Life in the corporate world is a delicate dance between being valuable and delivering value. But what do these terms really mean in a business context? Let’s break it down.
In a business, ‘value’ refers to the economic worth that a product, service, or capability offers to the customer. It’s the end result—the golden egg if you will. And guess who owns this golden egg? The leadership. Leadership is the custodian of value, setting the vision and steering the ship towards delivering it.
On the other side of the coin, we have ‘valuable’. In business, being valuable goes beyond financial metrics. It’s about how vital and indispensable an organization or a team is to its stakeholders. Think of it as the goose in our earlier metaphor—the provider of the golden eggs.
And who steers this valuable entity? The engineering teams. These are the creators, innovators, and problem solvers who transform resources into products, services, and capabilities that stakeholders find valuable.
Let’s examine how three Fortune 100 companies exemplify the concept of being Valuable whilst providing value.
Amazon, the global e-commerce giant, is invaluable due to its vast selection, competitive prices, and customer convenience. Over the past decade, they’ve delivered value through products like Amazon Prime, AWS, and Echo, transforming how we shop, stream content, and interact with technology.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is another valuable entity with its robust portfolio of products and services. From Search and Ads to Android and YouTube, they’ve consistently delivered value to billions of users globally.
Microsoft’s valuable place in the business world is indisputable. They’ve delivered value through their suite of productivity tools (Office 365), operating systems (Windows), and, more recently, their cloud services (Azure).
Just as the fable of the goose that laid the golden egg teaches, focusing solely on the golden eggs (value) without caring for the goose (being valuable) can lead to downfall. Organizations that sacrifice long-term sustainability for short-term gains often face challenges. It’s a warning to businesses: cherish your goose—your engineering teams—and enable them to continue laying those golden eggs.
So how does this all tie into business agility? Simply put, business agility is the balance between being valuable and delivering value. It’s about having the flexibility to respond to changes while maintaining a steady stream of value to your customers. This balance enables companies to adapt, innovate, and, ultimately, survive in the fast-paced business world.
The dance between being valuable and delivering value is at the heart of business success. Leadership, in its pursuit of value, must not overlook the importance of nurturing its valuable engineering teams.
Remember, your organization is the goose that, when taken care of, can consistently deliver golden eggs. So, invest in your teams, balance your focus between being valuable and delivering value, and enjoy the rewards of business agility.
Go forth and find your balance. After all, who doesn’t want a goose that lays golden eggs?
- Business Dictionary: Value
- Business Dictionary: Valuable
- Investopedia: How Amazon Makes Money: e-commerce, advertising, and the cloud
- Investopedia: How Alphabet Makes Money: Google advertising and cloud services
- Investopedia: How Microsoft Makes Money: Personal computing, productivity software, and cloud services
- Forbes: The Difference Between Price And Value: Four Key Product Metrics
- Forbes: The 2022 World’s Most Valuable Brands