Cre­at­ing value - the top goal of ev­ery ex­ec­u­tive

Asian Journal - - WORLD - Ea­monn Percy

the CEO lacks a clear vi­sion and is un­able, or un­will­ing, to ar­tic­u­late the clear vi­sion on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. As an ex­ec­u­tive, if your over arch­ing fo­cus is not to cre­ate value, then what is it? Yes, lead­er­ship is im­por­tant, com­mu­ni­cat­ing is im­por­tant and help­ing build great prod­ucts and ser­vices that wow the cus­tomers are im­por­tant as well. But those are all a means to an end. And the end is cre­at­ing great value for the cus­tomers, share­hold­ers and em­ploy­ees, that builds and sus­tains and great busi­ness.

Ben Franklin fa­mously started each day by ask­ing him­self the same ques­tion, “What good can I do to­day?”. I think many ex­ec­u­tives would be well served by ask­ing them­selves the corol­lary ques­tion, “What value can I cre­ate to­day?”. This sim­ple ques­tion will fo­cus the mind on what is most im­por­tant and en­able the ex­ec­u­tive to con­tribute in a more mean­ing­ful way, while mak­ing him­self, and those around him, stronger and more im­pact­ful.

Here is the best way to make value cre­ation your top goal as an ex­ec­u­tive, man­ager or en­tre­pre­neur:

• Un­der­stand what con­sists of high value in your com­pany, as it varies wildly by com­pany and sec­tor. For in­stance, tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies tend to value in­no­va­tion and new prod­ucts and ser­vices devel­op­ment, while a more es­tab­lished com­pany may value the de­liv­ery of those prod­ucts and ser­vices in a cost ef­fec­tive man­ner. • Move into func­tions of the com­pany that have the high­est op­por­tu­nity for value cre­ation, which gen­er­ally are line or op­er­a­tional roles, and not staff or ad­min­is­tra­tive roles.

• Un­der­stand the strate­gic di­rec­tion of the com­pany as ar­tic­u­lated by the CEO, and de­ter­mine what you can do to sup­port cre­at­ing value in the achieve­ment of the strate­gic goals. Look to be a prob­lem solver, not a prob­lem cre­ator.

• Be cre­ative in the devel­op­ment of new ideas and in solv­ing prob­lems, as of­ten sig­nif­i­cant value is cre­ated by do­ing old things in new ways. • Fi­nally, ask your­self what value can be cre­ated by NOT do­ing cer­tain ac­tiv­i­ties and by re­de­ploy­ing re­sources to more promis­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, as of­ten the great­est value can be cre­ated when we re­fo­cus our en­ergy on pur­suits of high­est and best use. I took my ca­reer from the shop floor to the board room largely on this prin­ci­ple (though sup­ported by a heavy dose of skill en­hance­ment and hard work) and know it to be ex­tremely pow­er­ful for any­one aspiring to a lead­er­ship role. I know that given enough time and enough sus­tained ef­fort, a fo­cus on value cre­ation will even­tu­ally pay div­i­dends and en­able both you and the com­pany, to reap sub­stan­tial re­wards.

Ea­monn has a B. Eng. (Elec­tri­cal) from Lake­head Univer­sity, MBA (Fi­nance) from Univer­sity of Toronto, and has com­pleted Ex­ec­u­tive Ed­u­ca­tion at Stan­ford Univer­sity Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness. He lives in Van­cou­ver, Canada. Fol­low him on twit­ter @ Ea­mon­npercy.

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