Collective identity and shared values in a blink
"Collective identity is not simply a sum of individual identities but emerges from the interactions, performances, and symbolic representations that individuals engage in within a social context." - Erving Goffman
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 foundation for every human action and interaction, conscious or unconscious. Over the previous 15 years, a group of global experts analysed the identity and values of over 100 teams, organisations, and places.
Challenging them to answer the following questions:
Visualised in a blink
Extensive research and the collective experiences of the group have been condensed into a framework that forms the basis of ValueMaps. This tool enables teams, organisations, and communities to promptly uncover their shared values and collective identity.
By incorporating ValueMaps alongside an inspiring workshop methodology, teams can rediscover their identities and values within a single day. Field tests have shown that this approach yields rapid and long-lasting results. We provide global support to a wide array of organisations and communities.
Finding collective identity
ValueMaps are distinct profiles that illustrate the shared values and collective identity of teams, organisations, and communities. An example of a ValueMap, which was shaped by over 500 individuals and features a colored matrix, is shown below.
The horizontal axis represents genotype and phenotype, while the vertical axis presents eight archetypal identities. By plotting the participants' chosen values inside the matrix, a shared set of values and a collective identity are generated. Following this step, an interactive workshop is conducted.
The ValueMaps feature eight archetypal identities. Archetypes are universal patterns that represent fundamental aspects of the human experience and are present in the collective unconscious. They exist within every social system. For the ValueMaps, we have crafted eight distinct archetypal identities, each with its own set of unique 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.
Creating a ValueMap is easy. Individuals, ranging from 5 to over 1000 participants, are requested to answer two questions online. This process typically takes ten minutes to complete. The web-based tool then rapidly generates ValueMaps based on their answers. A ValueMap serves as a unique profile that portray the collective identity and shared values of a team, organisation or community.
The ValueMaps spark and hasten a dialogue among participants. They are motivated to interact and exchange stories about their personal sources of inspiration. This collaborative experience instills the necessary level of commitment to take action. The workshop is organised in three simple stages. The workshop structure is straightforward and consistently yields positive outcomes.
'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
CEO Selikor NV, Curacao
Director at beopledd, Belgium
Founder ChangeDays, Germany
About the ValueMaps
In 2006, ChangeLabs first introduced ValueMaps. Rik Berbé, an organisational development consultant, began integrating research on social constructionism, dramaturgical theory, and archetypes into his work. With the assistance of a community of practitioners and researchers, he developed ValueMaps and a corresponding workshop format. Ongoing efforts are underway, and fresh insights are consistently being added to the existing knowledge base.
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The ValueMaps materials are distributed under the: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license
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