Saturday, November 06, 2010

What Is Your Values Mode?

This seems to be a cross between Spiral Dynamics (vaguely) and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - it assesses where one stands in terms of values in the culture. The site is, as the above image suggests, called Cultural Dynamics: Strategy & Marketing.

To take the brief quiz and discover your values mode, go here. I recommend taking the quiz before reading about this system - then come back here and share your results, in you feel comfortable doing so.

So of course I took the quiz, and apparently I am a transcender - I wonder if I am also an includer. This result may not be valid since I am not British, but it serves my self-image, so I'll accept it. :)


The leading edge. The Transcenders are the most self aware and contented of the Pioneers, but also the ones most likely to push their perceptual boundaries, in an attempt to gain greater harmony with their own value set and gain connection with others and the environment around them.

They are the “scouts” for the rest of the Pioneers, pushing farther, faster, yet with a “lightness” that is not often felt by the other Pioneers.

For the majority of the time, life is fun. They are intrigued by the unknown, and have a need for openness in their lives. Forgiving of themselves, they are the most likely to be forgiving of others.

Here is the explanation of the memes (values modes) in their system, based on Dynamic Maslow Group TheoryTM.


Over the last 30 years, an ongoing body of social survey research has tracked and forcasted the changing values, beliefs and motivations of the British population. Using the responses to over 1000 questions, we have developed a typology that explains the dynamics of personal, market and cultural changes.

The typology is called Values ModesTM.

The Values Modes categorize people into 12 discrete psychographic types. Each group represents between 7% and 12% of the population aged 15 years and over. The categorization is based on the responses to a short questionnaire (Lickert scales), which can be used in any piece of research and is easy to administer face-to-face, by telephone or on-line.

We license the use of the questionnaire to clients and third party companies - primarily research agencies - for use on customer and employee research. The process is simple. The responses are sent to us and the results returned witghin minutes or hours, depending on the complexity and size of the data file.

The 12 Values Modes - the VMs (pronounced "vims") - form a psychographic classification system based on individuals' Values sets. By the term "Values", we mean that nest of beliefs and motivations - largely subconcious - that underpin our attitudes to everything we encounter.

The VMs help answer the question of WHY people do the things and make the choices that they do.

This is a valuable understanding in itself but Cultural Dynamics takes this to a new level through its understanding of the dynamics of change that operate through the VMs. These changes, which occur at the level of the individual, aggregate in the population over time to form significant changes in organizational and societal (cultural) values.


At the heart of understanding these changes - these cultural dynamics - is the combination of empirical data, gathered from large surveys amongst the population at large, and the deceptively simple looking psychological theory of motivation developed by Abraham Maslow and summarized in his Hierarchy of Needs.

Within Maslow's hierarchy, we recognize three primary motivational levels - the Settler (Sustenance Driven), the Prospector (Outer Directed) and the Pioneer (Inner Directed). Within each of these, we discern four different four different "flavours" - the Values Modes.

Taken all together, this combination of theoretical and empirical understanding constitutes Dynamic Maslow Group TheoryTM.


The Settler (Sustenance Driven) needs are:

  • Core physiological needs.
  • Safety and Security.
  • Belonging.

The Settler Values Modes are:

Some typical Settler characteristics are:
  • Need to hold on to what you've got.
  • It's a "Them vs Us" world.
  • Worry about crime is never far away.
  • Clear sense of right and wrong. Rule breakers should expect just retribution.
  • Strong preference to socialise with "people like me".
  • Family/Community/Group is important - nationality, town, football team ...
  • Generally rather resistant to change.


The Prospector (Outer Directed) needs are:

  • Esteem of Others.
  • Self Esteem.

The Prospector Values Modes are:

Some typical Prospector characteristics are:

  • Priority is to get "Me" known out there.
  • Clear optimism about life. The world is a big opportunity.
  • "Savvy". Aware of what's going on around.
  • Earning and spending money are crucial activities.
  • Ambitious - position, power and visible success are important.
  • Rules are "flexible" (more like "guidelines").


The Pioneer (Inner Directed) needs are:

  • Aesthetic cognitive.
  • Self Actualization.

The Pioneer Values Modes are:

Some typical Pioneer characteristics are:

  • Fascination and curiosity with the world.
  • Unashamed acceptance of some larger purpose to existence.
  • Knows that knowledge usually leads to better questions rather than better answers.
  • Sometimes seen as a bit pompous or touchy-feely.
  • Needs activity, variety and a degree of ongoing change in life.


Louise Gallagher said...

This is awesome! I tripped onto your blog through Andy Illachinski's blog list -- and I'm so glad I did. I took the quiz and like you, I'm a Transcender -- which explains a lot!

thanks! I'm glad to have found your place to hang out in.


william harryman said...

Hi Louise,

Welcome to the Cafe - hope you find some things to assist you on your path.


RJ Johnson - 21st Century Appreciative Inquiry said...

Great article. I will definitely refer back to this. Just one question, how do transcenders, such as myself help bring along pioneers and settlers into the exciting future that we see?
Best regards,
RJ Johnson