The Power of Value

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The real power of value, the real importance and significance of value, the true value of value is that value is what we all seek for ourselves. We want to create value for ourselves and our associates and connections which includes our families, firms and society, country and so forth, making value most valuable to us because it makes us more valuable. While creating value for others we co-create value for ourselves. We empower others. This process makes us aware of what is happening around us and that value is all around us, and that we can create more value for the greater good including ourselves, and that value is waiting to happen.

That is why value is so important to you and your connections, your families. The true power of creating value is that the process creates value for you.

I wrote an article on Power and Value, and focused on whether Power can create or destroy value. The conclusion was unbridled use of power destroys value.

However, in that article, we dd not focus on the power of value. In other words, is value powerful and does it create power?

Value, especially when created for others, creates more value for the giver. The more value the giver gives, and without expectation, the more power he gets and the more value he gets back. This power could be in the form of respect, or in terms of fame or in advancement. It could also be monetary.

Giving without any expectation (of returns) is the best kind of value giving. Thinking of a quid pro quo is how most giving is done, and is how companies should work. Giving selfishly and meaninglessly is the worst form of giving.

Giving selflessly is creating great value for yourself and the recipient. The power of this value is immense. It gives you blessings and future good that you can use. It is like banking value for the future.

So, Value happens when you do something good or improve the well-being of people and entities.

Value is powerful, because if you are creating it, people notice you and think of you positively, and consider you worthy of power and fame. Value is powerful because when you create value for others, they mark you as value creators and therefore leaders and better than others who are not creating as much value as you. In business, bosses recognise those who create value more than they notice just good performers. The people who get ahead are value creators. Many people become powerful not because they set out to get power but because power comes to them because of the value they created. This power, generally that value creators achieve, if not misused but used meaningfully to create more value for others is good power to have.

This is the power of creating value.

In addition, customers recognise a company as a value creator, and tend to buy from the company creating the most value.

Companies that create value for their stakeholders are preferred and succeed. Stakeholders and customers reward them by creating value for such companies in return. This value creation is often monetary and seen as profits, or with potential to create profits, like loyalty or referrals to the company.

Creating Value is executing normal, conscious, inspired, and even imaginative actions that increase the overall good and well-being, and the worth of and for ideas, goods, services, people or institutions including society, and all stakeholders (like employees, customers, partners, shareholders and society), and value waiting to happen.

Based on this definition, we want to improve the overall good for or improve the well-being or worth of people, companies, goods and services, and stakeholders including the society and the environment.

Thus, companies have to do good for or improve the worth or well-being of these various stakeholders. Taken by itself, it may appear to be one sided. After all there is no question that companies exist to create value for themselves and to make a profit. They are not meant to be purely charitable organisations.  This was the point that Milton Friedman clearly made in his infamous 1970 New York Times Magazine editorial,  “In the present climate of opinion, with its widespread aversion to “capitalism,” “profits,” the “soulless corporation” and so on, this is one way for a corporation to generate goodwill as a by‐product of expenditures that are entirely justified in its own self‐interest. “Thus, companies have to extract value from stakeholders to be profitable, and if in the process they need to say something to generate goodwill, so be it”. This, crudely, was the profit motive. However, if the purpose is also to create value for stakeholders, who in turn create value for the company then this becomes meaningful. Such value created by stakeholders for the company can be extracted. Of course, it is important the stakeholder feels value is being created for them. This becomes a win-win situation. Such value creates power.

What is important is that the company must realise they are the first movers within the value creation process. They have to create value for the customer, who in turn decides to buy from the company based on the value the company has created for him or her and other stakeholders. In making this decision to buy, the customer most likely is looking at the whether the company is adding or destroying value for society and the environment and other stakeholders.

When the customer buys, they hopefully give the company value which is partially profit, partially long-term loyalty etc.

Likewise, companies have value created for them when they create value for society, the environment and other stakeholders. This is the power of creating value for stakeholders.

Therefore, do create value for others and taste the power of value.

The older article is below.

POWER AND VALUE

Gautam Mahajan [email protected]

D. Sudarshan former Dean of and Prof Emeritus, U of Kentucky said to me that power creates value and is the ultimate value. He said the goal is also to empower stakeholders, and that of course includes customers. That empowering creates value is true.

Power assumes the right to control oneself, one’s environment, and others. Personal empowerment assumes no such power over others, but recognizes complete responsibility for self and the choices made by self. Those sound-like pretty clear definitions, but the urge to exert power over others might blur the lines between each. So, we need to clarify.

To me, power is one of the rewards people or companies look for beyond money or profits or instead of them (they feel money will come to them because of power; or the reverse, power will come to them because of money). We have always said profits follow value creation, and so does power if sought: it follows from creation of value. So, the more you create and the more you get the richer you get and the more powerful.

Fame is yet another item people seek (or being known). This is almost as important to power seekers as money may be.

However, there are people who may achieve fame without seeking power. These are people creating value for others and not for themselves, and they create more value than power and fame seeking people, who tend to destroy value also. Some college professors are examples of creating immense value for others.

Unfortunately, there is the possibility of pursuing and possessing too much power. Unbridled power, i.e., power improperly used can and perhaps will destroy value just as will profit creation absent empowering customers. Some people feel only a tremendous amount of power can create value. This is a mistaken notion. For example, monopolies sooner or later get regulated or even broken up. Excessive power can be seen as a power imbalance and nature abhors imbalances, except in entropy- that too only as far as we know (who knows what black matter and black energy do for entropy!). Customers will form buying clubs or cooperatives either formal or informal in structure- neighbours helping neighbours.

The message is that power should not be misused. Such misuse causes value destruction for others.

The ultimate customer loyalty is when empowered customers choose a brand/firm over others because it serves them better and they see more value from them.

Empowerment creates value. Value is created when you empower someone, and empowered people create value.

Beware of powerful people and moneyed people who wish to wield their power and impose themselves on others. They are destroyers of value.

Today in Covid times in India, hoarders and black-marketers exert their power over hapless citizens by controlling medicines and oxygen (and concentrators), hospital rooms and so forth.

May the curse be with them.

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