Since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis there has been a broad understanding that there is something wrong with the way we deal with values. Already before there have been attempts in many companies to tackle the topic of values via overall concepts and trainings on value-oriented leadership. The success of these measures is very limited, often they achieve the opposite of what was intended.

Most of these attempts fail due to the fact that the paradox nature of values is ignored and instrumental ideas about values prevail. Almost always the sociological comprehension of how acknowledgement processes proceed and how easily we end up in spirals of mutual devaluation from day to day is missing. The insights do not exceed appeals for ethical behaviour. Executives remain alone when it comes to linking questions on values with working on their every-day challenges.

According to our understanding values develop and change in every-day conversations between people, intensified in their conversations on critical topics. We thereby find ourselves in conflicts of value for which there are no easy solutions. The idea of being able to derive clear instructions from an ideal canon of values has nothing to do with our every-day experiences. However a more direct and open working on critical topics is possible, and this includes working on conflicts of value.