Business Value: Lessons from Zen Masters

Zen teachings offer us important business lessons. One is not to confuse the “messenger” (indicator) with the “message” (target). Another is holding opposing views in our mind simultaneously. Both are highly relevant for understanding business value and managing value holistically in today’s competitive landscape . A company makes decisions (its value strategy) to deliver products / services (its value proposition) by performing relevant work (its value-added production). Since these three areas are inter-related, an integrative value management process is required. The Integrated Value Process (IVP) framework will help your company integrate and coordinate its value conceptualization, configuration and implementation activities. Become a Zen value master! Read More

Your Company? “Where value goes to die!”

Dynamic, matrix-based, adaptive, and market-driven businesses are complex. Executives are exhorted to coordinate intra- / inter-firm value activities for multiple stakeholders while simultaneously maintaining profitability. To do so, executives need a “new way of thinking” about integrated value management and a more relevant set of management principles based on systems theory / practice. 21st century business problems are difficult. They are made even more complex by incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements. Systems researchers call these “wicked problems” with inherent “messiness”. Optimizing value within firms / across value chains is one such problem. Don’t let your company become a place “where value goes to die.” Avoid this “wicked problem!” Use the Integrated Value Process (IVP) framework to ensure value flows across your value chain.

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Understanding Value (Part 2) – “Map the mind”

Brain science provides a useful metaphor for business. Consider “collective intelligence” – what does a company “know”? To answer that question, one needs to study the system / network (e.g. the company), the interactions between groups in the company (e.g. its functions or departments), and the discrete activities of each of its members (e.g. the individual employees). A complex web of cognitive inter-relations / inter-dependencies exists in the brain, the firm, and the value chain. Systems-thinking and complexity theory provide useful tools to analyze both. The Integrated Value Process (IVP) framework is a complex, dynamic, interactive model for managing business value holistically across the value chain. Read More

Blockchain: Hunting its elusive (illusory) value

Confusion / hype characterize most discussions of Blockchain (BC) technology. BC’s use of ‘chain’ is misleading: BCs are NOT value chains. Marketing spin prevents finding BC’s true value. Use Integrated Value Process (IVP) framework to distinguish reality from fiction.
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Understanding Value (Part I) – “Mind the map”

Like a map for a large complex journey, working in the 21st century economy requires both a comprehensive understanding of multiple areas / subjects and a deep understanding of a few specialty topics. Now more than ever, executives need a cross-functional / multidisciplinary ‘meta’ definition of value and a holistic process to translate / coordinate / align alternative definitions of value across organizational boundaries. They need the Integrated Value Process (IVP) to optimize value flows to achieve / maintain competitive advantage. Read More

Integrated Value Management: “Mind the flow!”

In order to understand value, one needs a robust theory of value (conceptual intelligence), a way of properly specifying value (encoded intelligence), an effective way to communicate value (emotional intelligence), and a way to decide which actions / activities to undertake (experiential intelligence).  One needs to integrate or synthesize all four areas to be effective – for value to flow.   Moreover, individuals across the organization need to do so simultaneously in order for value to flow across the organization and / or value stream. Read More

Managing Value – Energy of the “business cosmos”

Value is key to strategy. Value is the foundation of the value chain, i.e. the interconnected value activities within the firm. Value activities are the physically and technologically distinct activities the firm performs. They are the building blocks by which the firm creates a product / service valuable to its buyers, i.e. the firm’s value proposition. Read More

Integrated Value Management: “Mind the Gap!”

To manage value across its value chain, a company’s executives need to understand where “value gaps”might exist. While executives use “value management”​ principles and aim for their companies to be “value-based”​ / “value-driven”​ in terms of their respective strategies, there is surprisingly little consensus on the definition of value in academe / practice. The ensuing alternative definitions of value lead to mistranslation / misinterpretation / misalignment that impede value creation and “value flows.”​ Read More