Michael: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast, I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this podcast is dedicated to you, small business leaders and medium sized business leaders who want to build companies that have more profit, more purpose and more legacy. And we call that Passion and Provision company. And we talk about all the different fundamentals on this podcast. And today we have a special guest, who is a new friend of ours from north of the border in Canada. We love him already.
Kathryn: We won't hold it against him.
Michael: There are many things that you will discover today as you listen to him that you go, "Oh, it's very obvious why he's your new friend." Because he's part of our tribe, you'll start to recognize this very quickly. Kathryn, tell us about our famous new guest today.
Kathryn: Our famous new guest, his name is David Allison, and he is a human behavior expert and Values Thinking pioneer. That's like a... Let me say that, human behavior expert and Values Thinking pioneer.
Michael: That's impressive.
Kathryn: That's impressive.
Michael: And we could stop there and end the podcast.
Kathryn: We could stop, yeah, I'm happy. He's a best selling author, an international speaker, and an advisor in a wide variety of industry sectors and disciplines. His research helps organizations all over the world engage and influence their target audiences as much as eight times more powerfully than possible before. That's amazing.
Michael: Eight times.
Kathryn: Eight times [crosstalk 00:01:19].
Michael: I want to see the data on that.
Kathryn: We'll talk about it.
Michael: I'm not sure I believe it.
Kathryn: We'll talk about this as we go through. But he's the founder of the Valuegraphics database, which is the first global record of what we all care about. Did you hear that? The first global record of what we all care about.
Michael: It's 52 years, I'm 52 years old, now, it's finally... What I care about is now-
Kathryn: Is now in a data set.
Michael: ... is in data set.
Kathryn: It was created from a half a million surveys in 152 languages, and 180 countries. Valuegraphics measures what everyone on earth values, wants, needs and expects, and can determine exactly what buttons to push to trigger specific behaviors from any group of people anywhere on earth.
Michael: Okay, that's a mouthful and a half, and I like it, I love it.
Michael: And it helps give everybody who's listening today a high level. David, welcome to the podcast.
David: Thanks for having me over.
Michael: Thank you for coming. So, why don't you do us a favor? Tell us really quickly and take all that and go, "Okay, what does that mean? What's this alchemy you do?"
David: Yeah, I know. It's a big, every time I listen to that, I'm like, "Actually, I got to rewrite that and give people a little shorter, easier one to use."
Kathryn: A little eighth grade English for us, please.
Michael: Well, I know you can take a little bit of ribbing-
David: [crosstalk 00:02:29].
Michael: And so, I'm glad you can.
David: But basically, it's really simple what we've done. I spent my career helping companies spend their marketing money. And there was always just this really odd feeling in the pit of my stomach, that the way we defined a target audience, and then would spend millions of dollars trying to target them, and trigger them, and get them to do the things we wanted them to do, there was something wrong here. It didn't feel right. The more you think about it, the more I started looking around the world and hearing people talk about how millennials all want this and boomers are all like that, and manner this, and... I mean, Lord knows what's going on with demographic stereotypes right now in your country and around the world around particular racial stereotypes. Stereotypes from a demographic perspective tell us nothing about who people are, and yet they're a fundamental part of the business process, every single boardroom, every single thing we do, it begins with a demographic stereotyping exercise.
Kathryn: We're going to have whole new ones.
David: And then, we spend money against that demographic stereotype.
Kathryn: We're going to have whole new ones based on Mass Squares and none Mass Squares.
Michael: Okay. I just want to say that, I'm going to throw this in, just folks, this is the real deal. This stuff happens all the time. It happened this morning. We were with one of our larger clients, we were in a boardroom, we were having a conversation about a campaign that we're going to do on radio, and one of the guys that's been around a long time in business, but fairly new to the company, hasn't heard our spiel, and he goes, "Okay, well, where's that going to play? And can you tell me, do they have our demographic?" And we started in with, "Okay, we don't buy based on demographic."
Kathryn: We don't care.
Michael: We don't do that and we don't care because it's not effective. But you have to be nice when you're saying it to the new guy. But it happens, folks, it happens all the time.
David: They haven't written the check yet. Right? So, as the marketing guy for all my life, I was handed or participated in making up these demographics stereotypes, and we go and spend money. And we start trying to figure out how you're going to get these people to do stuff, to buy things or think things or use a service or whatever it was we were being hired to do. So, when I finally sold my company, I was like, "That's always bothered me." It's so fundamental. It's just the baseline. Nothing else happens until you have a demographic stereotype that you're going to try and target. It just didn't make any sense.
David: So, I started digging around. And if you look in the world, all the different kinds of science that science and scientists out there that are examining how the world works, they don't really agree on a lot of stuff, but they do agree on one thing.
Michael: And what is that?
David: I'm just going to talk to you about three different fields of science that all agree, that values are the key to understanding human behavior. Let me just quickly run through these because it's really important that we understand that this is not anything new. This has been studied by scientists for decades and decades and decades. Neuroscientists will tell you that the prefrontal cortex of your brain is the CEO of your brain. And nothing happens in your life, you don't have any feelings, any behaviors, you don't do anything or think anything or move on arm, unless the prefrontal cortex of your brain says, "This is what we're supposed to do." And the prefrontal cortex of your brain, the CEO of your brain uses one thing as a filter to determine how you're going to react to any incoming information, and that's your values.
David: Now, let's move on to psychology. Psychologists when they're being taught how to do psychological assessments and do surveys and research and all this thinky stuff that psychologists do. One of the things they're taught to avoid is something called confirmation bias. And confirmation bias is a fancy word for nothing more than just the natural human tendency to be attracted to things that we already agree with. We want confirmation that we're right. Basically, we're hunting for things that align with our values. So what if, instead of it being a thing to avoid in research settings, it was something that we could use as a tool to attract people to the things we'd like them to think about or talk about, or the behaviors we'd like them to have. So, values from a psychological perspective are the key to understanding human behavior.
David: And then, we go to sociology. And sociologists study the mass behavior of large groups of people. And inevitably the answer as to why did this group of people go and do this thing, and that group of people go and do that thing? It all comes down to what their shared values are. So, we have sociology, psychology and neuroscience, are all saying values are the thing, man. Values are the way everybody figures out what they're going to do. And what we've done with the database that we've built is we've empericized values and we've turned them into an operational tool, so that we now can profile a target audience based on what they care about and what they value. So, the principle is nothing new. All we've done is add math and science and data to a very, very well established idea, that values determined everything we do.
Michael: Okay. So, go back a second. That's amazing. It's awesome. Folks, you can understand exactly why we wanted him on the show today.
David: I'm just getting warmed up here.
Michael: This is super happy nerd number 101 for all of us, and I'm in heaven. But go back and tell, what do you mean when you say you empericized the data?
