Archive for February, 2011

Measuring Needs and Motivations for the new Public Health Agenda

February 18, 2011

Having recently blogged about the Values Gap and also the connection between Values and occupational class, I now want to address the issue of “needs” in more detail. After all politicians and those delivering public policy will say they wish to meet people’s needs as have political philosophers in the past, some of whom have argued for the distribution of resources “to each according to their needs“.

Thus understanding needs is really important; but when we talk about them, are we clear what we mean by them?

Looking at history one might speculate whether a past lack of clarity as to all the human needs that required satisfaction could have led to some substantial political and policy blunders? For example if someone had been in a position of influence and held inner directed values, viewing things from the prism of their own values might possibly have prevented them from fully appreciating that those who have yet to even satisfy outer directed needs, might not have responded to their no-doubt well-intentioned exhortations to seek to immediately move to satisfying similar inner directed needs to themself. Thus instead of securing dynamic change in line with the expectation of ones values, one might have ended up with a Values Gap and the demotivation of those who held different values!

Therefore whatever the varying views on how public policy should develop in the coming years, perhaps we should all have a shared understanding of what we mean by “needs“, in order to more effectively debate together the various ways of addressing them.

Some key approaches in Needs Theory

To most psychologists, need is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a goal, giving purpose and direction to behavior. Needs themselves evolve as a result of economic situation, life-cycle, social network and circumstance.

Maslow: A Theory of Motivation

The most widely known academic model of needs was proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow. In his Theory of Motivation, he proposed that individuals have a broad hierarchy of psychological needs, which range from basic physiological needs like safety through to self-esteem through to self-actualization – though I think self-activity or autonomy are a better description of that latter term – that they then seek to satisfy. The British Values Survey draws much from this academic and theoretical source as well as from Shalom Schwarz’s World Values Survey.

Maslow’s hierarchy is often drawn as a pyramid with one need progressing to another in an upward direction from a base. Unfortunately, I think this shape tends to represent a lot of its use in the very Outer Directed United States for self-help and management theory, which through the prism of that values set sees the achievement of needs in particularly individualistic terms. Indeed past surveys have shown over 50% in the U.S hold these values as their primary value set compared to 30% in the UK.

My own personal view, based on utilising this typology of needs in very practical terms for research insight and policy interventions, is that the satisfaction of those needs is equally a collective action problem which then assists motivated self-help. Thus I would see the same order of needs as Maslow explained in his Theory; but this time framed in the shape of an inverted pyramid operating more as a “pit of demotivation”. I subsequently discovered that the academic John Adair had already made a similar inversion of the pyramid (Leadership and Motivation, 2006, pages 28-30), making the important point that the traditional pyramid shape:

“makes it look as if our greatest needs are in the lower ranges, and that they narrow in size as you progress up the pyramid. But physiological needs, for example, are limited; you can only eat so many meals a day. In fact there are fewer limitations the further up you go. Therefore if you persist with the pyramid model, it makes more sense to invert it..”

The advantage of this alternative design is that it:

  • Makes it clearer that to get people up the sides of the “pit” one needs supportive personal social networks as well as other forms of collective action including the enabling hand of the public, private and voluntary sectors working in partnership.
  • Re-frames what is traditionally visually presented as an achievement “hierarchy” into something more akin to an equalities challenge in order to seek to secure support for tackling this in public policy terms.

In making the latter point I would agree with Dan Pink’s view of psychological needs in his book Drive, that we all have the potential to display forms of inner directed values early on in life with the right nurture that satisfies needs. However the social networks people inhabit and the social norms those networks generate, could hold back or prevent individuals satisfying various needs so one could start at the bottom of the “pit” and either take longer time to get to the top of it or indeed never reach the top of it in terms of needs satisfaction!

To give an example, nowadays, for many self-esteem and the esteem of others might be something we address the most in our childhood,  teenage years and early adulthood, through educational attainment and our development of our own strong personal social networks separate from our parents. However for some people esteem needs may remain an unsatisfied need throughout all of adult life. This then might inhibit the satisfaction of other needs too.

Reframing the hierarchy as a Pit rather than pyramid makes it clear that, in motivational or self-efficacy terms, for some people, self-help is not enough and the satisfaction of their needs is a challenge for public policy to support and enable them.

