Creating value requires new behavior

If you want to innovate, you must create value.  And if you want to create new value, you must change behavior.

Yet, the most common mistake in innovation seems to be a disregard for examining the barriers to new customer behavior.  

Perhaps it's easier to tinker with a product or a service offering we created ourselves than it is to deeply understand what prevents your customers from using it. 

Maybe it's because 75% or more of people in large organizations cannot explain how value is created.

If you want to innovate more reliably, focus more energy on overcoming barriers to adoption.  It's rarely a bad investment.

 

Analytics are not enough

We humans did it again.

We used a simple label for a process that describes a part and not the whole.

Analytics.

The word most use to describe the process of examining data and information to create value for the business.

Examining the data is only the middle part.  It should be preceded by defining a decision to make and followed by an action that is linked to advancing the goals of the organization.

Perhaps the imprecise label is why we so often spend so much time analyzing and less time deciding and creating value.

Begin with the end in mind

All too often analytics are an exercise in curiosity.

Yes, curiosity is great for learning, but in analytics it isn't all you need.

Analytics should enable a decision.

The problem is most don't take time to determine why, what or how we will decide.

If you want to elevate your capabilities in analytics follow these three steps before you invest time analyzing.

  1. Define the decision to be made (problem or opportunity?)
  2. Define why it's important to make the decision (what's the value?)
  3. Define how you'll decide (criteria?)

Fortune Favors the Bold...

Probably because only the bold can face feedback without being fearful.

When you boldly overcome your fears to truly listen to feedback...

When you boldly overcome your reactive nature to listen to understand, not to respond...

Your understanding of how others perceive you becomes more accurate, and you grow in empathy for others.

Both are worth a fortune!

I've never heard "I'm just here for the paycheck."

Maybe it's because of the cliché we've learned to avoid saying it.

But I have observed an intensive defense of the right to remain the same.

Yes, your paycheck is generally associated with the here and now, what has already been done. 

However, the here and now is changing.  Maybe not suddenly, but gradually. 

Even though the weeks feel similar your customer is changing.  Subtle changes that feel like no change at all.  Like yesterday was the same as today.  Except it isn't.  

 

 

Unlock Greater Empathy

Everyone wants to create more value.  To be more valuable.  And that means a deep, genuine understanding of where the people are going and what stands in their way.

But so few realize how defensive they make others when they try to diagnose or ask questions to others.

Humans generally don't like to be told they are wrong or feel intimidated.  They want to avoid looking bad and feel like they have plenty of knowledge.

So before you try to create value, do others feel safe to share with you? 

How safe they feel begins before you start to talk.  It depends on how they've seen you treat others and to the degree they sense a lack of your criticism.

If you want to deeply, genuinely understand how people feel, model non-judgmental and un-defensive behavior everyday so they can trust you when it's time. 

Let them hear you say "I don't know."  

Let them see you talk to others about solutions and not the problems.

Let them hear you only say about others what you would in their presence.

Let them see you have the courage to model UN-defensive behavior.

Let them hear you simply say "Thank you" after receiving feedback.

Are You Intentional About Creating Value?

If you want to be (more) valuable and powerful, you must be (more) intentional about creating value.  More intentional about practicing the laws defining value creation.

But most of us aren't intentional.  We're either ignorant of the laws defining value creation or we choose not to apply them - we get distracted by our own needs.

Our own needs loom larger than the needs of others.  "I just need to get this done ASAP."  Right?  Like Daniel Kahneman says of others, "Their favorite position is beside themself."

Be intentional about creating value.  What is value?  What is the process by which value is created? 

To the degree you are intentionally practicing the laws defining value creation, is to the degree you will grow in value.  Who doesn't want that?

Are Customers More Important Than Your Teammates?

Have you ever noticed we often treat customers quite differently from our teammates or subordinates?

We exercise empathy and skill to diagnose where our customers are going, then co-create solutions.

Next we’ll turn around and demand our internal teammates meet a customer deadline we created without their input.  Or we’ll ask them to disregard standard timelines and procedures.

Sound familiar?

Great sales people know leading change with people is similar to leading change with customers.  It’s important to exercise empathy and co-create the future in every interaction with teammates, too.

The only difference is how much you care.

When The Business Model is More Important Than Purpose

In large enterprise, the financial model and process often become more important than the purpose.

Close the month with sales growth of 2.1% not 1.7%...EBITDA must be 10% not 9.5%.

And process is powerful for consistency and reliability…but getting approvals is easy from 2 people, not 6 – whose schedules (and politics) are seemingly impenetrable.

So, the business model and process keep everyone happy, for a while.  Until suddenly, how did that small startup gain so much in our category so quickly?

We were diligently watching our KPIs.  We never said “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”  (But we did say “follow the process.”)

Except now, it’s time to talk about change and capturing more value. 

Do we have a methodology for this?  Can our people intentionally craft exchanges of value and make every interaction valuable - with customers or patients or internal colleagues?

Here is the good news.  There are discrete laws governing value creation, a methodology exists that are guaranteed to make you more valuable in every interaction with others.  We just haven’t been talking about them.

Who doesn't want to be more valuable?