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9.3.6. Thinking: Values


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 9. Managing in a Complex World > 9.3. Deep Thinking > 9.3.6. Thinking: Values

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Another internal system that has an effect on the way we interact with the world is our system of values. A value is a specific form of belief which helps us to make decisions and prioritise perceptions and actions. They tell us what is right and wrong, and, when things conflict, which is more important.

Values are particularly useful when we share them with others. If we all agree that it is wrong to kill people, then we are safe, at least from one another. Shared values thus improve our sense of control and become a significant part of our sense of shared identity.

When working in groups, the group values may have to be explicitly changed to legitimise the proposing of creative new ideas. Even if you are inventing alone, you will eventually have to take the idea to other people. When doing so, always be aware of the effect of what you say on their values, getting specific permission where necessary to ‘meet on neutral territory.

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