Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Price is Not Too High, The Value is Too Low: Part 2

Recently I have been reviewing this post I wrote in September 2009 as I am working on 2011 business plans where I work, and wanted to further elaborate on this topic, at the encouragement of my boss. :-)

In these austere times, "no price too high, but value too low" this mantra is all the more critical as everyone is crying "low and lower price" while not really asking enough about "what is the value?". This lack of asking makes it all the more critical that we who are seeking funding & resources be better than ever at articulating the value we will deliver. I had a great discussion with my boss about this matter and he challenged me about a few things that stick with me:

1. Lead with the deliverables, not the resource request. So often we are preoccupied with what we need to get a job done (the resources) and neglect to clearly define and articulate the outcome we will create (the deliverables). We fail to understand that the investor is most interested in the outcome. For success, we have to learn to think as much like the investor as like the performer who converts resources into outcomes. As we transform our thinking in this way we will improve our proposals with better linkages between deliverables and resources, and as a result, improve the "hit" rate on our requests, whether it be for budgets, jobs, relationships, etc..

2. Focus on value-added activities & drop the non-value-added "busywork". So often we get caught up in the "urgent and efficient" elements of our to-do lists to the neglect of the "important and effective" elements of the same lists. In reflecting on this admonishment, I have to remember the 80/20 rule; that 20 percent of our effort gets us 80 percent of our outcome. Where we invest effort has a lot to do with the outcome we get, for better and or worse. If we are neglecting the investment of that 20 percent in important and effective effort, our outcomes will suffer. Another element of this dilemma is that those things that are most important and effective, are also most challenging to us and thus invite procrastination (see my earlier post on this topic). This tendency toward the urgent & efficient, and avoidance of the challenging is something to watch and to be disciplined against in order to deliver the value that warrants the higher price we all like to charge.


WriteBrain said...

A job-hunter is uniquely challenged in identifying and pursuing deliverables. There is an endless array of possible deliverables.

Craig A. DeLarge said...

I definitely agree WriteBrain. Mastery of the "challenging" is what lends competitive advantage.

The endless nature of deliverables is both a pain and an opportunity.

Thanks for reading.