Global Values Update

Alan Tonkin

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“Values in Our Global Village – Different Values – Different Stages of Democracy”

Alan TonkinIn looking at our “Global Village” from a systems perspective it is often unclear why different countries behave in different ways. This is particularly the case in the developed Western democracies who often believe that the majority of the population of our “Global Village” should share the same set of values as themselves.

However, the reality is that nothing could be further from the truth as the vast majority of the world’s population are still rooted in collective and not individual values. The following graphic which has been modified from the original produced by IMD in their World Competitiveness Report of 1992 shows the natural progression of countries from collective to individual values.

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In considering the graphic above it is important to note that the movement of Europe from the 17th Century to its current position today has moved through the Collective Values of the Tribe, Power, Hard Work and on to the Individual Values of Wealth Creation, Social Participation and on to Self Achievement.

By adding a variety of developing and other countries to the above graphic we can clearly see the differing positions of Somalia (Tribal), Zimbabwe (Power), China (Hard Work), Singapore and Japan (Wealth Creation) and the bulk of the EU (Self Achievement). In translating the type of political and governance systems in each of these countries we can see major governance differences exist across this group.

Different Values: Different Governance & Economic Systems

In considering the above I will illustrate this more clearly by using a graphic produced by my friend and colleague Don Beck in the early 1990’s using values as the base. This clearly shows the type of economic and political systems which are to be found at each level of development.

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The above graphic clearly shows the differing levels of development and the appropriate governance system at each level. It also shows the differing values profile at each level of development with the “values mix” for developing economies as well as developed economies such as the UK and US.

It is important to note that the “GlobalValues Position” carries a dual peak with the majority of the population being located in the Purple and Red values with a smaller percentage being in the Blue, Orange and Green values. This is the reverse of the situation experienced in the developed countries of the WesternWorld and goes a long way to explaining why people in these countries do not understand the present global values dynamics.

Why Understanding Values is a StrategicImperative for the Developed World

In considering the above it is critical to realise that the way both countries and organisations manage the differing values mix is critical to both understanding and their future success in moving forward on the values continuum. Some examples:

Failed States

Beige Survival & Tribal Purple

Includes failed states such as Somalia and Haiti where the bulk of the population are trying to survive on a daily basis. There is no stabilising force in government and there is also a significant often criminal Red Power base present.In addition, there is no formal economy to underpin any possible democratic efforts.

Red Power

In the Middle East in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, tribal forces are still very powerful as is the issue of Red Power. These countries cannot logically become western style democracies unless they have progressed through both the Tribal Purple and Red Power phases before they progress to Blue Order. This creates the required base for the trains to run on time, the roads and services to operate effectively as well as for the formal economy to function effectively. Zimbabwe is another case in point in this value set with the Mugabe regime stating that the MDC will never rule in the country whether they win at the polls or not.

Blue Order: States in Transition

This equally applies to the Israeland Palestine “two states solution” proposed by the western nations, as Tribal Purpleand Red Power on one side face Blue Order and Orange Enterprise on the other. There is only likely to be a lasting solution in this conflict when there is sufficient of a Blue Order majority in both states in order to enable the required forward movement.

Indiaas the world’s largest democracy is firmly rooted in Blue Order but in the last few decades has also moved strongly into Orange Enterprise.This is exemplified by its strong economic performance as well as the visible values shift by its broad population. It is anticipated that India may well rival China in the 21st Century.

Chinais an excellent example of a society emerging from behind the walls of secrecy in Communist Red Power and moving strongly into Blue Order and on to Orange Enterprise. It is simply not realistic to expect China to evolve its economic and political systems to those currently found in the US and Europe without going through the intervening values steps as part of this natural values process shift.

In South America Brazil is an interesting example of Blue Order and emerging Orange Enterprise. As a largely Catholic country it has strong Blue religious roots but equally strong Orange Enterprise tendencies.

Russia is also making the transition from a Blue centrally controlled Communist state to Orange Enterprise. However, there are still strong elements of Red Power in Russia which need to be brought under firm control by the authorities. To a lesser extent this also applies to some of Russia’s neighbours as they evolve.

Developed Post – Modern Countries

Orange Enterprise is best identified by the United States and to a lesser extent by the UK and Japan. However, all of these countries are moving into the Green Environmental area to add to their overall mix of Blue Order, Orange Enterprise and Environmental Green.

A predominant Green Ecological value is best symbolised by the Scandinavian countries with the EU countries like Holland and Germany moving strongly into this area of values to add to their Blue Order and Orange Enterprise.

It is important to note that there is strong confirmation of the values findings from the Failed States Index 2007 produced as well as from other reputable sources.

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New Technologies and the Rate of Change

The rapidly increasing introduction of new technologies globally will accelerate the pace of change in their broad values of the global population. An excellent example is that of mobile cellular technologies which have allowed geographically remote communities to become connected to the wider world in many developing countries such as India, China and Africa.

New technologies are changing the face of the globe at an ever increasing rate and the advent of satellite television services and broadband internet provide for many of the populations in the developing economies to have expectations of significant changes in their own lifestyle in these countries during their lifetimes.

Some Conclusions

Exponential ever increasing global change is a given but the pace of change is so rapid that it is sometimes difficult to imagine what the world will be like even twenty years from now. These changes are leading us to the next massive technological leap and if this is to be successful from a global perspective then it will require great innovation from global leaders in politics, business and our local communities.

At the same time the rapid rate of change will require our global institutions to be totally reinvented from the ground up as many of these were designed for a totally different era. The challenge is there for us all as this requires a massive values shift in the global population at all levels if this move is to succeed over time.

In the coming months we will be selecting a number of countries representing the different values mixes in order to better illustrate how these values combine in positioning countries at a particular stage of development. At the same time we believe it will provide the foundation for a better understanding of emerging values by those living in the developed post – modern world.

Alan Tonkin
St Francis Bay, South Africa
1 June, 2008