“Some key questions for those of us working in arts and cultural organizations include: What is our role in society? How should we be engaging with the world around us, and bringing people together? What is our role in promoting social justice, in encouraging action on climate change, in building more compassionate and caring communities, in inspiring volunteering and civic participation? And how can we ensure that we are places and spaces that reach out to, and attract people from, all parts of our communities?
The “Discover and share” guide is based on the one-year learning collaboration between the Manchester Museum and the Common Cause Foundation, inspired by the work of the Happy Museum project.
In this Guide, there is a keyword: “Values”. In psychology, values are ‘standard’ that shape our attitudes and behaviors. Some values, for example, motivate our concern for others, while others motivate selfish behaviors.
A good place to start exploring how our own values are evoked is in our workplace. Even subtle signals can have significant effects. What values are exercised when looking up from your desk?
Maybe your workspace is adorned with photos of your best friends (Compassion / True Friendship).
Is there an organizational chart of the company, what does it transmit? Values of own interests? Or a kind of general empowerment? Do you have photos that inspire you for example of places, trips? Something innovative?
Showing compassionate values generates empathy in visitors and shows that colleagues and volunteers are also involved with them.
A good exercise is to do a workshop with colleagues, to ask what values are the main ones in the organization. This initial workshop can be sustained by regular follow-up meetings.
Plan 15 minutes to choose 12 values of the Values Map. Then work for 10 minutes in pairs to choose 6 values of these, and then 5 minutes in groups of 4 people to choose the 4 values that best characterize the group collectively.
The second stage of this exercise may be to assemble a collage from images of magazines where those chosen values are illustrated.
List of values
Freedom / Curiosity / Creativity / Independence / Choice own goals / Privacy / Self respect
Daring / A varied life / An exiting life
Enjoying / Self Indulgence / Pleasure
Intelligent / Capable / Successful / Ambitius / Influential
Social recognition / Wealth / Authority / Preserve my social image / Social power
Healthy / Social Order / Clean / Reciprocation of favours / Sense of belonging / Natiional security / Family security
Humble / Detachment / Devoute / Respect for traditions / Moderate / Acceptance my portion in life
Honouring of elders / Self-discipline / Politieness / Obedient
Forgiving/ A Spiritual life / Mature love / Helpful / Honest / Loyal / Meaning in life / True friendship / Responsible
Equality / Protecting enviroment / Inner harmony /A world of beauty / Social justice / Broadminded / Unity with nature / A world of peace / Wisdom
To learn more about the Common Cause Foundation, click on valuesandframes.org