David: Right. So, I have a story for you. Up until this database existed, this half a million surveys that we've done all the way around the world, so that we've actually got an accurate measurement, a statistically accurate measurement of what everybody on the planet cares about. The way we would figure out the values of a group of people, the company that I'm the CEO of, or the audience that we're trying to attract, or the, I don't know, the politicians are always talking about the values of my constituency. I refer to it as six vice presidents and a box of donuts values, because that's how we figured it out. You take six vice presidents, you lock them in a room with a box of donuts and you say, "Don't come out of there until you agree what our values are. And by the way, here's a survey. We asked the receptionist and three people in accounting and Sally, from HR and they all voted what they think the values are."
David: And so, they come out of there and they go, "Well, we think our values are collegiality, collaboration, diversity and innovation. Those are our values." And then we put them up on a plaque behind the receptionist at the front desk. And everybody forgets about it, because like tick, we got our values all sorted out now.
David: Now, we can tell you using academically accurate data, and I don't want to geek out and start rattling off why it's so accurate, but it's super, super accurate. It's bulletproof vest accurate. This data, we can tell you exactly what the values of any group of people really are, what their shared values are. They're going to have all kinds of other values that they don't share in common. But what's important to understand if you want to operationalize this, is what are the few values they have in common, so that you can speak into that.
Kathryn: Interesting. Well, and I would imagine empericizing it, takes it from the values I think I have and want to have and wish I were this actually this way. And actually is like, this is who you are.
Kathryn: I mean, because that's always an interesting thing. Because when we're doing the values exercise, even as we do it with people and we're really trying to dig in, it's like, how do you actually behave? Not, what do you wish you were.
David: And it's also, oh, there's all kinds of survey stuff and geeky stuff that comes into this now. If you ask anyone what their values are, they're going to tell you the things that they think are going to make them look good in front of you, whoever's asking the question. And if their peers are in the room and their bosses are in the room, or some of their subordinates are in the room, they're going to answer the question differently than they would answer it, lying in bed at night, the last thing they think about before they fall asleep. If that's when they're wondering what their values are, they're going to have a different list there than they'd have in the boardroom surrounded by people that they have to see every day.
David: So, what we've managed to do is figure out a way to get people to tell us what their values are without actually asking them about their values. So, that there's no reason for them to not tell us the things we're asking about. So, we don't use any direct questioning. We would never say to someone, "Is family important to you?" Because everyone's going to say, "Yeah, of course it is." Even if you hate your family, they're going to go, "Yeah, of course I love my family. Me and my family we're like this." That was for, I know we're on a podcast, so you can't see them, crossing my fingers, me and my family we're like this.
David: But if you ask people about the things they're passionate about in their lives and how their family plays into that, and how their friends play into that, and how their colleagues play into that, and how much money they put into those things, and ask them all kinds of questions about the stuff that they're incredibly passionate about, in the course of telling you about that thing, you'll hear whether or not family is important to them or not.
David: That's the secret.
Michael: All right, let me jump in. I'm going to steal from your book as an example, because, and I want to ask you, is this what you're talking about? Because I think this is really good. And one of David's books, We Are All The Same Age Now: Valuegraphics. I'm really enjoying it. If you think he's a good speaker, his book's great too. And I believed that we all share a publisher too, don't we? Yes, we share a publisher. Which we didn't know we shared a publisher until we met through a gentleman in Singapore, who it was very strange and odd thing.
David: Well, I'll do shout out to Tucker. Hello, Tucker?
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:11:58].
Michael: Okay. So, in here you talk about some sample questions because you actually go in and articulate. You've got a huge process of survey questions and an intricate process. I won't get into the nerd parts about building out surveys because that's another podcast. So, here's a couple of questions he has for samples, "In the past 12 months, what percentage of your team's home games have you attended?" And this is about trying to figure out about sports teams. But then he goes on and there's a few questions in here. Let's see. Here's one, number three, this is what I was thinking about when you were talking just now, who do you attend games with? Please select all that apply, a, family, b, friends, c, work colleagues, d, supporters group club, e, other, please specify.
Michael: And then you make a note in the book that what you do is even though this was after trying to figure out how people felt about teams, their favorite teams, or if they were really into sports or not, you were hiding questions in it. Is that an example of, if somebody had said, "I attend games with my family." You're seeing that they're highlighting family and you're inferring those kinds of things from those types of questions.
David: Yeah. You know what? That's exactly right. It's even more complex than that though.
Michael: Oh, I'm sure.
David: Because that only is going to apply in the case of someone that we already know is incredibly passionate about hockey. And we've asked them to tell us about their favorite team and be an expert. And everybody wants to be an expert. If you ask someone for their expert opinion on something they're passionate about, they'll tell you anything.
David: So, we ask people for their expert opinion on hockey, if we know they're hockey fans. And then we start asking those questions, who do you go to games with? How often do you go? Do you watch them at home? Do you go to the games live? Do you travel for games? You bring colleagues? Blah, blah, blah. And people love telling us their expert opinion, the things that they're passionate about.
David: And yes, buried in there, we're finding out how they feel about their family and their friends and their colleagues about loyalty, about trust, about all kinds of other issues without ever saying to them, "So, is trust important to you?" Because, who's going to say no to that. It's like, "No, I don't trust anyone and no one trusts me." [crosstalk 00:14:03] No one is going to say that.
Kathryn: Nobody cares.
David: So, you've got to find a way to see how people... I'll tell you what, we did a poll a little while ago. I don't know why this one's popping into my head. But we went out and we talked to Americans about the upcoming presidential election. And we found out that our data at surface agreed with Gallup's data, because guess what? We were all calling people or talking to people through various channels and saying, "What's important to you?" And people say the same things.
David: But what we can do that Gallup can't and other groups can't, is we have this massive database of what people actually care about. So, in those questions, we found out a few things about these folks, so we could go and extrapolate their values out of the data set. And we do this with enough people, so that statistically accurate, 1,850 people. And we can see what they actually care about. And now we know how they're going to behave behind the curtain when it's time to vote. And no one's paying attention, what's going to drive them to vote this way or that way. It's not the things they're saying when the pollster calls and interrupts their dinner, or when you get an email or someone stops you in the mall with a clipboard. You're just saying, "Yeah, I believe in this. Or I believe in that." But what you really do is all about what you value and you're not going to admit those things up front unless they happen to align with what you think the person is looking for, who's talking to you.
Michael: Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. There's a couple of different directions I want to go. I want to make sure we're covering stuff. The next very important question that I have for you is, you were a boy scout?
David: I was a boy scout.
Michael: I was a boy scout too.
Kathryn: Should I leave you two alone?
David: So, I actually, I ended up being a Chief Scout. So, a Chief Scout in Canada is equivalent of an Eagle Scout.
Michael: Oh, yeah.
David: I wasn't just a boy scout, I was the king of the-
Michael: Oh, wow. I stopped just short of that and chased girls instead of scouting.
David: I was all about the collecting. I wanted the badges. I'm big art collector. I just I've always wanted stuff. I've just a collecting gene.
