Value. is the world’s most precious resource. Every organisation desperately seeks it – from their employees, from their partners, from their copywriters, from their carpet and upholstery.
However, value is a bit different to other prized commodities. Unlike iron ore and gold, for example, it’s intangible, infinite and entirely subjective.
That doesn’t mean, though, we should strut around the office feeling confident that we’re all “value adders”. I mean, let’s be honest, we almost certainly are. Because value is so nebulous a concept, we can pretty well be unconscious at work, and as long as we’re not slumped on the CEO’s desk wearing only a doily, we can make a case that we’re “adding value”.
My point is that in 2015 adding value isn’t enough. It’s a bit passe, actually. We need to be delivering value to truly earn our swagger.
So how do we do that?
I deliver it wearing a telegram messenger’s hat and a waistcoat with gold trim. Sometimes I yell “DELIVERY! YOUR VALUE IS HERE!” just to ram home the point.
Because I don’t understand how it’s come to this. How we’ve decided it’s OK to put such a specific verb in front of such an abstract noun. So I just turn up to work each day looking utterly ridiculous.
It’s a kind of protest.
You can do it too. Maybe by delivering your value in a milk cart led by some Clydesdales. Or in a container ship.
Who cares if that’s entirely unfeasible or a gross contravention of WHS regulations?
As long as you’re putting the absurdity of the term in stark relief you’re doing the right thing.
An edited version of this article first appeared in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.