Friday, December 31, 2010


Value is something which is spoken multiple contexts, by multiple people. An organization would have created a value system for their employees, clients, suppliers and other stake holders. A marketing team in the organization would have value proposition for their customers of their specific products. A school would instill value education to its pupils. Individuals hold values dearest to them and hold them high all through their lives.

This broader scope of values, makes it difficult for us to understand the underlying commonality. So what are these values? Asking some basic questions will help us appreciate them better.

How do we define values for ourselves?

There could be multiple definitions of values. But my favorite definition is - A value is something which is a reflection of an individual's or an organization's or an entity's personal integrity. It is the reflection of an internal self which will not be compromised to an external force.

How do we choose values?

There are multiple interpretations of choosing a value. Here is a broad definition of the process of choosing a value. Firstly a value is something that is freely chosen. Secondly, the choice made must be from a list of alternatives. Thirdly, the consequence of choosing a particular alternative should be considered and then choice be made. A predecessor to this process is value ranking where the individual examines, ranks, prioritizes and then makes a choiceful decision.

Why are certain values close to our heart?

The sum total of values of all the individuals in this world could account up to a zillion. But then people do not choose values or hold them dear to their heart just because everyone else around them is doing so. There are certain values which the individuals cherish. It is these set of values that the individual feel proud of, when they posses it. They affirm their choice publicly.

Why do values change time to time, for the same person?

Choosing values and living up to the ideals of these values is a continuous process. As individuals grow and mature, educate and experience, relocate and Value choices have to be assessed and re assessed. Chosen and re chosen. It can never have the same depth, meaning and direction throughout one's lifetime.

What makes a value a value?

In simple terms a value is chosen, prized and acted upon. Anything that is chosen and prized but not acted is not a value or something that is prized and acted but not consciously chosen is not a value. These are partially formed values or value indicators but not values. Other important differentiators is that a value must be stated publicly and should enhance the overall development of emotional and spiritual well-being.

All the values that individuals, enterprises, organizations possess go through this process consciously or unconsciously which makes them what they are!

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