Blog post

Stepping Back to Think

Interviews with people at the Common Cause Lunch in Brussels

In Brussels, we try to meet regularly to discuss theory and practice of values and frames during lunchtime. On 21 November, we had the pleasure to welcome Rich Hawkins from PIRC in the European capital. Over the past few months, many more people showed interest in Common Cause, so this was an opportunity for us to refresh our knowledge about the use of values and frames and to introduce new comers to the concept. Individuals from ActionAid and Cooperatives Europe shared their impressions:

What inspired you most during the lunch workshop and introduction to values and frames?

“The opportunity to take stock, step back, and discuss work in a deeper context; the schemes of the Common Cause Handbook translate values into graspable tools with which we can evaluate our daily lives – professional and personal. The moments of exchange and dialogue between the participants was especially gratifying – relaxed and true.”

“Quite a number of things, among which:

- The fact that talking about intrinsic values breeds more talk about them, something which gives me a whole lot of hope!

- The quote from Margaret Thatcher to the effect that her greatest success was Tony Blair (really says a lot).

- Just the need to press pause on the tape and rethink everything we’re doing along the lines of working together on values and frames.”

How will you be able to use values and frames to enhance intrinsic values in your everyday work?

“The session really helped me to think about the obsession of NGOs with messaging and how our messaging often leaves intrinsic values behind. As part of the ActionAid international campaigns and advocacy team, I can really use this to challenge what we’re doing and step back and think through our strategies more clearly.”

“The application of values in the process / the journey, as well as a shift away from purely results-oriented approaches to professional tasks, is one I have been seeking for many years. The Common Cause approach allows for a translation of this into the concrete, especially when it comes to convincing colleagues to broaden and deepen their approach.”

What do you find difficult about the concept of fostering intrinsic values to build a more sustainable, equitable and democratic society?

“Results-oriented approaches to life, to work, neglect the crucial importance of the ‘HOW,’ which determine as much the result(s).”

“The most difficult thing is getting the face-to-face time with people to get the broad-based buy in for what is such an obvious approach! When you get one hour with people, you can do it, but you rarely, if ever, get that time.”

Thank you very much for answering our questions.