Experimenting with Values:
Finding your Meta-strategy
Somik Raha
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.1
Ju...
Poll
When you hear the term “values”, what are you primarily
hearing?
Pick the one that applies the most:
© 2000-2013 Smar...
Values as Meta-Strategy
This is NOT a talk about these three:
This talk is about a fourth kind of listening:
© 2000-2013 S...
What brushing our teeth can teach us about
values
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.4
Systemic Value: C...
Two startling conclusions
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.5
What can be counted does not really count...
The great poets of the world speak of this
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.6
The one who confuses the...
Intrinsic values are about finding your deepest
values, and there are signs to recognize them
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Conf...
Intrinsic Values have a quality of uniqueness
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.8
Test: Are most people...
What’s your music?
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.9
Under the sky studded with the sun and myriad st...
We got stuck while doing a traditional DA
consulting workshop
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.10
Our ...
XXX
Three slides that went to the board
META-
STRATEGY (or
Purpose)
M&A Strategy
Check opportunity for fit with packaging “traits”
Only if there is fit, let’s look at the numbers
© 2000-2013...
Observation
Human mind shuts down when faced with numbers
e.g. goals like double market share, revenues, etc.
Creativity s...
Applying this at home
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.14
Having fun
making
organizations
Smarter
People co-
creating
Magic
Prudential
Intrinsic
Systemic
Making a
Difference
that M...
Mapping your values (as meta-strategy)
© 2000-2014 SmartOrg. | Creative Commons Attribution 3.016
?
?
?YOU
HEAD
The profes...
Find your purpose (meta-strategy) is an act of
deep listening
Things that have worked for me
You can be a friend to someon...
Story: Couple’s values
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.18
Hospitality
Celebration
SpacesJOHN
HEAD HEA...
Story: Couple’s values
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.19
Celebration
SpacesJOHN
HEART
HABIT
M&A
The...
CEO’s Values
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.20
Energy
Efficiency
Visionary
Change
Building
Ecosystem...
Shin-Gi-Tai
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.21
Thanks to Kentaro Nakamichi
In Summary
Values as Meta-Strategy is upstream of all practical
considerations
This is about the mountain you want to clim...
Systematizing to get to the value is essential, but
it is not the value
Systems drive action. (police story)
© 2000-2013 S...
Systematizing to get to the value is essential, but
it is not the value
Systems drive action. (police story)
Criteria for ...
Decision Quality is largely head-focused in its
articulation
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.25
Head
...
Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and-
heart
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.26
Head Heart...
Let’s unpack the heart dimension from the
perspective of meta-strategy
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietar...
Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and-
heart
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.28
Head Heart...
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.29
helps individuals, families, and communities struggling with
alcoh...
What stories do you have on Integration?
Was there a time when you found the numbers weren’t
sufficient, and you had to sh...
Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and-
heart
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.31
Head Heart...
Leadership: protecting your meta-strategy
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.32
Guardian of Apple’s core...
Followership: Embracing the meta-strategy
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.33
Our culture places too m...
Was Vinoba just a follower? Was he a leader?
Perhaps, he was a ladder.
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietar...
Ladders undertake guardianship of the
organization’s meta-strategy
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.35...
Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and-
heart
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.36
Head Heart...
Meta-strategy redefines the purpose of a
business
The purpose of business IS to be a business of purpose
© 2000-2013 Smart...
The old business leaders understood this
Walt Disney said, “We don’t make movies to make money,
we make money to make movi...
Trusteeship and Meta-Strategy
You are the self-declared trustee of your meta-strategy for
society
If you drop the ball on ...
Where do we go from here?
I don’t know, but…
Knowing our meta-strategy can help us become aware of
misalignments between s...
Acknowledgments
Robert Hartman – for his work on
“Formal Axiology”
Ronald Howard – connecting me to
Hartman, and supportin...
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.42
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes
you come alive, an...
Q&A
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.43
Appendix
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.44
Fundamental Values and Intrinsic Values
“Values are the criteria that we use to evaluate outcomes. Fundamental values are
...
From Values to Valuation…
Amazon story
© 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.46
3 Periods
1. Colombia
2. Brazil
3. Peru
1. Brazil
2. Peru
3. Bolivia
1. Brazil
2. Peru
3. Bolivia
1. Brazil
2. Peru
3. Bol...
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Experimenting with Values

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A talk given to the Society of Decision Professionals by Somik Raha on Jul 23, 2014

Abstract: When we hear “values,” we interpret it in three different ways: cultural norms, metrics for tradeoffs (if you happen to be a decision analyst), or distinguishing between means and ends (if you’ve read “Value-Focused Thinking”). This talk will share a fourth way of hearing the term “values,” offering an interpretation of values as “meta-strategy” by understanding intrinsic purpose. Exploring intrinsic purpose is unfamiliar territory, and stories will be shared on how such an exercise helped unlock the creative juice of an organization, gave dignity to their work and transformed their frame. Along the way, a $2 million portfolio turned into a $30 million portfolio. That story and other experiments in mapping the values of organizations will be shared. A reformulation of the six elements of decision quality along the head and heart dimensions will also be offered.