Michael: So, I got to this chapter that said, "We drank whiskey and we both and smoked a cigar." And we're talking about boy scouts and I'm like, "Oh, this guy is my friend. I like whiskey and an occasional cigar. And he was a boy scout." And I had a paper route and Kathryn had a paper route.
Kathryn: I did.
Michael: So, I figured we were all just, it was destined that we all become best buddies and everything else.
Kathryn: I'm glad you mentioned the paper route thing, because I was feeling like I needed to leave you two alone.
Michael: But you like whiskey?
Kathryn: Well, that's true, I do like.
David: Can I tell the rest of that story though, because it's a really good day for me to tell that story.
Michael: Well, and I'm glad you're going to, because I think there's probably two or three things that are hidden in that story that actually I wanted to launch into. So, you go and then let's see where we could skate from here.
David: So, the story in my book is about one of my best pals. And when we got together, our ritual was always to have a scotch or whiskey. We tried a bunch of different stuff and we liked smoking a Cuban cigar together, because we can do that up here in Canada. We have Cuban cigars. And it was not something that either one of us did very often, but when we were together, the people in our lives, who would otherwise say, "What are you doing?" They were like, "Okay, it's you guys. You go ahead and do that."
David: And we both grew up in the same town in the middle of Canada. And we both had paper routes with the same paper. And we were both boy scouts in that town. And we both got our Chief Scout award back in, it was a slight, it had a different name when he got his. And I'm about to tell you why. When he got his, it was called the Kings Scout Award. Because despite all our commonalities and how much we loved each other, he was 99 when I was writing that book, 99 years old. And he was my buddy and we had so much in common. Our values were the same. We were involved in the art world. We loved collecting, all this stuff in common. His was a King Scout Award. By the time I came along, they'd gone through a Queen Scout Award and they decided they were going to stop renaming it, every time they got a different person in Britain who sitting on the throne. So, they called it the Chief Scout Award. But that's the story.
David: And the reason it's a poignant story, is yesterday was Gordon's birthday. He passed away about a year ago, but he would have been 101 years old yesterday. So, he's a been on my mind. I'm glad you brought that story up. You're going to choke me up a little bit.
Michael: Oh, that's beautiful.
Kathryn: Yeah, David, he lived long enough to predate the current queen, has been a queen for so long.
Michael: Yeah. Well, and I loved it because my grandfather was my biggest hero and he passed away a year and a half ago at 97. And another friend of ours, Pete, made it to 105. And I mean, we all shared a lot of values and everything and a lot of things in common. And I loved spending time with both of those men.
David: And here's the point, people could have sold, his name was Gordon Smith, Gordon and I were the same person. Our values were the same. If you were a marketer trying to approach us to get us to buy something, you would have used the same messages. But would you have ever imagined that two guys from different, he was from Britain, I was from, I grew up in the Midwestern, in the Prairies, in Canada, such an age difference. We would never be in the same target audience, but we should be. And that's what my work is all about, is it doesn't matter how old you are. Millennials are not all the same. Boomers are not all the same.
Michael: Okay. This is where I wanted to go. So, okay. So-
Kathryn: Lets do that one. Lets talk about that.
Michael: ... this is one of our mantras and this is where I wanted to go with this story. So, I was hoping we get here. So, speak to that because everybody that listens to us is tired, probably of hearing us say, millennials are not all the same, and go, go. [crosstalk 00:19:42] I'll go get a cup of coffee, I'll be back.
David: Just to substantiate this story. So, we have half a million surveys we've collected from around the world now, half a million, that's 500,000 surveys we've analyzed. And we've cataloged 430 different metrics about what people value. And then corresponding questions about their wants, needs and expectations around those values. So, we get to 436 things we've measured, half a million surveys. As you mentioned in that long drawn out introduction about David, 152 languages, 180 countries. It's the very first database of what everybody cares about.
David: Now, we can also slice and dice demographically out of this data set, because it's what the statisticians refer to, buckle your seat belts, here we go, it's called a random stratified statistically representative sample of the population.
David: Which basically just means that it's a miniaturized proportionate, exact replica of the real world. We have the same number of men, women rich, poor, young, old, every age band that you can name, they're all represented proportionately in this little model of half a million that we've built.
David: So, let's talk about millennials. If we just examine the millennials in this incredibly accurate academically astute data set and see how often do they resemble each other on any of those 436 different things about what our values are and what we want and need and expect out of our lives. Millennials only agree with each other 15% of the time, which means 85% of the time millennials disagree about everything. So, the best you can hope for if you target millennials based on what you think you know about millennials, the absolute best, if you do everything perfectly, and guess what? Because you're human, you won't do it perfectly. But let's say you could, you could get a 15% ROI on the dollar that you spend.
David: Now, to make it even more remarkable, we all agree with each other just because we're upright and breathing and human. We all agree with each other about 8% or 9% of the time. So, that means millennials only agree with each other any more than they agree with anybody else of any age, anywhere on earth, about 7% or 8%. So, really targeting millennials, you get a 7% or 8% lift.
David: Now, just to make this story one step more complex. Those same kinds of numbers apply when we're talking about age, income, gender, marital status, number of kids, education, job title, white collar, blue collar, pink collar. It doesn't matter, any demographic label, roughly the same numbers. So, when you describe your target audience and say it's 18 to 24 year old man who earned $50,000 a year, and have a bachelor's degree from a state university and live in Iowa, you've just described a whole bunch of groups of people who have pretty much nothing in common, layered them on top of each other and do a bigger group of people who have absolutely nothing in common. And then you go and you spend millions of dollars trying to talk to them. You tell me that makes sense.
Kathryn: I like you so much. Okay. Quick question. 436, so that number is that like the core, that there aren't any more values than that? Is that the number you're referring to? What's the 436? I got a little lost.
David: Right, right. So, how can I answer this easy?
Kathryn: I'm blonde, make it simple.
David: We started with a list of 40 core human values that the social science world agrees with. They all say, "Yeah, that's the base list." And the World's Values Index and the Bhutan Gross Domestic Happiness Index, and some of these really smarty pants, social science tools, they agree those are the 40. But because we're the first group to go all the way around the world and actually ask people and figure out what their values are, we found an extra 16 that no one else knew about. So, we have 56 core values in our data set.
David: So, let's pick one that's really easy for everybody to get their heads around. So, we'll just talk about family. So, if family is an important value to you, and as we've discussed neuroscience, psychology and sociology agree that values is how you make your decisions about everything. So, if I know family's important to you, I can talk to you about whatever I want to talk to you about in a way that's going to impact your family. I'm going to try and sell you something or convince you of something or talk to you about it through that lens. That's cool. But if I also know what you want and need and expect for your family, I have a much richer, more robust understanding of how the value of family is making the decisions or helping you make the decisions that you make.
