Agents of Change
Agents of Change
Beyond Buzzwords: How Knowing & Living Your Values is Key to Organizational Success

Beyond Buzzwords: How Knowing & Living Your Values is Key to Organizational Success

A Conversation with Alex Hatcher

Hey Changemakers,

I am so excited to kick off a new series of conversations here at Agents of Change, which gives me an opportunity to bring in the voices, insights, and perspectives of some incredible thinkers doing the work of making change happen. This series of conversations is a great way to celebrate changemakers in action, and learn from the deep experiences of those working in a wide range of organizations and communities.

To kick things off, I’m sharing my recent conversation with Alex Hatcher, an arts & culture consultant with more than 25 years of experience working in community museums, art galleries, and the government sector.

Alex is a Founding Partner with the Hatlie Group, an arts & culture consulting firm based in Edmonton and Calgary, Canada, focusing on strategic planning, project management, and organizational assessment and design. Alex has previously served as the Director of the Musée Héritage Museum in St. Albert, Executive Director of the Alberta Museums Association, and Director of Site Operations for Alberta Culture and Tourism’s Historic Sites and Museums division.

I connected with Alex in connection to my work on core values and the upcoming workshop that begins next week, and it was fantastic to be able to speak with her about her own research and practice on this issue.

Our conversation hit on some key ideas, including:

  • How core values can be a foundation for building a sustainable organization.

  • Why it is so important to involve staff, board members, and volunteers in the process of developing an organization’s core values.

  • How we can put our values into action and bring them into our organizational practice.

  • The importance of developing a values-based hiring process for your organization.

In addition to diving into these vital topics, Alex also shared some very practical tools and strategies that I think are key for our work as changemakers:

  1. SHIFT Card Deck: Alex has worked to develop a simple, effective deck of cards that outlines an integrated system of 81 values. This provides managers and team leaders with a concrete tool they can use to begin a process of exploring and clarifying organizational values. There are also many other similar tools available that can help you get started.

  2. REFLECTION: For those just beginning this values journey, Alex invites you to think about times in your work when you felt really good, or remember an amazing program or project. What was at the core of that? What made it so amazing? Keep a list when you have these experiences, and see what themes and commonalities emerge. This can tell you a lot about your values and the values you have within your organization.

I am thrilled I could kick off this conversation series with such an incredible leader in the arts and culture field. I am grateful for Alex taking the time to share her work and practice with the Agents of Change community.

If you want to connect with Alex Hatcher and learn more about her work, here are the best ways to do that:

Get Started Now - Values Workshop

If you listened to this conversation with Alex and you were interested in getting started in this values work, then check out my upcoming workshop, “The Value Blueprint: Mapping Your Path to Meaningful Work.” Through this 3-part virtual workshop, we’re going to engage in strategies to define and clarify your own personal core values and build a strategic roadmap for the year ahead that aligns with those values. We’ll also explore ways that this values-based work can help address burnout and overwork.

The workshop series begins on February 15, and registration is still open. We have an amazing group of changemakers already signed up, but we have a few slots still open!


If you are interested in joining but can’t make one of the sessions, please feel free to email me at The workshop will include asynchronous components, but I’m also open to organizing an online check in as needed, for those who have to miss a session. I understand how busy work life can be!

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And if you are curious to know more about some of the different kinds of services I do - including the creative work I do with nature and place-based arts nonprofits, have a look at my project page and services page.

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Agents of Change
Agents of Change
Bringing human-centered change to museums, nonprofits and beyond