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  • Head: Think Different
    Heart: Insanely Great Products
    Habit: Zen Minimalism
  • Experimenting with Values

    1. 1. Experimenting with Values: Finding your Meta-strategy Somik Raha © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.1 Jul 23, 2014
    2. 2. Poll When you hear the term “values”, what are you primarily hearing? Pick the one that applies the most: © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.2 Values as measures: Value functions, utility functions Value-focused thinking: Distinguishing between means and ends Values as norms: Cultural norms that are upheld in society and organizations
    3. 3. Values as Meta-Strategy This is NOT a talk about these three: This talk is about a fourth kind of listening: © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.3 Values as meta-strategy: Your values are your highest-level strategy Values as measures: Value functions, utility functions Value-focused thinking: Distinguishing between means and ends Values as norms: Cultural norms that are upheld in society and organizations
    4. 4. What brushing our teeth can teach us about values © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.4 Systemic Value: Count of # times we’ve brushed Practical Value: Dental Hygiene Intrinsic Value: Personal well-being
    5. 5. Two startling conclusions © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.5 What can be counted does not really count What counts cannot really be counted In the Q&A box, can you share examples from your life that illustrate this?
    6. 6. The great poets of the world speak of this © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.6 The one who confuses the label water for water is naïve indeed. Repeating “water, water,” such a one is destined to die of thirst. Repeating “fire, fire” produces not a scratch on the lip An ember on your lip will immediately burn it. Sufi poet, Zaheen Shah Taji Note: He is criticizing the conflation of the label with the experience, not the use of labels themselves
    7. 7. Intrinsic values are about finding your deepest values, and there are signs to recognize them © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.7 Shake Emotional Silence The small truth has words that are clear. The great truth has great silence. … Rabindranath Tagore
    8. 8. Intrinsic Values have a quality of uniqueness © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.8 Test: Are most people likely to say “me too” for your intrinsic value? If yes, we need to keep looking. The focus here is on those values that stir you in an odd and unique way
    9. 9. What’s your music? © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.9 Under the sky studded with the sun and myriad stars,
In a universe throbbing with life,
I've received my little space.
In sheer wonder, music springs from the depths of my soul. Rabindranath Tagore
    10. 10. We got stuck while doing a traditional DA consulting workshop © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.10 Our remit: Help us double our revenues from $500M to $1B
    11. 11. XXX Three slides that went to the board META- STRATEGY (or Purpose)
    12. 12. M&A Strategy Check opportunity for fit with packaging “traits” Only if there is fit, let’s look at the numbers © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.12 Quote from hard-nosed M&A expert: “I have never seen a soft tool work this well”
    13. 13. Observation Human mind shuts down when faced with numbers e.g. goals like double market share, revenues, etc. Creativity springs forth with inspiration e.g. Indian branch story, going from $2M to $30M © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.13
    14. 14. Applying this at home © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.14
    15. 15. Having fun making organizations Smarter People co- creating Magic Prudential Intrinsic Systemic Making a Difference that Matters Amazing Capabilities Awesome Software: That inspires, enables and empowers Professional Experience: Practical knowledgeable staff who can do and coach Thought Leadership: Show the way to solve real problems Improve: Build Customer’s Capability Service: Proactively and responsively serve the real need Excellence: High quality practical rigor Great Relationships: Among ourselves, with vendors, with clients Whole Person: SmartOrg is where personal passion meets the productive world Situational Leadership: Follow & lead, with responsibility and accountability VALUES as NORMS e.g. SmartOrg Complete Integrity: Honesty, openness, trust and trustworthiness. Ongoing Learning: Ongoing Personal, Professional and Team Development Impact: Empowering customers to achieve their most important objectives Financial Stewardship: Sustain the business and the people in it Prosperity Performance: Accomplishing what we set out to do Enjoyment: Work enlivens
    16. 16. Mapping your values (as meta-strategy) © 2000-2014 SmartOrg. | Creative Commons Attribution 3.016 ? ? ?YOU HEAD The professional field you count yourself in HEART A goal that is deeply inspiring and an end in itself for you HABIT You show up and this shows up Finance- Business Partnership Agile Decision Support Systems Restoring dignity to economic evaluations HEAD HEART HABIT EXAMPLE: Somik’s lens on SmartOrg