Gough and Doyal: A Theory of Human Need

A second view of need is the work of political economy professor Ian Gough. He has published on the subject of human needs in the context of social assistance provided by the welfare state. With medical ethics professor Len Doyal, he also published A Theory of Human Need.

This book was also strongly referred to as a theoretical base in the Young Foundation Report on Britain’s unmet needs: “Sinking or Swimming” which was  published in 2009. It is very good starting point in understanding current social needs and it is important to be aware of it as it may contribute to the development of the baseline for developing outcomes for future public health and wider public policy issues.

Gough and Doyal’s view goes beyond the emphasis on psychology: an individuals needs are representative of the costs of being human within society. A summary of their views is below:

In the view of Gough and Doyal, each person has an objective interest in avoiding serious harm that prevents the endeavor to attain his or her vision of what’s good, no matter what that is exactly. This attempt requires the ability to participate in the societal setting in which an individual lives. More specifically, each person needs to have both physical health and personal autonomy. The latter refers to the capacity to make informed choices about what should be done and how to implement that. This requires mental health, cognitive skills, and chances to participate in society’s activities and collective decision-making.

How are such needs satisfied? Doyal and Gough point to eleven broad categories of “intermediate needs” that define how the need for physical health and personal autonomy are fulfilled:

1. Adequate nutritional food and water
2. Adequate protective housing
3. A safe environment for working
4. A supply of clothing
5. A safe physical environment
6. Appropriate health care
7. Security in childhood,
8. Significant primary relationships with others
9. Physical security
10. Economic security
11. Safe birth control and child-bearing
12. Appropriate basic and cross-cultural education.

How are the details of needs satisfaction determined? The authors point to rational identification of needs using the most up-to-date scientific knowledge; the use of the actual experience of individuals in their everyday lives; and democratic decision-making. The satisfaction of human needs cannot be imposed “from above”.

It is interesting to note that the Gough and Doyal approach seems to focus on areas where the intervention addresses ability rather than motivation. For many of our current public health challenges it is the latter as much as the former that needs to be addressed and the more psychological Maslow approach may thus prove equally relevant. However it is right that there is further debate on these approaches to understanding needs and in any case there is much overlap between them.

Whatever approach to needs one develops from this debate, this will all remain just academic theory unless those in public policy have a more developed and objective way in future to measure the impact of their interventions in terms of satisfying needs, that goes well beyond the prism of values driven judgments.

The role of Values Based Segmentation in understanding Needs

What comes out of our work with values based segmentation is the greater emphasis in our methodology on understanding how people are satisfying immediate needs that are directly relevant to them.

Values based segmentation is a useful measure of where society is, at any given point, in satisfying its needs as well as the motivations and values that are derived from them.

Segmentation that understands “Needs, Motivation and Values” in order to address the “why” of behaviour in order to better change it, is in future likely to prove very useful to public bodies.

Needs are the base from which people then express their Values.  Some communities are still seeking to satisfy needs in terms of safety and security and communications need to address the values that derive from those needs far more in order to be able to have an effective two-way conversation. It enables us to gain insight into those communities where, for example, its economic development is being held back by unsatisfied needs around safety and security so that a range of new approaches are needed to develop new needs within communities to influence values to increase levels of motivation. and community resilience.

Values based segmentation can help create baselines for metrics as well as measuring subsequent outcomes. It could therefore provide useful insight for pilot programmes within the new Public Health Service in terms of contributing to the new Public Health Outcomes Framework.

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer for The Campaign Company. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

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Nudges and Public Health – getting the context right

February 15, 2011

In all the publicity recently over the challenges faced by the Government’s Big Society Agenda and its relaunch with a speech by the Prime Minister yesterday; another report questioning some aspects of the Government’s behaviour change agenda was perhaps a little overlooked.

The Guardian recently reported that the Government Nudge agenda, mixing Libertarian Paternalism with Behavioural Economics, was also being queried in a report in the British Medical Journal. This is important  to take note of as the use of various types of approach to behaviour change will in future be a key issue in the Government’s Public Health agenda. The article said:

“Meanwhile doctors warn today in the British Medical Journal that the government’s strategy of “nudging” people to adopt healthier lifestyles will not solve major public health problems such as obesity, smoking and alcohol misuse. They say the use of nudges to affect human behaviour is based on “weak” evidence and could ultimately prove harmful if it means ministers ignore other tactics.

“Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, has courted controversy by deciding to rely on nudges as a new way of tackling public health problems arising from people making unhealthy choices. They are defined as anything that does not include coercing people or exerting financial pressure on them to behave in certain ways. Examples include displaying healthy food more prominently in canteens and supermarkets rather than sweets, and people having to opt out of organ donation schemes.

“Public health experts, led by Professor Theresa Marteau from Cambridge University, say “nudging has captured the imagination of the public, researchers and policy makers as a way of changing human behaviour”.

“But, they say: “At present the evidence to support the view that nudging alone can improve population health is weak. Indirect harm might arise if an emphasis on nudging resulted in neglect of population level interventions that were potentially more effective”.

“In a separate editorial in today’s BMJ public health specialists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine warn that nudging may lead to “muddled public health and wasted resources” and is based on the “explicitly self-contradictory concept” of “libertarian paternalism”.

The BMJ has raised an important series of issues, which we are well aware of. Indeed over the last six months a number of us at TCC have written other postings here making a range of points about the use of Nudges. These are worth flagging up:

In conclusion it is worth strongly reiterating the point I make in one of those postings:

The most important lesson from this research is to gather the deep information to ensure one uses the right mix of tools to deliver an effective intervention through a clear understanding of the context that existing behaviour operates within. So before deploying Nudge, Think, Steer and all the other one word behaviour change solutions that are on offer, the fundamental prior action is also one word – “Insight”!

Charlie Mansell is the Research and Development Officer at The Campaign Company. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

Occupational Class and Values: we nowadays need to study both

February 10, 2011

TCC have used a wide range of segmentation for both its quantitative and qualitative research. This has included standard geo-demographics such as gender, ethnicity, occupational class and geographical region. In work with local government and health clients we also have utilised both Experian’s MOSAIC and Health ACORN. All of these have provided valuable insights.

As much of our work involved behavioural interventions, whether this was around health, sustainability or communications, we increasingly came to the conclusion that geo-demographics could tell you much about “how” people behaved the way they did, but not “why” they behaved that way.

We needed to explore in a far more in-depth way, how needs and motivations that influenced values then led to the behaviour and subsequent opinions that was subsequently measured as an outcome by the other systems. We thus came to the conclusion that we needed additional forms of segmentation to gather that in-depth insight required and recognised that values based segmentation seemed to be the system that most satisfied our requirements.

There are increasing numbers of practitioners working with academic and commercial systems for mapping motivational values. These divide any population or audience according to its dominant needs and motivations at that point in time, rather than other categories such as age, sex, wealth, class, geography, behaviour or ethnicity.

As such these “psychographic‟ forms of segmentation provide a way to test, develop or execute any communication starting from common motivation, rather than communication efforts which start with audiences defined by other categories and then attempt to add the motivating qualities to an “ask” or offer in order to get a particular result, whether in terms of interest, awareness, alignment, engagement or behavioural action.

In recent years such systems have been used in devising communications, analysing social change, marketing, brand strategy, product development, campaign planning and “social marketing” , by many major companies ranging from BMW and CISCO to Unilever; by football clubs and broadcasters and by NGOs ranging from the National Trust to Greenpeace.

However the Public Sector, focused as it is on providing the sort of services, such as education, that in behavioural terms assist people’s ability, has been slower to take up segmentation designed to assist it in supporting their motivation. This is now changing as the new challenges the public services face change themselves.

TCC have used values based segmentation in areas that have included health social marketing campaigns as well as examining in-depth those segments of the public most vulnerable to anti-community cohesion messages, through to researching usage of the Internet by various values groups, where differences are very wide.

Values based segmentation is also being increasingly utilised for looking at public policy issues and is now even advocated by commentators as a key aspect of attempting various types of social and behavioural change.

An example of this is the area of climate change. IPPR and most recently the World Wildlife Fund with their document “Common Cause” have produced reports that utilise values based segmentation and analysis. In response I have blogged that we need to ensure that the effective promotion of intrinsic values is developed further.

However, so far this increasingly utilised form of segmentation has not featured in public opinion polling.

One reason is that occupational class is still seen as the only way to segment some of the drivers for political polling; perhaps because of a residual recognition of the economic class history of the major political parties, despite them both at various times seeking to reach out and recruit support from beyond their traditional occupational class base.