David: So, there's 56 values and then there's 380 wants, needs and expectations. And those wants needs, and expectations are contextualized. They're like the pillow that the values are sitting on. So, they just make it, help us understand the values in more depth. So, that's how we get to 436.
Michael: Okay. So, let's unpack that a little bit. So, I make sure that I understand. And then maybe if I understand maybe somebody else out there will, maybe I'll catch everybody else up. So, if we're talking about family, so folks, I have this, I'm going to reference this chart that David gave me. I've got a chart in front of me. It's a bar chart. And what you see is basically a whole bunch of these different values listed. And then you have bars that they're ranked for how important they are in the United States, on the left hand side. And on the right hand side, they're ranked for how important they are in the world. So, basically you're saying, how does the world compare to just the United States and vice versa on a whole bunch of different values. At the top of the world, number one value is family.
Michael: And in the United States, it's second, only by a little bit. And belonging is the number one in the United States. And belonging is, it looks like it's about fourth or fifth in the world.
David: Yeah. Isn't that interesting?
David: We can just starting right there, there's a huge story to tell.
David: You want me to talk about it?
Michael: No, no, I don't. I saw that in your eye. No, no, no, no, don't look in [crosstalk 00:25:51] Okay. So, what I heard you saying earlier is that knowing that family, if we look at that chart, knowing that family is in the top two of the world, or number one in the world period, and we can go anywhere, even though it's number two in the United States, we can go anywhere we want. And we know family is right there at the top of everybody's values.
Michael: Right. Okay. So then, you said talking through that lens, I started talking about it, but I would imagine that even though family is important to 10 different people in front of me, they're probably going to have nuances and differences of how they speak to family, what that means, why it's important and stuff like that. And if you just speak to family, it might be a little diffused, but if you start using combinations of values and those wants, needs and expectations in the mix of it, putting a unique recipe together. It's like, I went the other night had Mexican and I had enchiladas, but I've had lots of different types of enchiladas and some appealed to me and some don't. Is this recipe of these wants, needs and expectations with some of these core values that makes it more unique for a small people group. Is that right or wrong? Or am I even poking around the right closet?
David: Yeah. You're definitely poking around the right closet. You're going to back up for a moment before I answer that directly and just talk to you about social science data.
David: So, other scientific disciplines like to tease sociology and say, "You're not really a science." They're like the ugly step sister at the school dance. Right?
Kathryn: Right behind psychology.
David: So, they're like, "You're not really a science. Poor sociologists." Like, "Yes we are, yes we are." So, the sociologists that the other sciences don't think sociology is real science because there's never an answer. There's no black or white. Like biology, you either have this DNA strand or you don't. Or in physics, it's the answer is four, or it's not. But in sociology, the answer tends to be another question.
David: So, that's just what it does, what our social science data set does is it helps us understand what questions we should be paying attention to. So, the way to think about the fact that family is the most important thing in the world, and belongingness is the most important thing in the United States, contextualizing that around, what are we talking about here? Are we talking about gun legislation? Then I'm going to look at those two values in a very different way, than if I'm talking about the presidential election or I'm talking about selling people more coffee. It's all going to be dependent on what's the context of the thing that we're discussing right now. Which is why, yes, I have this database called the Valuegraphics database, which empericizes this information.
David: But I'm more interested in the world grabbing on to this other concept called values thinking, because you don't need my data sets to use values to make decisions. You need to understand the values of the people you're making decisions for. But it's mostly just about asking the right questions and being able to say to yourself, the question here isn't how are millennials going to behave in this situation and how can I get more of them to buy my thing. The question is, what are the values of the people I'm trying to impact? And how is that going to change the way they might think about things and how should I be speaking into those values? How can I tell people the things that they already agree with around whatever the issue is that I'm trying to get them interested in? So, the answer to your question is, it depends. And that's the reason why everybody likes to tease sociologists, is always the answer is, that could be right.
Michael: Well, so what I hear you saying is, I mean, I like the way you said it. And I think I was to get at that without... When you're trying to form a question, sometimes you're fishing around in the dark and it's awkward and you touch things that you shouldn't touch. And the word context is important. We're talking about, if we're talking about family and family is an important value, there's no denying that that's number one in the world and it's even number two in the United States. So, it's important and no matter who you're talking to. But based on the, I mean the context, the word context in the conversation, you're going to refer to it differently. You're going to talk to it differently. You're going to pull out different principles that are relevant based on the conversation.
David: Yeah, absolutely. And that's what values thinking is all about, is saying, first thing you need to do is understand, what's your question? What are you trying to figure out here? I'm trying to get people to buy stuff. You're trying to get them to think something. You're trying to get them to change their behavior. Just define your question.
David: The next thing you need to do is, we do still need to think about demographics and psychographics and geography. I'm not advocating that we throw those things out the window, but we just use them appropriately. It might be important that the people you're trying to solve that question for are women, because whatever it is you're selling or whatever you're trying to talk to them about is something that's uniquely interesting and of use to women. So, it's still important to know that you're talking to women or that you're talking to people, like the example I always use is reading glasses, that is an age based thing. You need to know that there's going to be a certain group of people based on age, who are going to be interested in your brand of reading glasses that you're trying to sell.
David: So, demographics are still important. Psychographics, let's run with the reading glasses. Maybe you want to understand that the people you're talking to already own 12 pairs, or this is their first pair. That's good stuff to know. If you're about to go out and try and solve the question of, how do I get people to buy my reading glasses? Then what we do with that information then is then we jump to, okay, well, what are the ideas? We start brainstorming. And what values thinking says is there's one step we're missing there, which is how do people make their decisions? Why do they decide to do one thing versus another?
David: So, let's talk about family. So, let's say we're talking about reading glasses. The question on the table is, how do I get people to buy more reading glasses? We know that we're talking to an older demographic and that's really probably the only demographic piece of information that's important. Let's say that it's an American company. So, we don't care about anybody unless they're in the United States because that's where our sales territory is. And then we understand that family is their most important value. It's common, that this group of people we're defining, they share family as a value.
David: So, now you start brainstorming and you say to yourselves, "What if we had family packs of these things? Or what if we talked about the fact that our company is a family run company and it's been in our family for three generations. Or that these are the same brand of reading glasses that your grandfather used. This is an antique brand and we're reviving it and bringing it back for a new generation of folks." So, there's a beautiful heritage angle to come out because of family. So, those are things you might not ever put on the table, unless you knew that family is how these folks make their decisions. But once you know that, you can focus, you can ask yourself the right questions and come up with ideas and tactics and strategies that make sense based on, yes, demographics, based on a question, but also based on what's the value in play here, how do these people decide what they're going to do?
Michael: Okay. So to me, I have too many ideas. Okay.
Kathryn: People are like, "It's going to be a five hour podcast."
Michael: This is going to be a little longer today folks, just know. And if David is kind enough and everything else, and he still likes us after all of this stuff, then he might come back again for another conversation down the road.
David: I'm in, I'm in, I'm in, I'm in.