    17. 17. Find your purpose (meta-strategy) is an act of deep listening Things that have worked for me You can be a friend to someone Look for silence, emotion, shuddering Test the values – if any one is missing, is something big missing Look for uniqueness, not universality © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.17
    18. 18. Story: Couple’s values © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.18 Hospitality Celebration SpacesJOHN HEAD HEART HABIT M&A ? Detachment HealingMARY HEAD HEART HABIT
    19. 19. Story: Couple’s values © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.19 Celebration SpacesJOHN HEART HABIT M&A Therapy Detachment HealingMARY HEAD HEART HABIT Before: Mary wondered about helping John in his hotel business. After: Mary is working on a transition to becoming a therapist Hospitality HEAD
    20. 20. CEO’s Values © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.20 Energy Efficiency Visionary Change Building Ecosystem Solutions DOUG/ RETROFIT Company HEAD HEART HABIT Helped CEO get clarity on messaging for company
    21. 21. Shin-Gi-Tai © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.21 Thanks to Kentaro Nakamichi
    22. 22. In Summary Values as Meta-Strategy is upstream of all practical considerations This is about the mountain you want to climb (distinct from how you want to walk on the road) The highest given in a decision All DA value calculations are Systemic values © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.22 GIVEN We commit to Strategic Fit of (e.g. Safe, Natural, ..) CURREN T FUTURE Decision Hierarchy
    23. 23. Systematizing to get to the value is essential, but it is not the value Systems drive action. (police story) © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.23 Public Safety Dignity of Client Education SUDPS HEAD HEART HABIT EXAMPLE: Somik’s lens on SUDPS values SYSTEM: Hire highly educated people who resonate with “dignity of client”
    24. 24. Systematizing to get to the value is essential, but it is not the value Systems drive action. (police story) Criteria for fit is one example of a system. It can get us to realize the values, but is not equal to the value. Making multi-attribute models to trade-off these intrinsic values kind of misses the point (oil and gas story) Analysis is good when we are confused (Amazon story) Affects how we view decision quality © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.24
    25. 25. Decision Quality is largely head-focused in its articulation © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.25 Head Frame Appropriate Alternatives Feasible Information Relevant, Material Preferences Trade-offs, Metrics Logic Clear Commitment to Action High-quality commitments
    26. 26. Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and- heart © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.26 Head Heart Frame Appropriate Meaningful Alternatives Feasible Inspiring Information Relevant, Material Decisive Values Preferences (Trade-offs, Metrics) Noble Purpose Integration Clear Logic Community Narrative Commitment to Action Action Plans Leadership, Followership, Laddership
    27. 27. Let’s unpack the heart dimension from the perspective of meta-strategy © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.27 Head Heart Frame Appropriate Meaningful Alternatives Feasible Inspiring Information Relevant, Material Decisive Values Preferences (Trade-offs, Metrics) Noble Purpose Integration Clear Logic Community Narrative Commitment to Action Action Plans Leadership, Followership, Laddership Plastic Packaging Story Plastic Packaging Story Oil & Gas Story (Safer and Cleaner)
    28. 28. Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and- heart © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.28 Head Heart Frame Appropriate Meaningful Alternatives Feasible Inspiring Information Relevant, Material Decisive Values Preferences (Trade-offs, Metrics) Noble Purpose Integration Clear Logic Community Narrative Commitment to Action Action Plans Leadership, Followership, Laddership Plastic Packaging Story Plastic Packaging Story Oil & Gas Story (Safer and Cleaner)
    29. 29. © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.29 helps individuals, families, and communities struggling with alcohol abuse, substance abuse, and drug addiction transform their lives Capital investment projects had been carefully selected to improve facilities. This caused a backlash, with employees asking why funds weren’t used to give pay raises. e.g. redesign spaces to be welcoming, comfortable chairs for clients to feel at home. It takes a lot for people in that position to trust and reach out for help. When the decision was explained in the context of their core value of bringing respect and dignity to the lives of those who have suffered from substance abuse and addiction problems, employees understood and supported it.