The occupational class definitions used are themselves based on economic classifications that were established in 1921, four years after the 1917 Russian Revolution and five years before the 1926 General Strike at a time when traditional class consciousness was part of the common currency of almost all political discourse, in a way that a majority of people, living in greater social and economic comfort might find somewhat less resonant now.

Once upon a time all politicians talked confidently of class. It seemed a very real thing, almost as physical difference as the difference in age, sex and ethnicity. Class had an intellectual underpinning in applied economic theories, and was crystallised in the very marked tribal politics of left and right. For example in the 1950’s polling surveys showed between 63-75% of those occupationally defined as working and middle classes voting for parties that represented their particular economic interest. However since the 1970’s academics have talked of partisan de-alignment and this has reflected a shift in occupational class membership and voting patterns too. Peter Kellner of the pollsters YouGov recently remarked:

“…except for the very richest and the very poorest, workers by hand (C2DE) and brain (ABC1) tend to visit the same shopping centres, use the same hospitals, grapple with the same mortgage-lenders, get stuck in the same traffic jams, subscribe to the same Sky packages and fret over the same taxes, crimes and insecurities. They view politicians of all parties through the same jaundiced eyes.”

Although much distinctive class difference has dissolved over recent decades, notions of class and socio-economic groups persist as ways of putting people into categories used to formulate public policy, design services and most of all, conduct political debate. Socio-economic stratification, typically seen as a proxy for class, has been the main underpinning of polling and opinion gathering since the 1960s.

However this looks like it might change. Increasingly old classifications are proving inadequate on their own as society gets more complex and old social demarcations dissolve in the light of a wider and more complicated spread of wealth across the generations, educational attainment, globalisation, migration and rapid technological change.

Having worked in the field of values based segmentation for the last few years, we noted that Peter Kellner in a recent article for YouGov recognised the importance of measuring values in politics by further saying:

“class is dead. Basing an election campaign on voters’ social class is almost as daft as basing it on hair colour or shoe size. Today’s determinants of political triumph are values, trust and competence”

‘Over the long-term, two different but related things have happened. Not only have working-class numbers shrunk – today they comprise just 43% of the electorate – but class has largely lost its significance as a determinant of votes.’

However despite these very strong words, it is interesting to note that YouGov have yet to publish values based segmentation results in their own polling. One of the reasons for this may be that, unlike occupational classifications – often set by Government or academic institutions – there is currently no widely agreed values set. However this may change as pollsters look at standard typologies such as the World Values Survey that the British Values Survey is based on.

Having spent years collecting this occupational class data, I am certainly not suggesting it now be jettisoned. Indeed, I think it should continue to be collected to show further evidence, to those people, perhaps at either end of the political spectrum, still hoping we might go back to some of the ideological battles of the past, that occupational class is just not the same as it was in the 1950’s when class segregation was more explicitly pronounced.

In the same way that in some countries, information on caste, religion and rural/urban divide is collected, occupational class is sociologically important to record in this country where class has clearly been a big economic and political divider in the past and where we still need to study how it is changing. At the same time Values based segmentation itself can, of course, be mapped across occupational classifications so one can easily gather both types of data.

For example, whilst a higher proportion of the AB socio-economic group (managerial and professional occupations) are outer directed and inner directed  than for the population as a whole, 20% are sustenance driven. For the socio-economic group C1 (clerical non-managerial occupations) the Values split almost mirrors the population as a whole – 40% inner directed, 30% outer directed, 30% sustenance driven.

The implication of this is that a C1 discussion group recruited to understand motivational triggers for a behaviour change campaign, actually results in purely random attitudinal findings. Put another way round a recruiter might as well have recruited randomly from the population as a whole. The results of either methodology have an almost equal likelihood of being the same, yet recruiting C1s to understand certain attitudes is standard practice for many polling organisations.

Some might argue that understanding class is still vitally crucial as it is driven by economics and that has an impact on social status. Values also respond to economics and socio-economic status, because they are based on understanding people’s actual needs – often driven directly by economic factors – and their motivations around those needs. Whilst 20% of people with sustenance and security values are AB in occupational class terms – often with values seeking to “protect what they have secured” – by far the largest group of them are naturally those in DE socio-economic group.

