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Edward de Bono’s Six Value Medals

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Medals of Decision Making

In the dynamic realm of decision-making, Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals stands out as a transformative tool, illuminating the various facets of value-driven choices. Introduced by Edward de Bono, a pioneer in lateral thinking and creativity, the Six Value Medals provide a structured approach to evaluate decisions based on different value perspectives. As organizations grapple with an ever-complex environment, understanding and applying these value lenses becomes paramount. The medals - Gold, Silver, Steel, Glass, Wood, and Brass - represent distinct types of values, guiding decision-makers towards comprehensive and value-rich outcomes.

So, let's embark on this enlightening journey and discover the significance of each medal in our decision-making mosaic.


Delving into the Six Value Medals offers profound insights:

  • Holistic Decision Making: Ensures comprehensive evaluation of decisions from multiple value perspectives.

  • Improved Prioritization: Helps in aligning decisions with organizational and individual priorities.

  • Enhanced Clarity: Reduces ambiguity by providing clear value-based lenses for evaluation.

  • Effective Communication: Facilitates better articulation and understanding of decisions based on shared value parameters.

  • Strategic Alignment: Ensures decisions resonate with the broader strategic goals and values of the organization.

When to use

The Six Value Medals shine brightest:

  1. Strategic Planning: When aligning strategic initiatives with organizational values.

  2. Team Decisions: To ensure a collective, value-driven decision-making process.

  3. Resource Allocation: When prioritizing and allocating resources based on value considerations.

  4. Conflict Resolution: To understand and navigate differing value perspectives in disagreements.

  5. Innovation and Creativity: When brainstorming and evaluating innovative solutions.

OD Application

Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals Framework: Sculpting Pathways to Well-being and Prosperity in Organizations

In the intricate tapestry of decision-making frameworks, Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals gleam with a unique luster. Designed to aid decision-makers in understanding values, this approach provides a structured method to evaluate and prioritize based on six distinct value types. As we embark on a journey through the gleaming corridors of the Six Value Medals framework, we'll uncover its profound potential to enhance organizational "Well-being" and drive "Prosperity."

Elevating Organizational Well-being with Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals Framework

Crafting a Culture of Comprehensive Decision Making:The Six Value Medals instill a comprehensive approach to decision-making. By evaluating decisions from six distinct value perspectives, organizations cultivate an inclusive environment, ensuring all facets of a decision are considered.

Social Psychology and Collaborative Deliberation:The framework necessitates cross-functional collaboration. Teams converge to assess decisions from various value perspectives, fostering a shared understanding and mutual respect.

Empowerment Through Informed Choices:Armed with the insights from the Six Value Medals, individuals in an organization feel more empowered to make choices. The structured approach ensures decisions are well-informed and balanced.

Steering Organizational Prosperity with Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals Framework

Strategic Alignment and Value Maximization:By assessing decisions from six value perspectives, organizations ensure their choices are aligned with their strategic objectives. This alignment ensures optimal resource utilization and value maximization.

Operational Excellence through Prioritized Decision Making:The Six Value Medals aid in prioritizing decisions based on their value impact. This prioritization ensures operational agility and excellence, driving optimal outcomes.

Sustained Growth through Value-Driven Choices:By making choices that resonate with the six value types, organizations position themselves for sustained growth. Decisions that maximize value ensure long-term success and expansion.

Discerning the Alignment: Is Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals Framework the Guiding Light?

While the Six Value Medals provide a comprehensive lens for decision-making, their alignment with an organization's unique context, challenges, and vision is paramount. Here's where the framework shines:

  • Complex Decisions: For organizations grappling with complex decisions that have multifaceted implications, the Six Value Medals offer a structured approach to evaluate all angles.

  • Strategic Pivots: In scenarios marked by strategic shifts or reorientations, the framework ensures decisions are aligned with overarching objectives.

  • Value-Driven Organizations: Organizations that place a premium on value-driven decisions will find the principles of the Six Value Medals particularly resonant.

However, for decisions that are routine or have minimal value implications, the exhaustive approach of the Six Value Medals might be an overkill.

Tailoring and Harnessing Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals Framework

To fully leverage the insights of the Six Value Medals, it's imperative to tailor the approach to the organization's unique decision-making landscape. A roadmap for OD consultants:

  • Engaging Introduction: Begin by introducing the core tenets of the Six Value Medals, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive, value-driven decision-making.

  • Facilitate Collaborative Workshops: Organize sessions where teams collaboratively assess decisions using the six medals, ensuring a collective understanding and alignment.

  • Continuous Monitoring and Feedback: Offer unwavering support, emphasizing the importance of continuous reflection and feedback in the decision-making process.

  • Feedback Mechanisms: Establish channels for feedback, allowing teams to share insights, challenges, and suggestions related to their decision-making journey.

Sensing the Transformation: Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals in Action

The transformative resonance of the Six Value Medals, when deeply integrated into an organization's decision-making fabric, can be palpably sensed across various levels:

  • Individual Level: Enhanced confidence stemming from comprehensive decision-making, a deep sense of empowerment, and enriched decision-making acumen.

  • Team Level: Collaborative decision-making, mutual understanding of value implications, and a collective drive towards value maximization.