    30. 30. What stories do you have on Integration? Was there a time when you found the numbers weren’t sufficient, and you had to share a narrative connecting your insight to values? Please type your stories into the Q&A © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.30
    31. 31. Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and- heart © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.31 Head Heart Frame Appropriate Meaningful Alternatives Feasible Inspiring Information Relevant, Material Decisive Values Preferences (Trade-offs, Metrics) Noble Purpose Integration Clear Logic Community Narrative Commitment to Action Action Plans Leadership, Followership, Laddership Plastic Packaging Story Plastic Packaging Story Oil & Gas Story (Safer and Cleaner) Hazelden Foundation story
    32. 32. Leadership: protecting your meta-strategy © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.32 Guardian of Apple’s core value of beautiful design “insanely great products” Somik’s version: Think Different Zen Minimalism Insanely Great Products APPLE Head Heart Habit Video
    33. 33. Followership: Embracing the meta-strategy © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.33 Our culture places too much emphasis on the leader, and not on the first, second, third, seventh or the seven hundredth follower. Gandhi VinobaSomik’s version: Meta-strategy for Sarvodaya (Upliftment of all) Head: Satyagraha (Insistence on Truth) Heart: Upliftment of all Habit: Ahimsa (nonviolence) Meta-strategy for Sarvodaya (Upliftment of all) Head: Daan (Voluntary giving) Heart: Upliftment of all Habit: Love Bhoodaan
    34. 34. Was Vinoba just a follower? Was he a leader? Perhaps, he was a ladder. © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.34 Macho lone hero who saves the day Leaders are best when people barely know they exist. When their work is done, their aim fulfilled, people say, “we did it ourselves” .. Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching Laddership.org In business, ladders have been called “Level 5 leaders” (Jim Collins)
    35. 35. Ladders undertake guardianship of the organization’s meta-strategy © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.35 Can you share stories of laddership (in the Q&A box) you have seen in your career?
    36. 36. Most of us actually prefer a balance of head-and- heart © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.36 Head Heart Frame Appropriate Meaningful Alternatives Feasible Inspiring Information Relevant, Material Decisive Values Preferences (Trade-offs, Metrics) Noble Purpose Integration Clear Logic Community Narrative Commitment to Action Action Plans Leadership, Followership, Laddership Plastic Packaging Story Plastic Packaging Story Oil & Gas Story (Safer and Cleaner) Hazelden Foundation story Apple, Gandhi, Vinoba stories
    37. 37. Meta-strategy redefines the purpose of a business The purpose of business IS to be a business of purpose © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.37
    38. 38. The old business leaders understood this Walt Disney said, “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make movies.” Henry Ford said, “Business must be run at a profit, else it will die. But when anyone tries to run a business solely for profit ... then the business must die as well, for it no longer has a reason for existence.” © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.38
    39. 39. Trusteeship and Meta-Strategy You are the self-declared trustee of your meta-strategy for society If you drop the ball on executing on your intrinsic value, society won’t get to experience that intrinsic value © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.39 What are your reflections on being a guardian of your intrinsic value for society? What is an intrinsic value that moves you to guardianship? Type into Q&A.
    40. 40. Where do we go from here? I don’t know, but… Knowing our meta-strategy can help us become aware of misalignments between strategy and meta-strategy Perhaps clarity on our meta-strategy values can help us do inspired work The Neuroscience of Values © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.40
    41. 41. Acknowledgments Robert Hartman – for his work on “Formal Axiology” Ronald Howard – connecting me to Hartman, and supporting research on Values David Matheson – supporting exploration of values in business, and being a great co- conspirator/collaborator © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.41
    42. 42. © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.42 “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Robert Thurman
    43. 43. Q&A © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.43
    44. 44. Appendix © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.44
    45. 45. Fundamental Values and Intrinsic Values “Values are the criteria that we use to evaluate outcomes. Fundamental values are those that express our most important concerns.” Jonathon Baron, Biases in the Quantitative Measurement of values for public decisions Intrinsic values are about “states of being,” not outcomes. There is a difference between what we value and how we value. How we value can be mapped by the emotional affect: INTRINSIC: Inseparable from who we are. If it is truly intrinsic, you cannot even begin to describe the value. EXTRINSIC/PRACTICAL: Separable but we show an everyday-interestedness in these values. You can talk about this. SYSTEMIC: The land of objectivity. All of DA’s constructs are Systemic because they are clear. © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.45 In MA, the way fundamental values get used is to quickly turn them into metrics and establish tradeoffs. My use of intrinsic values has been as a generative force for ideation and strategic fit, not tradeoffs. The method of getting to intrinsic values is of great interest to me. Involves listening for silence.
    46. 46. From Values to Valuation… Amazon story © 2000-2013 SmartOrg. | Confidential and Proprietary.46
    47. 47. 3 Periods 1. Colombia 2. Brazil 3. Peru 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Bolivia 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Bolivia 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Bolivia 1. Guyana 2. Peru 3. Brazil Linda Mike 1. Colombia 2. Peru 3. Brazil 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Bolivia 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Colombia 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Colombia Brad 1. Peru 2. Brazil 3. Colombia 1. Peru 2. Brazil 3. Guyana 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Guyana 1. Peru 2. Brazil 3. Colombia 1. Peru 2. Brazil 3. Guyana Jenny 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Colombia 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Colombia 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Colombia 1. Colombia 2. Brazil 3. Peru 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Colombia BEST DECISION 1. Brazil 2. Peru 3. Bolivia

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