Michael: Let's talk about... Let's be practical. Now, the audience that we're talking about right now that listens to this primarily, are small and medium-sized company. So, there's a few companies that are maybe up around 500 or a thousand employees, but most of them are anywhere from 10 employees to 200. They're going to be doing their own version of six VPs and a box of donuts, right? Six executives and a box of donuts. So, here's what the first question I guess is, give me some tips and ideas that our listeners can take away with. How do we intelligently try and understand those values without it turning into that six people and a box of donuts in a room?
David: Yeah. Got it. So, there's three ways to understand the values or to find out the values of your target audience. Three ways that I've come up with anyway, there might be more. One of them for the companies you're talking about is probably out of their reach and that's to hire us and we'll do a custom Valuegraphics profile using our data set. But it's expensive. It's absolutely precise, but it's not for everybody. So, let's put that aside.
David: The other two ways, the first one's free. And all you have to do is ask the right questions. When you survey your prospects, when you survey your customers, even if you're not doing formal surveys, you're just standing on the shop floor, ask people what they care about. Stop asking them how old they are. Why do we send out the CRM system surveys that say, "Please tell me your age, your income, your gender, how many kids do you have and what part of town do you live in?" Who cares? What are you going to do with that stuff?
Michael: Well, I was thinking about this, don't you think we've done that, because somewhere along the line, intuitively, we were trying to figure out how to assess values and we didn't know how, so that was just our best. If we came up with enough of those things, we might narrow it in, without even knowing-
David: And there's so many groups out there that would love to help you understand your audience who believed that this stuff somehow matters. I don't know how to do this without sounding mean, but there's a-
Michael: Don't sound mean, go for it.
Kathryn: Go ahead. Go for it.
Michael: The post office will sell you information about the people within a particular zip code, because they believe that those folks are going to be similar to each other.
David: Huh? How similar are you to your neighbors? You might be the same, maybe they're roughly the same age, maybe make the same amount of money, but are you the same people?
David: We're not even both of those.
Kathryn: Depends with your insurance.
David: And just the whole notion that somehow geography, age, income, any of those things is going to tell you anything about the folks that you're trying to talk to is just ridiculous. And yet we continue to spend all this money, scraping the social net and sending out surveys and doing all this stuff to try and understand the demographics and the current psychographics, the current behaviors of people, when really what we want to know is, how can we get them to do something different tomorrow? Not what are you doing now. But what do we have to say to you to get you to do what we'd like you to do tomorrow?
David: So, everything else that I've found out there is about collecting tons and tons and tons of information. And then using that as a jumping off point to make an assumption about what people might be influenced by. But we know what people are influenced by. People are influenced by their values. So, why don't we just stop all that or just use the parts that are actually relevant and interesting and instead focus on what people value.
David: So, back to the guy on the shop floor. Let's say you own a little coffee shop. Everybody who comes in, get your staff to just ask some questions to people who come in, as you're making small talk, you're making their cappuccinos for them, you're getting their bagel, putting it in the little paper envelope, whatever it is you're doing. Just say, "Hey, how's your day going? It's been a crazy time, we've all been living through, all kinds of stuff, going on. The world's changing all around us. What worries you the most? What's on your mind? What do you think about in the morning?" First thing I think about when I wake up in the morning is where's my next buck coming from? Or where's my kids or whatever it is.
David: Now, it's not going to be super scientific. But if you can just start to see some trends and patterns, you ask those questions often enough, you'll start to see people say the same kinds of things. They'll have their own words for it, but eventually you'll start to go, "Wow, the people who are my patrons now, they're super focused on friendship far more than family. Friends are everything to them." Everybody's saying stuff to me right now. I got a bunch of people because of isolation and COVID, and us all stay at home and all that kind of stuff. We're all talking to each other through Zoom all the time. And total strangers, first time you Zoom with them, they're telling you what they actually care about. Isn't that an interesting thing? Have you noticed that? First Zoom calls with people it's like, "Here's my dog." Or, "My kids are in the background. Pardon the noise. I'm really missing my friends. I hate not being able to go to the gym." They're telling you what they care about the most.
David: Now, if you could just get that information through conversation from your clients, from your customers and your prospects, you'll be leaps and bounds ahead of where you are right now. And that's free. You don't have to pay anybody, anything to do that. Just get your staff to understand what questions to ask. So, that's number one.
David: Number two, and this always sounds like I'm showing that darn book, but my book, which is available on Amazon, We Are All the Same Age Now, it's 15 bucks, 16 bucks, whatever it is. Anybody who's got a book on Amazon knows you make about a dollar every time somebody buys your book. So, this-
Kathryn: It's a huge money maker.
David: I'm not in this for the money.
Kathryn: That's huge money maker.
David: If I'm lucky, I might be able to buy myself some new pencils.
Michael: And it's a good book. I'm already into it folks. I'm only 44 pages into it and I'm like, "This is book worth buying." And hit seriously. It's really worth it.
David: I really appreciate that. But the reason I appreciate it the most is that I put a quiz in there. And it's a 10 question quiz based on our data set for Canada and the United States. And if you get your customers to answer those 10 questions, which you can do through Survey Monkey or Google Questions or whatever kind of process you want to use. Just collect 100, 200, 300, the more customers you can get to answer those 10 questions, quick and easy. It'll point you to one of the chapters in the book. Those are the 10 archetypes for Canada and the United States.
David: And once you know which of those 10 chapters is most applicable to your customers, we've spilled our guts in that chapter and said, "Here's everything we know about the people who fit into this category." There are the 10 biggest tribes, if you will. The 10 largest, most powerful replacement tools for things like saying, "I'm targeting boomers." Instead, you can say "I'm targeting chapter four, which is about the environmental assembly or it's the home hunters union or it's..." We gave them cute little names, because we're competing with millennials and boomers and all these other cute little names, right? So, we give them cute little names that we hope are memorable.
David: And that book for the cost of 15 bucks, 16 bucks, you can have this amazing 10 question quiz. It'll point you at one of these 10 chapters. And just suddenly based on all the research we've done, five years of working on this, you can start to understand how values can impact the decisions you're making to try and influence and engage with your audience. So, that's the second way to do it.
David: And then the third way, you've already talked about it, is to hire me, if you're a big company and you got a ton of cash. And we'll do something really, really precise. But even if you don't do that, you're still, I like to say, you're playing the piano. You're playing the piano with your fists. It's not really elegant and beautiful. You're not making beautiful music, but at least you're on the right instrument. You're playing the piano. You're not in that broken old demographic cello over in the corner over there.
Kathryn: I like it.
Michael: I like it. And this is good. Go ahead.
Kathryn: You would say that somehow every company has a customer base that shares one of those archetype values. Would there ever be a time where there would be more than one, it'd be split?
Michael: It's a good question.
Kathryn: So, how does that work?
