‘What makes people tick’? New book explains effective use of values in public policy

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be invited to the launch at the RSA of the latest book by Chris Rose, ‘What makes people tick‘, a detailed explanation of the benefits of utilising values based segmentation in gathering insight or running campaigns. The book is now available to buy online here.

Chris Rose has a long track record of campaigning and has previously distilled much of his knowledge into his highly regarded book ‘How to win campaigns‘, of which a well-thumbed copy is naturally on The Campaign Company (TCC) bookshelf.

Starting as Conservation Officer for the London Wildlife Trust responsible for handling planning inquiries and land management he moved on to Friends of the Earth as a campaigner on wildlife, agricultural pesticides and acid rain. In 1985-8 he worked on communications and campaigns for WWF International based in Switzerland. Then from 1988-92 he was Director of Media Natura, a media industry foundation working on environmental communication.Perhaps he became most well-known, when from 1992-8 he was Deputy Executive and Programme Director of Greenpeace UK and Strategic Adviser to Greenpeace International, during the battle over the future of the Brent Spar oil platform. He currently runs Campaign Strategy Ltd.

His latest book ‘What makes people tick‘, details, how the values mapping system developed by Pat Dade and Les Higgins at Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing (CDSM), enables us to look beneath the short-term opinions recorded by pollsters, and cut through the varied behaviours, undertaken for very different reasons, that are all recorded as the same thing by geodemographics such as MOSAIC and ACORN; in order to lay bare the needs, motivations and values that lie beneath and drives much of our individual behaviour, relationships, politics and social dynamics.

Based on a hugely detailed model of the UK population, gathered over 38 years, the CDSM model has been statistically calibrated to fit the internationally validated values measurements of the World Values Survey conducted by Professor Shalom Schwartz at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The differing values Chris describes exists in all countries, and thus the book is an effective guide to be able to recognize Settlers, Prospectors and Pioneers wherever they live.

The publication of the book is timely as it adds to the increasing recognition that surveys based on occupational class designations some of which  date back to the 1920’s and more latterly geodemographics are not enough on their own to understand complex modern society. Recent reports in the Guardian and a forthcoming pamphlet by the IPPR to follow-up their recent report ‘Still partying like it’s 1995‘ on understanding the ‘new sources of dynamism within society’ show the relevance of values research to long-term public policy challenges in public health, community resilience, cohesion and social mobility. They are also helpful in understanding contemporary events such as the recent riots as this blog posting demonstrates.

For experienced values practitioners there will of course be much that you will already know. This book is clearly aimed to introduce the concepts. However Chris said at the book launch that he had enough material already for a more detailed follow-up.

As well as TCC; companies and campaigners, from Greenpeace to Shell, from the National Trust to Unilever, from the US Marines to the BBC and from McDonald’s to Arsenal Football Club, have used the values segments that are described to build strategies that work, in marketing, in environmental change campaigns, in team building and in communications. The book gives examples, principles and also excellent checklists and guidelines to enable others to utilise this form of segmentation too.

A taster of some of the issues it covers is available online in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Expert Resource Centre document: Consultation and Communication in relation to motivational need. The final Chapter 6 of the new book covers this practical guidance in much more detail and it  alone is worth the price of the book!

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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