in themselves. These are people who strive to identify with a higher purpose. Many organisations have elements of this identity. The elements are aimed towards making a difference to humanity. Organisations that strive to become one with a higher goal have difficulty existing independently.

Online Survey

Participants (from 5 to over 1000) are invited to answer two online questions. This takes about ten minutes. The web-based tool instantaneously generates ValueMaps based on their responses. These maps are unique profiles that represent collective identities and shared values.

Offline Workshop

The ValueMaps ignite and accelerate a conversation. Participants are encouraged to engage and share stories about what makes them thrive. This group experience generates the required commitment for action. A workshop is prepared, conducted, and wrapped up in three steps. The basic setup is simple, it always works.

Are you thinking about holding a workshop for your team?

Please contact me if you require any other information.

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"ValueMaps are sparking a dialogue about identity, values and behavioral patterns. A conversation based on the ValueMap is a memorable experience. What really makes a difference is to experience it yourself".

 - Jennifer Waller

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For me and the people within Selikor NV the ValueMaps worked very effectively. In my experience there are few methods that can describe reality in such a creative way, covering all details in a realistic manner. A ValueMap is like a mirror in which you see the different faces of the organization: from the great sides to the less pleasant.

- Wesley Kook,
CEO Selikor NV, Curacao
About the ValueMaps - during the workshop participants were very proud and energetic. As a team they have never been so far in their thinking about the development of their organization. During the whole project the ValueMaps were our guides and backbones.

- Raf Vanzeer
Director at beopledd, Belgium
The ValueMaps have helped us to move forward with our burning issues. We looked into a mirror, realized who we are and being able to take appropriate action. I can recommend ValueMaps to any organization that wants to understand more about its underlying foundations and focus on what it is best at.

- Holger Nauheimer,
Founder ChangeDays, Germany

About the ValueMaps

ChangeLabs initially introduced ValueMaps in 2006. Rik Berbé started incorporating social constructionism, systems theory, and archetypes into his work as an organisational development consultant. He created the ValueMaps and a workshop structure with the support of a community of practitioners and researchers. The effort is continuing, and new findings are constantly being included into the body of knowledge.

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Picture created by Elisio Carmona