by John Powderly FRSA

Welcome back to this series of writings dedicated to the work and worldview of Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing. Here I continue to explore how relationships influence our sense of control and happiness, and I focus on the overlaps between value modes.

Socially Excluded/Settler

Strictly speaking, being socially excluded is not a values mode, but I thought it would be important to raise awareness of individuals who are unable to meet their Settler needs, who come under different names, such as outsiders, underclass, dispossessed, aimless and so on.

In contrast to other values modes, as Settlers, there is a real danger of experiencing the negative consequences of loneliness and isolation. Belonging is the foundation of our wellbeing, so a lack of neighbourhood spirit, or not feeling part of a community often correlates with a measured deterioration in our health.

Almost by definition, it would be impossible for a Settler to choose to be a loner. So, we would see being alone and feeling alone as failure!


As we start to recognise our Prospector needs, we tend to identify with a particular "community of interest", such as supporters of a football team, or fans of a particular kind of music. In essence, we are refining our Settler need to be part of a group and re-defining what "group" means, where it is linked less to blood ties, geography, or the work we do.

One way we can develop relationships is by being an active member of a team. So, as well as being a fan, follower or supporter, we are more willing to be part of a team, particularly if we are able to share in its success - receiving an award for a new innovative project, getting to the top of our local football league and so on.

Further refinement of our needs could include the delicate art of competing as individuals whilst socialising with our "opponents", such as being members of a tennis club, playing chess in the park, or being in work teams when a leadership position becomes available. Competition helps us to keep motivated and to test ourselves.

We will not tolerate for long being one of the smaller fish in a large pond - we will either stop the activity, or dig deep and become a larger fish again. Likewise, if we are always the biggest fish, always winning, we will be tempted to test ourselves in a more challenging environment.


As Prospectors, sometimes we may do good things so that we are seen in a good light by others (virtue signalling), but this is not the whole story. We definitely need to succeed, but we can also operate behind the scenes helping others.

When working from our private self, which friends and close colleagues may see, we also like to help other people to succeed. We need recognition from others, but we also like to give recognition, to give feedback and to support others.>/p>

When we show our caring side it is also a sign that we are happy and life is going well.

Creative Tension?

As we experience the contrasting needs of different value modes, we are likely to experience feelings and moods (and thoughts?) that appear to be out of our control. These are the symptoms of conscious or unconscious tensions and contradictions between conflicting needs. Our challenge is not to subdue these differences, but to honour all our needs and to move beyond compromise.

N.B. All views and opinions expressed through these writings are solely my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cultural Dynamics.

John. email: