I saw the new (at least I think it’s new) Hiscox Insurance advert on TV this week. I really, really like it – it just strikes a chord for me. If you haven’t seen it and would like to it’s here:
Hiscox TV advert


"Institutions have let us down and today it seems a persons word has lost it’s worth. Yet if the fading of these values disturbs us, then surely they must still matter. We still admire honesty and fairness, whatever you choose to call it, honour is still at the heart of how most of us try to live our lives."

These words, contained in the advert, and the sentiment they convey resonates deeply with me. I particularly like the word ‘honour’. It’s not a word you hear often nowadays unfortunately – I wonder if it’s perhaps considered a bit old-fashioned?

Continuing the theme …..on Tuesday I read an article in the Telegraph which suggested that in the UK the cult of personality has run rampant and that it’s time to return to more old-fashioned values. You can find it here if you’re interested:
Telegraph article

The article states:


"Character, and specifically its neglect, is the number one issue of our age. A society that is not grounded in deep values, that doesn’t know who its heroes are and that lacks a commitment to the common good, is one that is failing. Such we have become."

The writer goes on to say that we need to replace the cult of personality with a new age of character. We need a world where people are judged not by how they promote themselves or how the media present them, but by what they do. I agree!

It further reports that Tuesday saw the launch of the Jubilee Centre of Character and Values at the University of Birmingham. The aim of the centre is to promote and strengthen “character” within schools, families, communities and companies. The character strengths it will advocate are self-restraint, hard work, resilience, optimism, courage, generosity, modesty, empathy, kindness and good manners. More somewhat old-fashioned values.

I’d like to add honour to the list. Honour: personal integrity; allegiance to moral principles.

I’d also like to add respect, in the sense of having esteem for and a sense of worth toward others. Also faith, as in trust of a person or thing, albeit that trust clearly has to be earned. And definitely responsibility, for our actions and behaviours.

I believe that most of these values aren’t considered as important now as they once were. Their importance has faded. And yet I also believe that most people are also disturbed by that and so they must still matter. We notice when they’re absent or in short supply and it matters because their absence damages our experience as a customer. And we’re all customers, subject to the decisions, actions and behaviours of organisations we interact with.

But most of us are also involved in the delivery of products and or services to customers as employees or business owners. Strange then that there seems to be a discrepancy between what we want as a customer and what we’re prepared to provide as a supplier.

If these values really are important to us as individuals, if they really do matter, then the experience as a recipient or supplier should broadly be the same because we hold them dear all of the time. If they matter enough for us to challenge their absence (in ourselves and in others and whether we’re the recipient or the supplier) then there’s hope….

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/timhadfield
Twitter: @accordengage
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