Where values really add to our insight, is that they go further than just a reliance on traditional class based analysis, in explaining why people behave as they do when they do not seem to act according to their economic status or class interests and are influenced by other issues such as fear of migration.

Our current research sees the importance of people’s social networks and type of social capital as having a significant impact on the development and reinforcement of values, however we are at early days in that research so far and will be reporting more on it here in the future.

There are two things that could be done now to take the values based segmentation agenda forward:

1. That quantitative data is collected that lists ID/OD/SD (inner directed, outer directed, sustenance driven) as a standard measurement in the same way that AB/C1/C2/DE is recorded.

2. There should later be a debate across professional polling bodies  such as the British Polling Council to propose a standard way of collecting agreed values based data, similar to the use of national occupational classifications, so the material is of common use to academics and in public policy debates and interventions.

The debate should not be about whether to continue to collect data on occupational class. This will still be of interest to look at long-term trends that build on the valuable data already collected. The debate is now much more about the recognition that in order to understand people’s needs and motivations in a complex, modern society, it requires an understanding of values as well as class.

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer for The Campaign Company. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

The Values Gap

February 8, 2011

I write a lot about the need to understand values because often there is a mismatch between the values of the people in public bodies and the values of the public as a whole. This “Values Gap” can lead to misunderstanding and even worse a loss of trust between those delivering services and those receiving them. In this posting I will give some examples from recent research that TCC have conducted.

The British Values Survey measures the values of around 8,000 people every two years by asking them up to 1,000 questions.  The broad distribution of the UK population across the three primary values groups is represented in the diagram below: 40% Pioneer (inner directed), 30% Prospector (outer directed) and 30% Settler (security and sustenance driven):

Figure 1: Distribution of Values

The short Values Modes questionnaire on our website has been used by in a number of test surveys of audiences made up primarily of public and voluntary sector professionals.  Below, we can see that the vast majority of these are Pioneers.

Figure 2 - Values survey of a group of people mainly working in the public sector

This split emphasises a trend that we have found in a lot of our work across the country – that a large proportion of senior staff, particularly within the public sector, share the same values. Below is another example from a survey we conducted at a recent conference of public service practitioners.

Figure 3 - Values Survey conducted at a recent conference mainly comprising people who work in the public sector

This preponderance of inner directed people within the higher reaches of the public sector is in many ways a positive thing in that Pioneers tend to be optimistic about the possibility for change and share a motivation to improve society as a whole.  However, if 60% of the population do not share these values, and are not motivated by the same things, this can often lead to a “Values Clash”.  If we don’t share, or at least understand other peoples’ values, how can we successfully communicate with them or influence their behaviour? It should also be added this is not just an external issue for organisations and who they engage with, but also presents challenges within very large public sector bodies, when staff in various roles might hold different values.
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Below are common examples of a Values Clash that may arise from this Values Gap:
  • Big issue vs little issue. Pioneers want to communicate about issues such as economic regeneration, whilst Settlers might want to talk about graffiti or broken glass.
  • Big community vs little community. Pioneers want to talk about City/region-wide improvements.  Settlers, with a more localised sense of community, just feel this demonstrates ‘other areas get everything’.
  • Optimism vs pessimism. Pioneers tend to believe things can improve in an area while Settlers just think that this optimism demonstrates just how little they ‘get them’ and their reality.
  • Modernisation vs ‘staying the same. Whereas Pioneers may see change as a positive, many people see the past, and everything that came with it, as a ‘better’ time.

As can be seen from the above, these clashes are likely to lead to challenges for public bodies in achieving effective outcomes in key areas such as:

  • Public Health behaviour change
  • Other forms of Behaviour Change – eg environmental, transport, educational etc
  • Big/Civil Society involvement
  • Service Transformation
  • Cohesive Communities

In order to both understand the Values Gap and respond to a Values Clash it is thus important to be able to gather insight into the values of target communities as well as develop a range of values informed communications that engage with people in the right way.

Charlie Mansell is the Research and Development Officer at The Campaign Company. I am grateful to TCC colleague Matthew Upton and former TCC colleague Majeed Neky for their survey work and helpful suggestions that contributed to this posting. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

Fear and loathing…and Police Maps

February 2, 2011

The publication of all English crime data on the Police Maps website has perhaps not led to quite the reaction that the government expected.

