The Values Challenge - RSA

THE VALUES CHALLENGE: a collaborative initiative by the RSA, the Forward Institute and the UK Values Alliance

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Talk about values is everywhere – values in public life, values in education, values in the social media, values in business are all current hot topics – and there’s one thing that’s very clear in all that talk. Everyone has, or claims to have, excellent values, but sadly those values are so often lost sight of and trampled in the mud. This is true for individuals and for organisations alike.

This was the theme of “Closing the Values Gap”, a provocative lunchtime panel discussion at the RSA last Monday. Values need to be aligned with actions. They need to be put into practice, not just paid lip service. As one of the panellists, Alison Cottrell the CEO of the Banking Standards Board, acutely observed: ‘You don't change people just by putting up words in the lobby'

The panel discussion was held to draw attention to the Values Challenge, an initiative of the RSA, the Forward Institute and the UK Values Alliance.  On or before World Values Day on 19th October this year, groupsand organisations of all kinds will take part in this intensive one-hour session which will help them close this gap between the values that are aspired to and what actually happens in practice.

Many big organisations in the public and private sector have already shown interest in taking part, but the Values Challenge is every bit as relevant for medium and small sized groups and organisations too. They can be anywhere in the UK or indeed anywhere around the world. They just need to be interested in becoming a better, more harmonious and more productive group or organisation. 

The sessions kick off with a stimulating RSA Animate sequence which sets the scene for the discussion and enquiry that follow, and are designed to be engaging and easy to run, with a full resource pack that will be sent well in advance to everyone registering for the Challenge on the World Values Day website.   

All those who think their own group or organisation might be interested, please get in touch with the World Values Day team at, or just go ahead and register on the  World Values Day website

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  • There are very few issues in leadership that are as important as establishing "congruence" between the declared/aspirational values of an organisation and the workplace habits of all in the community.

    Our contribution to this work has recently been published for educators and school leaders in the US. Take a look at the "ten dimensions of holistic leadership". Available at