In the values-based decision-making work that GMAC employees completed, a variety of real-world issues were addressed. Below is a sampling of these issues along with some of the thinking produced by using the Six Value Medals framework. In the interest of brevity—and, at times, confidentiality—only one idea per medal per focus is shown; however, many additional points were recorded and impacted conclusions.
Focus #1: Integrate departments within the organization
Silver: Reduce expenses by eliminating redundancy in stand alones (positive value)
Gold: Reduction in staff due to leveraging of resources/expertise (negative value)
Steel: Improve channel-specific products by understanding success/failures of other departments (positive value)
Glass: Identify new markets through cross knowledge (positive value)
Wood: Increase charitable contributions with combined operations (positive value)
Brass: Appearance of proactive decisive company (positive value)
Conclusion: Move forward with the project
Discoveries: “Sometimes it is difficult to examine and come up with all the particulars …. Also, one or more values may be negative, meaning when we looked that direction, we saw consequences that would produce negative results.” Laurie Smith, (Vice President, Personal Lines Claims)
Focus #2: All field reps must drive a hybrid vehicle
Silver: Higher initial expenses for the company (negative value)
Gold: Employees happier with what they drive (positive value)
Steel: Estimates for damage will be more accurate because the FCR will be more focused on doing a good job since they are happier (positive value)
Glass: Employees encouraged to think about ways to be more eco-friendly in their jobs (positive value)
Wood: Economy is boosted with such a large purchase of vehicles (positive value)
Brass: Great PR for the company which would now be seen as eco friendly (positive value)
Conclusion: Based on the values, the project should continue. It is an overall positive value.
Plans for the Future: “I will use the Six Value Medals in the future whenever I’m making decisions – whether it be at home or at work. I tend to only look at Gold and Brass. This has now helped me broaden my mind to other factors that definitely play into decision making.” Dina Pember, (Internal Brand Manager)
Focus #3: Should call center stop selling product X
Silver: Rental expenses will decrease (positive value)
Gold: Frustration/Apprehension of call center staff (negative value)
Steel: Better communication about process for customer (positive value)
Glass: Have a robot to handle the claim (positive value)
Wood: Employees on road more would create more pollution from vehicle usage (negative value)
Brass: Will take longer to serve customers and they may see us as difficult to work with (negative value)
Conclusion: This is something we should explore and implement. We should review the Wood Values and see how we could create more positive values there …
Learnings: “[Using the medals] helps us take a proposal and think of issues and impacts for everyone involved and then be able to assess what steps should be taken. It gives a “big-picture” view to analyze. It gives us negatives to review up front so we can create action plans to lessen the impact of those negatives.” Robin Moore, (Claims Manager)
Focus #4: Impact of Eliminating Company Cars
Silver: Significant cost savings
Gold: Eliminate need for rep to have to keep up with company car maintenance when they already have 1 or 2 other vehicles of their own to maintain/drive
Steel: Ability to reallocate capital to areas where it is needed
Wood: May increase company’s ability to give to charitable organizations due to savings realized by not having company cars.
Brass: Investors see the move to eliminate company cars as a positive to bottom-line results
Conclusion: Silver/Steel were the two dominant values. The other values were each a net low positive (almost neutral). This proposal would seem like something senior mgt may want to consider in the future if expenses continue to rise.
Learnings: “That all values need to be equally considered and then prioritized according to their overall impact and importance to the focus statement objective. The framework makes it easier to be open minded to all ideas, values, and the variety of people involved directly and indirectly in the decision making process.” Scott Douglas, (Claims Manager)
After reviewing all of the data generated by participants applying the Six Values Medal framework back on the job, Michael makes these observations:
“People have a lot of aha moments as they use the framework and often I hear ‘I never thought of that’ or ‘I didn’t realize there were these points.’ They’re able to make much stronger decisions after using the framework. In groups, one key benefit is that the people involved are able to get everything out on the table at one time, both positive and negative, by going through each medal. People are more committed to the final decision since their ideas were considered and they helped review and prioritize all of the values that influenced the outcome.
“I’ve also learned that practical uses of the Six Value Medals go beyond work. Many people report either using or planning to use the tools to sort out family decisions, plan a job search, conduct discussions at church meetings, manage community affairs, and so on. People observe that they have more confidence in the decisions they make because there is less likelihood of running into unwanted consequences they haven’t anticipated.
“Before I learned about Six Value Medals, I certified to teach Lateral Thinking, Dr. de Bono’s tool set for generating innovative ideas, and this is what prompted me to explore the Six Value Medals. We needed a way to assess and prioritize the many ideas we’re now able to generate. We only have a finite ability to implement so SVM helps us make the best choices.”