Agents of Change
Agents of Change
We've Gotta Talk about Values

We've Gotta Talk about Values

Why exploring personal & institutional values is essential to meaningful change

Hey Changemakers!

As we get ready for our upcoming workshop “The Value Blueprint: Mapping Your Path to Meaningful Work,” I’ve been reflecting a lot on this idea of core values — both our own personal values as well as how this all affects institutional values.

And I’ve decided to re-publish and share with everyone one of the first paid-subscriber-only podcast episodes I recorded, which was entirely about values (first published in its original form here).

In this 25-minute episode, I help frame the importance of doing this values-based self-inquiry and reflection. For me, at the end of the day, being an effective changemakers is essentially all about:

  1. being keenly aware of your core values, and

  2. sticking to those values.

Included in this episode are key questions to ask ourselves about our personal values, a set of questions to ask about our institution’s values, and several resources and ideas to support your own work in this area.

All in all, it boils down to one powerful question:

“How can I bravely and consistently align my own practice and work with my core values?”

Here are the self inquiry reflection questions I mention in this episode:

  • Above all else, what matters most to me?

  • What are some ideas, people, and communities that have shaped my core values and beliefs?

  • How are these values reflected in the work I do within my organization?

  • How might I be complicit in the very thing that I want so desperately to change?

And the institutional inquiry questions I mention:

  • Is my current institution aligned with my own personal values and commitments?

  • If my institution could create an environment based on deeper human values, what would that look like? What changes would need to happen?

  • How can I bravely and consistently align my own practice and work with my core values?

And finally, here are a few of the books, resources, and organizations I refer to:

Note: If you’d like to access a transcript of this episode, you can find the “Transcript” tab at the top of this post.

Interested in Taking a Deeper Dive?

If you find these questions and ideas helpful as you work to bring purpose and intention to your own work, you might want to join us for next month’s workshop: “The Value Blueprint: Mapping Your Path to Meaningful Work.”

Beginning February 15, this will be a 3-week virtual workshop where you will uncover and articulate your own personal core values, and leverage those values to strategically plan your year ahead.


The workshop will include individual reflection, small group breakout rooms, and large group discussions with exercises designed to:

  • Gain clarity on what truly matters to you.

  • Create a strategic blueprint for the year ahead aligned with your values.

  • Gain strategies for integrating your core values into your daily work.

  • Learn to prevent workplace burnout that often comes with values misalignment.

  • Connect with like-minded professionals, share insights, and build a supportive community committed to growth.

Your registration also includes:

  • reflection prompts, practical tools, and ongoing resources to support your values-driven practice beyond the workshop.

Each session in this series will be 90 minutes long and hosted through Zoom.

Registration for this workshop is limited to a small group, so that this time can include lots of discussion, reflection, sharing, and asking questions that are immediately relevant to each participant’s experiences and challenges.


Share Your Thoughts and Questions

I’d love to hear where you are in this values conversation and journey in your own work, so I invite you to share some of your thoughts and questions in the Comments below.

What challenges are you facing? Where is your organization in terms of this values work? Do you feel a gap between your values and the values of your workplace?

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you can be part of the amazing group coming together for The Value Blueprint workshop.

Agents of Change is a reader-supported publication. To support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Paid subscribers receive additional posts, podcast episodes (like this one!) and discussion threads.

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