Indeed there has been a lot of anger from people who are finding that their locality, rightly or wrongly, has been indicated to be a crime hotspot. This is not just about the technical issues, but also about the public perceptions of their community.

Publishing information to aid transparency over the use of public finances is, of course, a good thing. Better decisions can be made with more information in front of people.

However in this case information can play strongly to people’s emotions. People might be more fearful and also angry, when their permission has not been sought to display the information that directly affects them, their locality and even potentially the value of their home.

So could this issue have been presented better? We would argue yes.

The Government transparency agenda is very comprehensive and could drive efficiency and better value for money in the public finances. Private contractors and senior public servants are in receipt of public funds and should be held accountable for their receipt of it. Hospitals and schools deliver a public service and their performance can be measured too, in order to assist the public when it comes to making important life choices.The Police should be measured too, but is their performance better measured by things such as clear-up rate and percentage of time spent on the beat?

The problem with crime maps is that they are not just a measure of the performance of the police, but also a measure of the community the crime occurs in. Crime maps are not just a league table of the Police; they are also a league table of communities! Members of the public are, in general, not in receipt of public funds and their permission has not been sought as to publishing the measurement of crime in their community.

People’s values would have counted when considering reactions to this site. The Government’s provision was presumably aimed at responding to those with safety and security values – who have a strong fear of crime and might perceive an area in decline and wanting good old-fashioned policing to tackle it. The Government was presumably working on the assumption that providing information, along with the new electorally accountable Police Commissioners would respond to their fears and enable them to use their vote to in future influence local Policing priorities.

Those with inner directed values, might have seen the information as interesting to know, but it would not drive their overall reaction to crime in their area. Often they already dominate many community bodies and will be networked into others who are regularly involved in Police engagement forums and thus will already have some access to information sources.

Where the government may have angered people, is those who hold outer directed values. For them the choice of community they live in is important to how they view themselves. If that community is tarred as a crime hot-spot, they may see it as a criticism of the choices they made and an attack on their esteem.

Thus the problem is that the communicating of maps has been to one segment of the community, but may have angered another.

What could have been done to avoid this problem? A more phased approach might have gone like this:

1. The website could have been established with local authority level data as well as comparison between each Police force. After all future elected Police Commissioners will need to be measured as to how their force compares to others.

2. As well as mapping crime the Police should have looked at their fear of crime figures and mapped them too down to local community level too. In addition, mapping the values of communities would illustrate where certain values are most likely to be fearful of crime. It would also enable them to map concentrations of those who would hold values regarding how their community is perceived. This could have enabled local Policing not just to be targeted on crime hotspots, but also in a more effective reassurance to those who fear crime. It would also have enabled them to communicate more effectively to those localities where perceptions of the area count too.

3. The Police now have a vast resource of Safer Neighbourhood Teams in every local government electoral ward in England. These could have engaged with their local community, to see how much local data they actually wanted and at what level the information should be in the wider public domain outside that community. This approach would have then seen the localism the government claims it wants to see put seriously into practice. An example of a more evolutionary approach that was also launched this week is the new Who Owns my Neighbourhood site, which should help with the Government’s new Community Right to Buy process. Instead of all the data being added at once and overloading people, the information here will be build up by local people themselves.

Communicating transparency as well as budget driven change is not just a challenge for national government. Local government will bear the brunt in saving money in a very high profile way in the coming months. Many laudable things will be done to save money so frontline services are preserved and the public are not directly inconvenienced.

However in the rush of enthusiasm to show this, there are likely to be some public relations disasters. Let me show you a recent example from Redditch, where the Council are proposing to heat a swimming pool from the heat generated by a crematorium. For some people this might seem a very rational and objective thing to do to save money. Some with inner directed values might argue there is a good environmental case to do this and indeed we might need to find more ways to reduce our use of carbon.

However one can easily see that for many who hold different values, this might seem like a huge affront. Death in the family is a relatively rare thing as well as being very emotional. Thinking that a ritual to help people to come to terms with a loss of a loved one was being used simply to save money for a Council, is likely to anger some people who might have been recently bereaved.

This again illustrates the need to understand the values within a community. As I have blogged previously difficult messages do need to be communicated to the right people in the right way, often to simply reassure some people that the tough decisions many Council’s will make are the most appropriate one in the current circumstances.

Charlie Mansell is the Research and Development Officer at The Campaign Company. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.