David: It's a great question. Those archetypes are the best we could do in a book, no audience for anything is ever going to be purely one of those archetypes. Those are big, giant, massive... We take the entire population of Canada and the United States and we put them in 10 buckets. It's not super accurate, but at least, you know which bucket your folks are in. Chances are, if we did a custom profile for you, you'd have some from that bucket, and some from this bucket and some from some other buckets, you don't even know about it, because it couldn't have put them in the book. There'd be a really, really interesting mix that would be precise for your company, your customers. But if you can at least pick one of the top 10 tribes.
David: You know who I like to think about? I hope one day he hears this and knows how much he's influenced me. But Seth Godin, everybody knows who's Seth Godin is, or I've talked to you about Seth Godin. One of his lines that really slapped me across the head one day was, "People like us do things like this." And basically what we've done is figured out a way to tell you who people like us are and what things like this they're going to do using data and using science instead of guesswork and intuition.
Kathryn: I love it.
Michael: Super sweet. Okay. Left turn or at least put the signal on. All right. So, we've talked about, I'm going to recap a little bit of where we are right now before we take a left turn. First is, we can and actually should target our markets with values. People make decisions based on values, more than any other reasoning at all. And we can access them. We can learn about them. And it just, isn't six people in a donut. That's not the only way to get to it now, it's way more precise. We can be way more technical. We can be more accurate in our people groups. And based on to some extent, how much money we have, but even having, as we were talking about sharing these ideas, it's making some more intelligent decisions. So, at least you're banging on the right instrument.
Michael: We have a total of 56 core values subsets. We have 380 wants, needs and expectations that David's come around, which equals 436 factors. And we talk about this a lot and we refer to this concept in a lot of different areas. And there's not an infinite number of these things folks. Don't get overwhelmed with how people say, "Everybody's different." So, there's eight billion people in the world. There has to be eight billion different ways you market to people. It's doesn't work that way. We're human beings and we're very tribal. And we care about certain things and there's only a certain amount of them. So, don't get overwhelmed with this infinite number of stuff.
Michael: I love the fact that David, you come up with some core numbers and you have some subsets that you can work from. And you know that they pretty much cover most everything. I don't know how many percentage wise is, what was your percentage of accuracy? You think it is?
David: Oh, I mean, it's a statistical truth. It's plus or minus 3.5% accurate with a 95% level of confidence. So, that's more accurate than you need for a PhD from Harvard.
Michael: Right there.
Kathryn: Right again.
Michael: So, this is some really core stuff. Now, it wouldn't be a HaBO Village Podcast, if we weren't talking about Passion and Provision, and we weren't talking about different things. You made a comment in the book on page 31, I'm sure you have page 31 memorized.
David: Oh, page 31, my favorite page.
Michael: Yes. I can barely remember what we put in our book. "Before I knew it I was 31. I was 31 years old and had a career that alternated between dull and stressful." To me, I wrote down right next to that, no passion. That was a job that had gotten to the place... I don't know if you started with excitement. I don't know if you started where it was not stressful and the opposite of dull. But I hear this, "Before I knew it, I was 31 years old and had a career that alternated between dull and stressful." Talk to me a little bit about that first and don't go anywhere else. Just say, what was it like at that point in your life? It was a couple of days ago, but I'm sure it's very vivid in your mind.
David: Last year when I was 31. Wow. I Remember. I remember that far back. Yeah. It does feel like a distant memory from another time and another planet. There's nothing more soul socking than spending eight to 10 hours a day. And in those days, the expectation is, the new kid at the company was, you'd be there on the weekends too. So, we're talking seven days a week, 10 hours a day, just phoning it in because you had to make your rent and you needed to get on that treadmill. That seemed to be what was expected of us. So, I'm going to tell you how old I am, because it's relevant to this conversation. I call myself the littlest boomer. So, I was born in 65, like one more year and I wouldn't have been a boomer.
David: But I grew up and went to university and came out of university, steeped in the tradition of boomer of that time period, where hard work and getting the house in the suburbs of the white picket fence, that was the goal. And climbing up the corporate ladder and becoming the vice president, and the executive vice president and moving to a larger company and being the president, that's what it was all about. And I was in marketing and advertising. Now, and that was supposed, that was even more all about that stuff. So, I was trying, I was trying to do all that.
David: And what happens is you just get on this treadmill and you wake up in the morning and you need to have a better suit than the one you had before, because you're trying to get that better job. So, you got to work harder and longer, so you can get a little bit more money, so you can buy the better suit. Where you put it on your credit card and you got to get that better job, because you got to pay off the debts on the credit card. And before you know it, you're 31 and you're just incredibly bored and stressed. And you don't like what you're doing. And you don't like yourself in the mirror, in the mornings when you wake up. And you splash water on your face and you say, "Okay, it's showtime, let's go." That just was not a good place to be, not a good place at all.
Michael: So, I want you to describe, first of all, how did you get out of it? That's the very next question and I'm leading somewhere, but how did you get out of it?
David: By obstinate determination. I decided that the answer was, I didn't have it quite figured out yet and I needed to try a different version of it. So, I went from being an employee in the advertising marketing business that did one kind of functions. Obviously, I meant to be this other function. So, I started as an account guy, anybody who's old enough to remember what ad agencies were all about. So, I was an account guy. I was like, "Obviously, I'm supposed to be a creative guy." So, I switched agencies and change towns and I became a creative guy. And then that wasn't working out and I finally, I ended up having a nervous breakdown. I just took a year off. So, this isn't working. I haven't got it sorted out yet. So, clearly the answer is, I got to start my own.
David: So, I started doing my own agency and building my own, and then I got to do everything. And then that stressed me out. And then I moved to a different city, because clearly I was doing the right thing. I was just doing in the wrong place. So, I started doing it in a new place and I just kept going and going and going and trying all these variations on a theme without really realizing that I was chasing, it was a futile chase, because I was chasing the wrong thing.
Michael: Yeah. That is probably one of the more eloquent off the cuff ways of describing that whole journey, that narrative that you just described. Now, one of the things I loved about our last conversation that I really, I'm hoping you're willing to share with our listeners, is that moment where... You know where I'm going, the moment of the calling.
David: Yeah. Okay.
Michael: Because I remember you saying in our conversation, "I had a calling and I never thought I would."
Michael: Okay. The floor is yours.
David: So, I was in New York City, I had just flown home from a speaking tour in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And I was pretty jet lagged. And I was in New York to do some... Which is not where I live, so that was only halfway home and I had been gone for a week. And so, I was missing home and a little emotional. And I was in New York to do some press. And I was meeting with this really important guy. He's the equivalent of the Associated Press, but for Europe. And so, this fellow had the ability to tell my story in a really important way to a really important audience. And he really wanted to meet in a casual way.
