The law of criticism

When it comes to creating value, creators must be highly skilled at getting inside the minds of those they serve.

The more you know what people really think and believe, the more skillfully you can create an offer people will actually use to achieve their goals.

Criticism shuts down genuine empathy and prevents a pure diagnosis. This is the law of criticism.

Avoid words like, no, should, stop, don’t, whatever or won’t.

Avoid phrases or expressions like, that’s dumb, pshhhh, sounds silly, that’s crazy, who would ever do that or so weird.

Master Value Practitioners even are trained to prevent these attitudes from developing within: cynicsm, skepticism, doubt, confusion, condescension, disgust or disbelief.

Remember, when you are diagnosing others you are seeking to understand as they understand, not as you would understand.

The law of behavior

When it comes to creating value, the law of behavior says behavior must change or value is not created.

Whenever my children were in trouble with me, it was common to hear “I know, Dad. I know.” Knowing wasn’t enough to prevent them from behaving poorly.

We all have areas in our life where we know new behavior would benefit us, but we don’t.

“I know I need to get my blood pressure down with exercise.”

“I know it would help employee turnover if I stopped yelling at work.”

If you want to help change behavior, you must also understand what people believe about what they know. Knowing exercise will lower your hypertension doesn’t mean you believe it’s an activity worth doing.

If you want to create value more effectively, start spending more time examining what others believe about what they know.

The law of limited resources

It’s easy to be enamored with your own ideas. Or fall head over heels in love with your new product.

Or your new product extension. Or a new app feature.

But, having limited resources is a fundamental law in value creation. Choosing your offer means customers give up choosing something else. What will your customer need to give up to get your solution? And, what are their attitudes and beliefs about giving it up?

You also might want to know that people are funny about losses. They would rather choose to avoid a loss than secure a gain. If given a choice between two chances to avoid a loss or secure a gain of the same probability and value, people will generally choose to avoid the loss instead.

Having a great product or service isn’t enough to create value. You need to know whether customers will readily give up what is necessary to get what you offer.

So instead of being so enamored with your own creation, test whether your consumers will give up what is necessary to gain your creation. Until this happens, value isn’t created.

The law of leading

Have you ever observed a Sales person or Marketer who was frustrated by a lack of sales? Maybe you’ve heard someone say “the customers just don’t get it.”

These are examples of people ignoring the law of leading in value creation.

In value creation, the law of leading is this…if you want to create value you must accept responsibility for taking the initiative.

So what does this look like in action? Innovators who live by the law of leading don’t get frustrated when customers don’t behave as expected, they take the initiative to adjust. They recognize it is their responsibility to adjust and enable different customer behavior. They get closer to their customer and adjust their offer to be more aligned with the customer’s needs.

And by customers we mean: patients, colleagues, supervisors, teammates, etc.

The law of linking

Creating value means enabling new behavior.

But new behavior won’t occur unless people see the change is linked to a benefit.

Benefits are only things that help people gain on a goal or eliminate a problem in the way of the goal. Basic, but true.

Your offers must be credibly linked to helping customers (…patients, bosses, co-workers, etc.) gain on a goal or solve a problem in the way of this goal, else it will not enable new behavior. This is the law of linking.

If you want to improve your effectiveness at creating value, improve the link to helping your audience gain on an important goal or remove a problem in its way.

When the task is more important than empathy

Following a script or checklist is helpful to keep us consistent when interacting with customers or patients.

But sometimes consistent isn’t effective.

Have you ever been part of a customer or patient experience where the script was clearly being followed but lost its relevance?

When the task becomes more important than the empathy it creates a big risk. One that might create a detractor out of the experience instead of an advocate.

Make sure your standard approach always begins with gaining empathy and a way to check your assumptions.

Keeping empathy and good diagnostics at the beginning of your standard engagement process ensures your consistency is also effective.

The first budget cuts: innovation and market research

When confidence erodes in the company financials, what are the easiest costs to cut?

Usually innovation and market research.

The problem people have with both is a lack of short term results.

Sure it felt good to make the numbers more palatable today, but it hides a future reckoning.

Companies that refuse to stay close to customers and don’t work on different things to create value are stubbornly protecting the status quo. It’s also called complacency.

Perhaps instead of cutting budgets, we should be changing methods instead.

Creating value is the life-blood of every organization

All existing organizations create value. And the flip side is also true,

An organization that does not create value cannot exist. It is impossible.

Every organization that exists is creating value, for someone, at least one person, somewhere.

The moment an organization ceases to create value is the exact moment it no longer exists.

Creating value is the life-blood of every organization.

The law of conflict

Creating value always involves conflict.

And there is a good reason for this.

To the degree we are doing worthy things today, is to the degree it will be harder to let it go for something different. And good people are usually doing meaningful and worthy things in the present.

Value Practitioners on the journey of creating value, cannot ignore this law associated with value creation. They must expect conflict and be skillful at navigating it.

As you lead change to create value, expect the conflict - don’t be surprised or frustrated by it.

Navigating conflict is a skill that can be learned. Must be learned.

3 steps to make time with prospective vendors more productive

If you’re a corporate practitioner you probably get upwards of 3 calls and 10 emails a day from prospective vendors soliciting their services or products.

It’s important to keep a pipeline of innovative partners, but how do you appropriately consider them without making it your full time job?

Here are three practical steps that can make you and your team more effective in this regard.

First, define your top 3 priorities both for the next 6 months and the year ahead. Use this as the lens by which you assess potential vendors for relevance. You can relax this requirement once or twice during the year to inspire your team’s thinking.

Second, for vendors that appear relevant based on the first step, ask them to share how their offering links to helping you gain on these priorities or solve problems in the way. Never just ask them to come in and give you a pitch. Demand they demonstrate their link to creating value.

Third, set aside a half day every other month to allow prospective vendors to share how their solutions will help you gain on your top goals and solve your top problems.

This helps you stay focused on what’s important and ensures the perspectives you gain are aligned with value creation. Even if you never decide to work together, you’ll be strengthened with fresh perspective.