4 Reasons To See The Many Faces Of Value

By Tom Schramski, PhD

Volume 1 Issue 1, January 28, 2014

A friend who was planning to transition from his business recently asked me how much it was worth.  My response?  “To whom?” After indicating that he wanted to know for “me,” I answered “are you buying it or are you looking for someone else to acquire it?”

I wasn’t trying to be rude, but the point was made. We naturally focus on our assessment of a situation, especially when it is a business that we birthed, nurtured, and grew to some success through making payroll at the last moment and working 80 hours per week. We have an emotional attachment that is understandable, but it is only one perspective. When we look at other perspectives, other faces appear – potential buyers, lenders, family members, customers, and payers. Value has a data basis, but is always subject to the eye of the beholder.

There are some very good reasons to see the other faces:

  1. The more value perspectives you can appreciate, the more strategic flexibility you gain to reach your goals. Tactical agility increases your options.
  2. When you are perceived as understanding another’s perspective, the more others want to transact with you. They see potential for a relationship with some trust.
  3. The more you affirm the view of someone else, even when you say “that doesn’t work for me,” the better you are able to offer a counterproposal. There is always more than one way to get there.
  4. You may find that your specific goals/objectives are not matched well to you customers. Steve Jobs once said that “no plan is the same after making contact with the market.” Your product or service could be very good, but you may have to tinker with it a little so customers can better see the value.

It may sound funny, but customers and buyers want to like you, and maybe even love your company.  Margaret Wheatley wrote that “the more seriously we acknowledge different perspectives, the more they will be magnetized to join us.” Consider that possibility.