David: So, we met for a drink at the end of his Workday. So, we're in this loud, noisy pub and he had read all my stuff and was prepared for this interview. And he says, "Yeah, I understand all your things. I get it. Methodology, data, values, yada, yada, yada." All this stuff we've talked about so far. And he kept asking, "Why are you doing this?" I said, "Well, because it's really important that values get placed where they should be in the..." "No, why are you doing this, David? You're not listening to me. Why are you doing this?" He kept asking and asking and asking and no one had ever poked me so hard before.
David: And finally, I don't really know how to describe it, other than to say, there was like a switch that flicked in my head, it was totally binary. There was an on and an off. And I went from off, went the other direction, I went from off to on. I literally had to use the line with this guy and say, "Hold my drink," because I was balling and not cute little Brad Pitt single tear down the cheek crying. I was crying uncontrollably because it finally hit me that I'm here to do this. That all of the discriminatory, divisive, terrible things that go on in our planet today could be mitigated. They won't be solved, I'm not going to be that bold, but they could certainly be mitigated and reduced if we understood each other better. And as long as we continue using a legacy system from millennia ago where demographics were your destiny, we're never going to get there.
David: And it finally occurred to me why I'm working these long hours and why I'm putting in all this effort, is because this is what I'm supposed to do. And think about all the different experiences I've had, all the opportunities growing up that I had to do public speaking. Well, what was that for? It was for this. All the opportunities I've had to do media for different things, why? It was for this. My ability to tell a story from complex things. What was that training for? It was for this moment. So, here we are. We have a game changing set of data that can help companies talk to their audiences way better. Of course, they can. But more importantly, and this sounds like such a horrible cliche, but we really can change the world with this stuff.
Michael: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
David: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You got me.
Kathryn: This is your legacy.
David: Thank you.
Michael: What was the moment in that conversation when you can, the thought or what was going on when you were like all of a sudden this, "I'm having a legacy." A legacy that...
Kathryn: Like this is what I was-
David: I can't put a finger on it. It was just this culmination of... I mean, sure, I was a little jet lagged. I'd had a martini, but I can drink six martinis. It wasn't the alcohol. And I've been jet lagged for most of my life. So, it wasn't the jet lag. But those things probably contributed, but it was being forced. It was being confronted with the question, "Why are you doing this?" And the relentless asking of that question until, it was like those Barbara Walters specials. She sat down in those chairs with whoever she was talking to, her whole goal was to make them cry. I think that's why he wanted to meet me and have a drink after work, was he wanted to make me cry. And he did. He forced me to confront what this is all about.
David: So, I mean, it sounds so... I hope it doesn't come across as being that I feel like some self-importance or something. But I mean, the questions that you start to grapple with at that point are, "Okay, so I've got this tool that can make the world a better place. What happens when I'm dead? Who has it then? What are they going to do with it? How can I make sure that my intentions for this thing to do good in the world are honored long after I'm gone, and that the power this has to continue making the world a better place isn't lost?"
Michael: And we asked that question last time we talked, because that definitely does come to the surface, like, "Wait a minute, this is a big deal. What do you do with it?"
David: Well, I'm talking to a couple of different, large, global, not for profit organizations about giving it to them, about just saying, "Listen, you need to be the stewards of this when this is over." So, I've talking to a couple of different groups that have hundreds of years of stewardship under their belt, around different technologies and different tools that are there for the betterment of humanity. My goal in the God-willing 10, 20, 30, 40 years, I've got left of energy to keep doing this stuff, is to continue to shift further away from doing it for commercial purposes, although that's the fuel that makes this thing run, and start more and more giving this away to humanitarian organizations that are working to do good things around the world. We've done one huge pro bono project already with the Environmental Defense Fund based out of Washington, DC, helping them understand the people who support them all over the planet and all the good work they're doing and various ways to help this poor old planet of ours.
David: We're in conversation with another massive global organization. I probably shouldn't name drop until it starts to come together, but it's a name everybody would know, and they're doing amazing humanitarian work all over the world. And our conversation with them is, "How fast can I give you this data? How fast can I get you to start using values to do your jobs in a more powerful and impactful way?" Now, that means that I have to get clients who are willing to pay me for this stuff so that I can afford to give it away to those kinds of groups. So, it's a Robin Hood strategy, but that's fine, whatever it takes.
David: We're not going to work with companies that we don't agree with, what they're here for and what they're trying to accomplish. But if we can help some companies, I mean, at the end of the day, what's a company about, is we're paying some people salaries, we're paying for mortgages, we're paying for kids to get their teeth fixed, we're paying all kinds of stuff to happen. If we can help those companies succeed and be important and be better and be values driven organizations that in itself is a pretty darn good thing to have happen. And then if that gives us the rocket fuel we need to give this stuff away to these other organizations that are dealing with child poverty and disease eradication, and all the terrible things we're doing to each other and to this planet, then I'll be a happy guy.
Michael: Ladies and gentlemen, values matter, values are important. They're important to each one of us at a core level. They're important to us as groups of people. And one of the simple transition places here in the midst of all this, is really, if you want to run a Passion and Provision company, if you want to run a company, that's not just about getting the next buck, which is really a shortsighted perspective. And if you've listened to this podcast at all, you know how shortsighted it is, or at least how shortsighted we believe it is. You want to play the long game. You want to play the long in your business. You want to play the long game in life. And that means that people matter and not everything can happen in a 24 hour period. And you can't triple your money in three to five years in the normal basis.
Michael: And when you start building a business where you are finding that you're financially successful and thriving and fulfilled as a human being, you find yourself working in purpose and meaning and working towards a legacy that you're proud of. And there's these types of things that are going on, as we've talked to David and he's been sharing. What you're hearing is, you're hearing a guy who has done a whole bunch of those things that didn't provide a lot of purpose and meaning that were on the treadmill and that this thing here that he's found, he literally, you haven't even heard this part of the story. And I'm not going to ask him to tell on today's podcast. That he stumbled into this with thinking about, that it was another business idea. It was all of a sudden he discovered underneath that idea that all the stuff was there.
Michael: And so, it didn't come overnight for him. It doesn't have to come overnight for you. But as you continue to walk forward and think about that, we wanted to share and bring David today to really share what he's doing and to highlight it, because we think people need to hear about it, first of all. And second, to really go, there are tools for you out there to be value based. Because most of you who listen to this podcast, you are. You're value based, you're trying to make decisions on values. You're trying to run your companies based on values and your core values and stay within them and take care of people. And here are some great ways of how it's reasonable. It's within your grasp and hopefully an encouragement today about moving forward.
Michael: Now, before we wrap up, do you have anything else you want to throw in right now. I can see the runway and we're coming in for approach. Anything you want to throw in right now, David?
David: I think I filled everybody's heads up pretty good. Please go to my website, valuegraphics.com. We publish free reports on as many industries as we can manage there. So, lately there's been stuff in there on hotels and restaurants because I know they're struggling through recovery right now. We have upcoming reports on retail, on online, on banking and financial services, travel, tourism, hospitality. We're trying to target all the industry sectors that we know are having a hard time getting back up on their feet and giving them away as much data as we can in a broad base way to all those groups right now. So, if you're in any of those kinds of sectors or if this even just tickles your fancy somehow, and you think you might learn a little bit, just go download some stuff and read and follow me on LinkedIn. That's social media, I live on LinkedIn. So, I'm there and I'd love it, if you came and joined and participated in the conversation.