  • Organizational Level: Strategic alignment, operational agility driven by prioritized decisions, and a culture rooted in value-driven choices.

Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals, with their gleaming insights into value-driven decision-making, offer organizations a structured compass to navigate the intricate terrains of their choices. Championing the cause of comprehensive evaluation, prioritization, and value maximization, this framework stands as a beacon for organizations poised at the crossroads of well-being and prosperity. As these organizations embark on their decision-making journeys, the Six Value Medals illuminate their pathways, guiding them towards informed choices, value-driven outcomes, and a prosperous future.


Healthcare: Hospital Resource Allocation

A hospital, grappling with budget constraints, employed the Six Value Medals to prioritize its expenditures. By evaluating the value implications of each spending decision, they ensured resources were allocated where they brought the most value to patients and staff.

Outcome: Enhanced patient care quality while maintaining staff morale and operational efficiency.

Technology: Product Development

A tech company, in the midst of developing a new product, used the Six Value Medals to evaluate the features to include. This value-driven approach ensured the final product resonated with both the company's values and customers' needs.

Outcome: A product that achieved market success and reinforced the company's brand values.

Non-Profit: Community Project Selection

A non-profit organization, aiming to launch a community project, utilized the Six Value Medals to select the most impactful initiative. This ensured the project not only resonated with the community's needs but also aligned with the organization's mission.

Outcome: A successful community project that garnered widespread support and made a lasting impact.

Facilitator Notes

How to Introduce the Six Value Medals

Kick off the discussion by emphasizing the importance of value-driven decision-making. Introduce Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals as a tool that provides structured lenses to evaluate and understand the value implications of choices.

Sample Introduction Script

"In the vast landscape of decisions, understanding the value implications is paramount. The Six Value Medals by Edward de Bono offer us a structured approach to decipher the value code embedded in our choices. Let's dive deep into these medals and unravel the value mysteries they hold."

Helpful Facilitator Questions

  1. Which of the Six Value Medals resonates most with the current decision at hand?

  2. Can you identify any potential conflicts between different value medals in your decision?

  3. How can the team ensure that all value perspectives are considered before finalizing a decision?

  4. Are there any external factors that might influence the prominence of one value medal over the others?

  5. How do you see the Six Value Medals evolving with changing organizational or societal values?

Deciphering the Value Code

The Six Value Medals, with their nuanced value perspectives, enrich the decision-making tapestry. They not only provide clarity but also ensure decisions are harmonious with the broader value systems. By embracing these medals, individuals and organizations can navigate the intricate value maze with confidence and precision.

Success Indicators: Medals in Action

Successful application of the Six Value Medals is evident when:

  1. Value Harmony: Decisions resonate with the broader organizational and societal value systems.

  2. Inclusive Decision Making: All value perspectives are considered, ensuring a holistic decision-making approach.

  3. Continuous Evaluation: Regular reviews of decisions using the value medals to ensure continued alignment.

  4. Value-driven Communication: Decisions are communicated with a clear emphasis on their value implications.

  5. Stakeholder Satisfaction: Decisions meet or exceed the value expectations of stakeholders.

Deep Dive

Related Theories

Parallel Thinking (Edward de Bono) Field: Cognitive Psychology

A method of collaborative thinking where team members think in parallel, ensuring a structured and harmonious approach to problem-solving, aligning well with the structured approach of the Six Value Medals.

Theory of Constraints (Eliyahu M. Goldratt) Field: Business Management

Focuses on identifying the most significant constraints that hinder an organization's success and aligning processes to address them. The value lenses of the Six Value Medals can aid in pinpointing these constraints.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Abraham Maslow) Field: Psychology

A theory that describes human motivation through a hierarchy of needs. It offers insights into the underlying values and priorities of individuals, complementing the value considerations of the Six Value Medals.


  1. How has the introduction of the Six Value Medals influenced your approach to decision-making?

  2. Are there scenarios where certain value medals might conflict with personal or organizational values?

  3. How can organizations ensure a balance between different value medals in their decisions?

  4. In what ways do external societal changes influence the prominence of different value medals?

  5. How do the Six Value Medals align with other decision-making tools or frameworks you are familiar with?


Here are five highly relevant, intellectually stimulating, and practical research questions:

  1. How do cultural differences influence the prominence or interpretation of the Six Value Medals?

  2. How has the rise of digital transformation influenced the application of the Six Value Medals in tech industries?

  3. What role does organizational hierarchy play in the prioritization or acknowledgment of different value medals?

  4. How can the Six Value Medals be adapted for personal decision-making or life choices?

  5. What impact do global events or crises have on the evolution or prioritization of different value medals?


  1. "Six Value Medals" by Edward de Bono The foundational text that introduces the concept and intricacies of the Six Value Medals, providing in-depth insights and applications.

  2. "Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step" by Edward de Bono An exploration into creative thinking processes, offering complementary insights to the value-driven approach of the Six Value Medals.

  3. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink Delving into the motivations behind human actions, this book offers insights into the underlying values that drive decisions, aligning with the principles of the Six Value Medals.


Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals, with their rich tapestry of value perspectives, offer a guiding light in the intricate corridors of decision-making. Embrace these medals, and chart a path that is not only logical but also deeply resonant with the myriad values that shape our world.

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