So often, people do things because that’s what they’re “supposed to do.” Managers assign responsibilities as tasks to be checked off a list. But this approach to management keeps the employee in the dark, disconnected from what they’re actually contributing to the business and why it matters. When you focus instead on the business value, it causes people to think about what all those tasks lead to. It gives them the why.
The biggest benefit of changing the perspective to value is that it forces you and your team to focus on your customer and their benefits. It moves you past what you do to what customers get and give up. Why does this matter? When your organization focuses on what you do, you’ll do things the same way you always have done them. The only reason you might change is if you do something wrong or there’s a problem and it forces you to change.
By contrast, focusing on value opens up opportunities for improvement and gives you new paths to value contribution. Put simply, if you don’t focus on value, you’ll just end up doing the same thing over and over again.
A value chain is officially defined as a set of connected activities that a firm operating in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service for the market. But in terms of your department, think of it this way:
My organization’s value chain is a set of activities we perform in order to deliver a valuable product or service for our customers (internal or external) at the smallest expense to cost, peace of mind and enjoyment.
To move employees from task focus to value focus, you need to connect them to your organization’s value chain:
To connect people to the value chain, list what each person produces and who their customer is. Describe it in a way that:
Linking people to the organization’s value chain will not only increase the value to your customers, it will decrease the amount of time you have to put into managing your employees. So make sure you’re giving them the why, not just giving them tasks to check off a list.