Voicing Values

Cover image for Voicing Values

This Program offers a new approach for how to do this work by voicing, acting on, and listening to values. Created in partnership with professor Mary Gentile, this Program is based on her Giving Voice to Values (GVV) methodology. GVV is not about persuading people to be more ethical. Instead, it starts from the viewpoint that most people know their values and want to act on them, but they want to do so effectively and successfully. GVV is about using those tools and the space to begin to use them.

Program Overview

This series of Field Manuals was created in partnership with Mary Gentile and is based on her Giving Voice to Values (GVV) methodology. Rather than a focus on ethical analysis, GVV focuses on ethical implementation and asks the question: “WHAT IF I were going to act on my values? What would I say and do? How could I be most effective?”

Over the course of this Program, you’ll learn the GVV approach directly. You’ll learn concepts and tactics that can help you effectively speak up the next time you find yourself in a values conflict. We’ll also create opportunities where you can think about values conflicts from the vantage point of your role as a professional, leader, and a colleague. Finally, we'll ask you to think about your role in shifting the culture of your organization so that employees at all levels can voice their values effectively and be heard when they do.

Key Questions

Why is being able to effectively voice our values particularly important today?

How can we think strategically about values and prepare to effectively voice them?

What kinds of allies do we need to voice our values and when do we need them?

What is the best way to peer coach colleagues who wish to voice their values?

How well are we voicing values at our organizations? And how well are we as individuals and an organization listening when values issues are raised?

Field Manuals

The Voicing Values Program is made up of 5 Field Manuals (our version of an online module). Each one contains a variety of types of content and social exercises culminating in a mini-project, reflection, or debate. Each Field Manual will take you between 30-45 minutes to complete but you can jump on and off at your own pace, as often as you’d like. The deeper learning happens in the discussions with your fellow learners so be sure to check in on the conversations regularly.

  • Values in Context

    Values conflicts will inevitably arise at some point during each of our careers. This first Field Manual introduces the Giving Voice to Values approach to managing values conflicts and sets the context for why voicing values matters today.

  • Values Conflict

    Organizations do not have values. People do. As the central hub for people, HR is bound to get involved in values conflicts when they arise. This Field Manual gets to the root of what values conflicts are and how to see them as a normal part of the modern workplace.

  • Strategic Voice

    Once you’re in a values conflict, how do you get out? Using your voice effectively takes practice and strategic thinking. This Field Manual looks at the most common blocks to voicing values, how we can get in our own way, and how to speak up strategically.

  • Acting on Values

    Thinking strategically about voicing our values is the first part of a bigger process: acting on our values. This Field Manual looks at tools that can help us when we move into action, from reframing values conflicts so they can become productive to enlisting allies.

  • Listening for Values

    As values issues increasingly take a front seat in organizations, we all have a role to play that goes beyond voicing to listening when those issues are raised. This Field Manual is about how to listen—so that values conflicts can truly be addressed.

Case Studies
  • Innovation through Values Conflicts

  • Lessons from HR’s role in the Financial Crisis

  • Voicing Values to Prevent Forward Selling

  • The Values Contract

An excerpt from the Program

We've all been there. We try our best to focus and remain calm in the midst of too many things to do. But we've all had those moments where, despite our best efforts, we simply cannot focus. Watch this animation to find out what's happening and what to do about it.

This Program was created by:

Mary C. Gentile, PhD, is Director of Giving Voice to Values (GVV), Professor of Practice at University of Virginia-Darden School of Business, Senior Advisor at Aspen Institute Business & Society Program, and an independent consultant on management education and leadership development.

Giving Voice to Values is a pioneering business curriculum for values-driven leadership, based and supported at University of Virginia-Darden School of Business, and developed by Gentile with The Aspen Institute as Incubator and founder along with Yale School of Management. It was previously supported at Babson College. GVV has been featured in Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, McKinsey Quarterly, etc. and piloted in more than 1,155 educational institutions and organizations on all seven continents..

From 1985-95, Gentile was faculty member and manager of case research at Harvard Business School. Gentile was one of the principal architects of HBS’s Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Responsibility curriculum. Gentile earned her bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary and her MA and PhD from State University of New York at Buffalo.