Saturday September 9, 2017 0 comments
By Bill Van Eron
Value Creation Systems Strategist
Headwaters Marketing & Innovation
The intent of this blog is to alert those who want to realign their careers to emerging needs, stay ahead of their career value curve, and be inspired by their business meaning and jobs…at a time when too few seem so empowered. You can realize and shape your own path to empowerment to do so. Why wait for traditionally conservative, heads down managers to pave the way? It rarely happens. Flipping that around, as more businesses understand and invest in more human-centric paths to earning regard internally and externally, they too will prosper. I write this as one who lived it and flourished from it shaping value where too few saw it as possible - yet it had the biggest impact - to now enabling more to do it as Conscious Champions.
What is Value Creation (VC)?
The concept is powerfully simple and yet elegant. Expand your conscious perceptions of the needs of your customer, channel partners, and understand impacts on their influence and value ecosystem. These insights often create higher value, more relevant solutions, higher regard and greater revenues growth.
- VC has a wide range of application to help solve some of the biggest challenges to business today:
- Revenue Growth: You can’t simply mandate this. It is unequivocally the result of a system that creates value internally and externally. What you make has long been secondary to what you stand for, your authenticity and your perceived and actual credibility, relevance and value.
- Customer satisfaction: Most efforts do OK with clinical customer support, but the criteria shaping the customer experience is far greater than just that. Customers see through “cute creative” or hyperbole as superficial. Connect your experience efforts to ongoing value creation and shoot for the moon as a successful pattern that all delight in delivering and receiving.
- Enabling work with meaning: Inspired and self-actualized employees are an uncommon advantage when their work matters. Enable them to shape that value as unique to external insights. Gallup states 70% of employees are emotionally detached from work - a true death knell to revenue growth or company vitality.
- Inclusion: Employees value having a role in creating external or internal value. Being part of shaping value to the greater good and business creates purpose and pride. Matrixed and global organizations discover more robust teams when this attribute is in play.
- An open culture: The abundance of closed product centered cultures strangle off market relevancy and kill growth. Embracing an external focus and enabling employees to observe customers and trends naturally fuels more open what if discussions.
- The best path to brand vitality: Imagine your brand continually fueled by customer insights that create value bridges back into the brand where feasible. This is like comparing gold to lead as when done right, no comparison.
- Continuous Innovation 360: Many just focus innovation on slow, expensive, thus cautious product development options. It’s well documented that most mid to large companies suck at innovation. That is partially because they are only looking at incremental product innovations which rarely pay off as well as market-inspired innovation.
- An enabling leadership: Companies get lost in their own silos, and get trapped into silo solutions. Value Creation naturally touches on all functions as an interdependent value catalyst naturally impacting success.
- Functional Effectiveness: Internal silos & external silo solutions are analogistic to running with your feet tied. Open up to value creation and systems thinking and fly faster and more confidently.
- More effective marketing, sales and R&D: Create a better core of trust and value and it all works better. Ignore this and fail faster and lose your hair scratching your head wondering what happened.
- It’s a big part of the equation to rethink sales and marketing: By not being proactive to its own health, and owning customer insights to actions, marketing has to own its own death spiral. That can change dramatically as creative thinkers leap beyond their own comfort zones to shape value, credibility and trust.
- Value Creation Systems (VCS): As one who has long applied and expanded systems thinking, I saw a natural extension to Value Creation. My associate Gautam Mahajan wrote 3 books on Value Creation which is the backbone of Microsoft’s vision and forthcoming strategy. VCS enables disparate industries to connect and create disruption where control created value barriers before. Our emerging strategies to connect education and industry; to power up higher success rates for entrepreneurs; to integrate multiple technologies to a clear and high value purpose only begin to address huge market opportunities in abundance.
- VC requires little management beyond expressing the objective to observe as it enables customer facing employees and employees in various functions and roles to make a difference. They get beyond the status quo and business usual, to understand and act on the impact of market trends internally and externally.
- How to win support in your organization? As one who pioneered being a Customer Champion in HP, value creation, systems thinking and experience management were my big three. I had to put my job on the line (not dramatically) yet figuratively. My managers above me knew they were not invested in marketing or its nuances, so their approval was casual “It’s your job (risk) and you should do what you think is right”, I had strong value convictions from spending time with customers, my research and collaborations with sales, outside experts and more. Today, you still need courage and conviction. We initiated a Conscious Catalysts Program to inspire, and enable leadership from within versus just as a top down expectation.
- How have we applied it: Too many ways to list, each time as the major advantage. In HP, combined with systems thinking, trust and empowerment, in a 10-year period, it reliably served as the catalyst to over $30 billion in revenues that would not have been realized otherwise. I say that with great respect for the newly inspired teams that realized greater self and organizational worth as a result of buying in and adding their value. My sales force team and my resellers in the Florida district out-performed all others by a 3 to 1 margin or better. One Reseller I branded continues to outpace most others growth rates (Tech Data) by maintaining a value creation culture. The NPA – the largest objective network technology expertise would never have gotten launched had I not switched the value proposition from joining an HP and Novell sponsored org to instead using their expertise to shape an entire industry unfettered. Even HP’s highly vaunted Reseller Channel was jumpstarted when I led the Co-op programs shift from pressuring resellers to sell HP, to helping them to tie their own success, brands and growth with HP as a partner, by focusing on value wherever it mattered most.
As I look out to a future we can all enjoy for the right reasons if we act now, I evolved my own role from doing marketing to enabling a conscious value creation approach and a uniquely evolved integrated value delivery engine. Along the way, my associates and I will redefine consulting to a more human-centered response system of interdependent value integration. Today’s WEconomy demands it and too many thought leaders challenged me personally not to retire without helping the other 99% trying to figure out what we were blessed to do with the right compass and instincts.