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Do hard working nations lack imagination?

On obedience, independence, hard work, and imaginativeness.

Bruno Pešec
Bruno Pešec
1 min read
Do hard working nations lack imagination?

As a Croatian who lives in Norway, and works as an innovation and strategy consultant, I've always found it relatively easy to work with Norwegians—despite not being a fluent speaker.

Ideas are heard out (even those that perhaps should've been cut short much earlier), there is a fair amount of openness and transparency in nearly all businesses, atmosphere is predominantly relaxed (even in high-stakes situations), individual thought and action is valued without detriment to the community, and so on.

I've always assumed that my experience is partly due to the sampling bias—after all, I'm working and socialising with people that share similar values to myself.

But I've recently stumbled upon two visualisations of the data from the World Values Survey and the European Values Study (2017–2020 data set), which tell me that my experience might be representative of a broader population:

What qualities should children be encouraged to learn? Imagination, hard work, or both? (Source)
What qualities should children be encouraged to learn? Imagination, hard work, or both? (Source)
What qualities should children be encouraged to learn? Independence or obedience? (Source)

Isn't it interesting how many nations value independence more than obedience? And how few countries value both independence and imaginativeness? Do nations that value hard work more, lack imagination? Does that spill over to curiosity, inquisitiveness, and creativity?

Perhaps the values survey data won't offer us a definite answer, but it surely does provide an interesting insight for further reflection.

Above charts were made by Anders Sundell using data provided by the World Values Survey Association and the European Values Study (data source).

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Bruno Pešec

I help business leaders innovate profitably at scale.

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