Work And Value Creation


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A job well done always creates value for you

What is Value Creation

In its broadest sense, Value is doing good for or improving the wellbeing or worth of someone or something. Through work you improve your own wellbeing and that of others, and you thus create value for yourself and others

What is Work

Work has evolved and has remained an essential need for human beings. Indeed, work is necessary for survival of people, both for mental needs and for physical and material things. Mental needs include: to give challenges, to avoid boredom etc. Material things include those for sustaining physical life. says “Work gives individuals a sense of purpose and self-worth. For many, it defines who we are and is a source of justifiable pride. Work helps improve individual and family finances, and it helps us connect socially.” says “Work is an important part of people’s lives. It means more than just getting paid. It means being able to make your own choices about how you want to live your life. At work, it’s what people can do that matters.”

Mark Ragland says

1. Work Teaches Responsibility

2. Work Connects People

3. Work Produces Endurance

4. Work Increases Self-Esteem

5. Work Gives You Money!

6. Work Offers Daily Impact

7. Work Challenges Comfort Zones

8. Work is NOT About You

9. Work Improves Society

10. Work Allows Independence

Ragland quotes his sister who said, “The world isn’t a scary place for me, I know how to work, budget, and interact with people”.

Work gives joy to some people. They just enjoy their work. For others work is priority number 1. They seem to have a work ethic. says “Work ethic is a trait that most employers look for right away in an employee. Your ability to work hard, overcome challenges and offer support to your colleagues demonstrates a strong work ethic and can help you be successful while building positive relationships.”

Sometimes work can be a drag…studying for an exam or giving one, doing routine work, doing work one does not enjoy are examples.

Work can be necessary or relevant. The most useful is necessary and relevant work. The most useless is unnecessary and irrelevant work, and very often we practice it, and companies do so unknowingly. In between is necessary and irrelevant work or unnecessary and relevant work. See my paper at the end of this one called Redesign work to Create Value, where I say work is value

Work is co-created and is two-way: The worker and the company are truly an example of two-way value creation, really what we would call co-creation

Workers and companies: The company provides an environment and an opportunity to work, for feeling useful, for fulfilment, for knowledge and experience gain, for growth, and hopefully improving wellbeing, for making money, and earning a living.

The employee gives back his knowledge, experience, his application to problem solving and innovation, for growth and wellbeing of the company. The employee gives dedication for about 8 hours plus or minus a day.

As employee creates value for the company, he creates value for himself. In return, the company creates value for employees, and it can retain substantial value (both economic and non-economic, for example building a reputation, or a knowledge base).

There is a contractual relationship between a company and work. If reduced to only this, there may be a brake on value creation.

Is work locational: Work is everywhere, at work (locational), or at home, or in society. Today the concept of remote work which can lead to a culture of geographical diversity and inclusivity.

Work life balance: Much is said about this, but this balance is in the minds of the worker, and those that expect a balance or part of the workers time away from work. One can ask if vacations are work, or watching TV work?

Feeling useless without work

As you grow older or are retired, sometimes you crave work just to keep you busy, motivated and occupied. Work gave you companionship, maybe a sense of camaraderie, and prevents boredom. Work made you feel useful.

Often in the absence of work, one starts to feel useless and craves work. This is a danger for people forced out of their jobs or during retirement.

Is work for payment or for creating value?

It is for both, depending on the situation. Sometimes it is for pure joy, sometimes it is for dissemination of knowledge (like for a teacher) or assimilation of knowledge, or doing something for someone or a company.

The company creates value for the employee (let us say A), and has a perception of the value it creates (A). The employee receives this value and perceives it differently (let’s say as B). At the same time the employee creates value for the company which he perceives as C. The company receives this value and perceives it as D.

The net value the company produces is A-D. The net value the company receives is D-A

The net value the employee receives less what he gives is B-C. The value he creates for the company is C-B

If company receives more value from the employee, then employee is profitable and valuable. This is in a sense the profit or value the employee makes for the company.

The evolution has been such that work is important. We need to look at the future to see how we can change all this. Alejandro Fontana in his article Professional Work and Value Creation suggests there will be human extinction without work. I am not that pessimistic, unless there is a takeover by aliens or by robots/AI. He also suggests work of one person influences and helps the existence of others. A power plant worker or a farmer helps others to exist gainfully. He suggests “There is a close correspondence between the conditions of nature and this capacity of man to work. If nature were chaotic, the ability to reason, to understand reality and to generate man’s tools would have no meaning.”

I wonder what will happen when jobs are taken over by robots, then the available time has to be used gainfully (as traditional work is lost) and such time will have to be spent for entertainment or new type of work. This is something older people start to see as they retire or become incapable of physical labour or time-consuming jobs and that is how to fill up their life meaningfully.

Alejandro Fontana says the greatest value of a job well done always remains within you; and sooner or later, it will also be recognized economically. When you work well, the value generated is very high. Part of that value is delivered to the consumer, but a large part – the majority – remains with oneself.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gautam Mahajan
Gautam Mahajan, President of Customer Value Foundation is the leading global leader in Customer Value Management. Mr Mahajan worked for a Fortune 50 company in the USA for 17 years and had hand-on experience in consulting, training of leaders, professionals, managers and CEOs from numerous MNCs and local conglomerates like Tata, Birla and Godrej groups. He is also the author of widely acclaimed books "Customer Value Investment: Formula for Sustained Business Success" and "Total Customer Value Management: Transforming Business Thinking." He is Founder Editor of the Journal of Creating Value ( and runs the global conference on Creating Value (


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