Jess Solomon: Values

Values Doodles

I created a graphic about how my values, work and every-day decision making coalesce. As I was doodling, I was thinking about Toni Cade Bambara’s prolific words: “As a cultural worker who belongs to an oppressed people my job is to make revolution irresistible…But I think for any artist your job is determined by the community you’re identifying with.” She doesn’t explicitly mention values here but we typically share them with the communities we are a part of.  At the macro and micro level, these relationships are constant feedback loops. My … [Read more...]

Ari Weinzweig: Congruency & Values

CC Frank Roche via Flickr

We promised a video this week featuring Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman's and here it is! Weinzweig shares the difference between values and beliefs and the importantance of having congruency between the two, in any business environment.       Share your reactions with us in the comments section or at #ValuesNAS.   … [Read more...]

Taking Down the Hedges

CC Erin Murphy via Flickr

Respect. Access. Inclusion. Transparency. Authenticity. These are the values held deeply by Hope McMath, Executive Director of the Cummer Museum of Art + Gardens. McMath shares how these values are part of the decisions she makes both internally at the museum, through hiring and organizational culture, as well as externally in the community. She tells the story of literally taking down the hedges that surround the museum and what physical and symbolic meaning a row of bushes can have.       … [Read more...]

The Definition Game

CC Bindaas Madhavi via Flickr

As leaders of organizations, it is essential that we not only uphold the values of our organizations, but also believe in them. Sandra Cha, an assistant professor at McGill University, and Amy Edmondson, of Harvard Business School conducted and in-depth survey of organizational values at an up and coming advertising agency. The result: employees felt the CEO was acting hypocritically through his actions even though he talked the talk of organizational core values. This view essentially resulted in the employee’s variance of interpretation on … [Read more...]

A peek into Zappos

Inside Zappos
CC Tech Cocktail via Flickr

Wait. There's more on Zappos. We told you it was a favorite. In January, Tim Cynova, Deputy Director of Fractured Atlas, shared his investigation into how Zappos created a culture where core values are at the center of each and every decision. Cynova, a self-proclaimed Zappophile found himself continually asking what would Zappos do? He went to visit the headquarters to find out exactly that.             … [Read more...]

Zappos: Testing for Core Values

CC Jurgen Appelo via Flickr

We can't have a conversation about values without mentioning Zappos. They're one of our favorite examples. Check out the Zappos Interview Scoring Card for Core Values. This assessment was designed to make sure that each hire is a good fit for the company's culture. Questions fall under at least one core value and candidates are ranked on a scale of how well they meet each one. How do you ensure job candidates understand and fit the core values of your organization? Tell us in the comments section or at … [Read more...]

Organization Spotlight: Springboard for the Arts


One of the reasons Springboard for the Arts is able to take on and implement large scale projects with their small team is through leveraging their staff. The staff lives and breathes seven principles: We view artists as vital contributors to their communities. Our programs are delivered by artists to artists. Our capacity to build relationships is the basis of our effectiveness. We emphasize building systems of investment and support. We develop cross-sector collaborations. We operate with a sense of transformational … [Read more...]

Core Values & Cupcakes

Core Values

An Ideation Summit is a process that transforms stakeholders with divergent interests into collaborators. It provides a roadmap for identifying, clarifying and activating solutions. NAS has built an event that does just this, The Summit at Sundance. We’ve designed a process that empowers a group of colleagues to harness their collective brainpower and wisdom and tackle tough challenges facing their work. Our first Ideation Summit brought CEOs together to collectively work on real-world solutions to four key problems facing the field. The … [Read more...]

Marginal Thinking & Our Personal Boundaries

CC Garrett Coakley via Flickr

Clayton Christensen eloquently takes the conventional business idea of marginal thinking and applies it to personal decision-making, in this Harvard Business School piece. We may think that making a decision to cross our personal boundaries “just this once” might have a low/marginal cost, but when we begin to weigh the actual costs, we could end up bankrupt or down the rabbit hole of lies and deception. Christensen asks us to question our personal values and morals. That's what the devil and angel on our shoulders are for, right? How do you … [Read more...]

Values: A Part of the Everyday

CC Paul Downey via Flickr

Our personal values relate to decisions we make every day. Even the most mundane according to, Joel Urbany, author of How to Make Values Count in Everyday Decisions. We know, this got us all thinking about what it says about you when you leave your desk for that third cup of coffee or that you always eat out for lunch. Urbany dives into the term values-based decision making and draws a direct line between organizational values and those of individual employees, noting that this directly effects the overall decision making ability of an … [Read more...]