A Fresh Perspective: Values and Leadership A Conversation with Alan Tonkin

Russ Volckmann

Alan TonkinAlan Tonkin is the Chairman and CEO of the Global Values Network (GVN) is an international consulting business committed to the practical use of the Values Technology originally developed by Professor Clare Graves in the 50’s and further developed by Dr. Don Beck over the last 30 years from the early 70’s.

The Global Values Monitor (GVM) developed and owns the unique proprietary technology providing the capacity to map global values under the umbrella of the recently introduced WorldSCAN project and is an integral part of the GVN structure.

Dr. Beck is closely involved with the GVN in the further development of the GVM WorldSCAN Values Mapping approach as well as other practical applications using the values technology. Current GVN initiatives include a values mapping exercise in the South East Asia region, a EuroSCAN as well as a similar project in Southern Africa covering the SADEC Region which may still be further extended.

Russ VolckmannQ: By way of background would you tell us about how you met and worked with Don Beck in South Africa?

A: I first met Don when a colleague of mine on the board of MS&A invited him to visit our company in South Africa during 1980. Don came out and conducted a series of workshops with our senior executives to explain how values technology (Spiral Dynamics) worked. Following the workshops we saw that there were major benefits in using this approach and asked Don to work with us on an ongoing basis. The result was that we put a whole system in place throughout the organization in order to support this approach.

You must also remember that at that time in South Africa there was massive change taking place at all levels of our society. Both organized business and government realized that there had to be major changes in the way South Africa was organized and run. In moving forward as a company we were able to demonstrate how this approach could be used effectively not only in business but also in all facets of daily life.

Don Beck continued to visit South Africa for us and others on a regular basis over the period from the early 80’s to mid-90’s and we developed a number of other innovative initiatives together over this time. It was during this time that Don and I developed a number of the concepts which were subsequently later incorporated into the Global Values Network and its web site which looks at the practical applications of values technology in day to day life from organizations to the individual.

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