Michael: Okay. Is it okay, if we land on a little bit lighter note?
Michael: Okay. So, there are 10 questions we ask at the end of every podcast, that are really just human interests, lightening things up, have a good time. They were made popular by the Actors Studio, if you've ever seen that.
David: Oh yeah.
Michael: Okay. So, there those questions. All right. I don't know if you've ever, like me, sat there listening to somebody else answering, going, "If somebody had asked me those questions, I think I would like to answer those." I don't know if you've ever thought that or not, or even prepared your answers. But here we go, Catherine?
Kathryn: What is your favorite word?
David: Favorite word, values.
Kathryn: Shock. I could've guessed that one for you. I was like, "Oh, is it just values? Should we just add that one in?" Okay. So, what's your least favorite word?
David: Catastrophizing. I do that a lot.
Kathryn: Right, that's a great combination.
Michael: I would imagine it is the process of thinking about the catastrophe of everything.
David: Just circling down the drain. I can turn the simplest little raised eyebrow in a meeting into like, "Oh my God, my life's over." I can just, yeah, catastrophization, it's a thing.
Kathryn: Love it.
Michael: Okay. And what turns you on?
David: Oh, wow. Well, there's a lot of answers there. I would say the one I can say publicly is art. I have a big art collection. I've been collecting. I've been very fortunate. I've been collecting art for a very long time. And I collect it because I believe artists have the ability to tell stories without any restrictions that the business world puts on the rest of us. So, an artist's job is to just, without any concern for anyone else, tell us awesome stories. And I just really respect people who can do that.
Michael: Okay. When we get to the end of these questions, then I would like you to share your new piece of art with our audience, the ones that are watching on YouTube or something. Okay. What turns you off?
David: I'm trying to think of a really smart way to say this, but cheapness.
Michael: In what context?
David: People and things that are cheap.
Michael: You like excellence.
David: Miserliness with their time, their resources. There's no reason for there to be bad things in the world or bad people in the world. And I think it's all about being a miser.
Kathryn: Yeah. Okay. What sound do you love?
David: What sound do I love? I love the human voice. I was in a lot of choirs growing up. And if I had to only listen to one kind of music for the rest of my life, it would be something vocal. It would be opera or choral music or just acapella groups, or just our own instrument is an amazing thing.
Kathryn: Very nice. What sound do you hate?
David: Fingernails on a chalkboard. It's terrible.
Michael: Right, they're instantaneous for those of us still remember chalkboards. What is your favorite curse word?
David: Can I say it?
Michael: You may, we are a non-publicly broadcast.
David: I'm from Canada and we're very connected to the Brits. And in Britain, one of the fun things about going to London, is f*ck is a verb and noun and an adjective. And you can use it any way you want. And it's a really handy word if you just don't use it too much, because it's a great way to punctuate things.
Kathryn: Yes. Yes. Indeed.
Michael: Very good. Very good. What profession, other than yours, would you like to attempt?
David: Oh, wow. Would I like to attempt or, I mean, in my most crazy dreams, I would have even a scintilla of the talent that some of the artist side that I might have, at being able to express things that no one has expressed before. But boy, I just have so much admiration for anybody who makes a living in that way. It's a hard system, but the honesty that comes out in good art, it's beautiful to behold. And if I could somehow play in that world, that would be a lot of fun, but it's not going to happen in this lifetime.
Michael: What profession would you like not to do? If you had to say, I don't ever want to do that one.
David: Most of the ones that I've done already. I don't want to look backwards. I don't want to go back into any of that stuff. Yeah.
Michael: Okay. All right.
Kathryn: That's good enough. All right. Final question. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
David: Dude. No, I get to do over on that one. What do I like to hear God say? How about, "Mr. Alison, we've been expecting you, business class is in this direction."
Kathryn: Business class. I like it.
Michael: All right. So, really quick, I want you to show your piece of art and then we're going to give everybody your URL again, and then we are going to let them go. But this art, if you're watching today folks, you've got to check this out. If you're just listening, you got to check out the version on our YouTube channel because this is pretty cool. This is really cool. Okay.
David: I need to see it from that sort of a distance, I can also bring it up really close. You can see what's going on here. So, this is a whole series of dots on this panel. And this made by an artist from the UK named Josh Rowell. And what Josh, his thing is, is he takes data and turns it into imagery. So, this painting is a visual representation of the database that we've built. And every one of these series of four squares with these four colors is a letter. And he has a way of understanding what letter or number it is.
David: One of the things I know for instance is these two orange dots at the bottom of a set of four, that signifies a capital. So, for this particular set of four, this is a capital letter and that one isn't and that one isn't, and that one is. So, everywhere that there's two orange dots, that's a capital letter.
David: So, I'm going to tell you the name of this painting, which is probably just looks like a big abstract painting, but the name of it is on the back here. The name of the painting is, 56 Core Human Values and Rank Order of Importance for the Population of the World Based on 500,000 Qual-Quant Surveys Collected From 180 Countries in 152 Languages in a Random Stratified Statistically Representative Sample, Maintaining a Plus or Minus 3.5% Level of Accuracy With a 95% Confidence.
Kathryn: Longest name of the title of an art piece ever.
David: And in this, he's taken our qual-quant data. We translate that into a quant, so that we can use it in a statistically accurate way to help groups understand the shared values of their audience. He's taken that data and he's put it back into a different kind of qualitative expression, his own language, his own way of expressing things, turning numbers back into emotions, back into stories. And this is the end result.
Kathryn: Love it.
David: It's worth looking up, Josh Rowell, R-O-W-E-L-L.
Michael: And for our listeners, one of the reasons this is so exciting, is he just got it today. It was a commission piece and it was really exciting to hear the story before we started the show. It's because it's just cool. It's like memorializing your work and all the things you're throwing yourself into and the purpose that you've decided to commit yourself to. That means a lot. That's huge.
Michael: Ladies and gentlemen, this is David Alison. He is amazing. One more time, your URL for everybody, David?
David: Just valuegraphics.com, come and hang out, visit, sign up. We'll send you stuff. You'll have a good time, I promise.
Kathryn: I promise.
Michael: And we hope you enjoyed today as much as we did. We have a ball talking with this guy and we are really thankful, David, that you were willing to join with us today and thank you for your vulnerability. I just really want to say that means a lot and we just really appreciate it. So, thank you.
David: Thanks for asking those hard questions. I don't get to talk about that stuff very often. So, thanks very much. And yeah, look forward to the next time we have a chat.
Michael: So, I'm Michael Redmond.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this is the HaBO Village Podcast. Thanks for visiting. And we'll talk to you next time.