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Understanding Value

Recently I spoke with a client about the keys to running a profitable business. We talked about product and service quality, process improvement, and innovative thinking. As we discussed these concepts, the client mentioned that all of them were, essentially, ‘properties of value.’

I thought about what he said and compared it to my own experiences. Before value can be defined within a corporation or business, a few things must be understood:

How Value is Defined
Value is the potential that a product or service holds. This value is exchanged for resources (primarily money). For instance, I purchase a vehicle because the potential of the vehicle is to get me to work so I can make more money. It also provides enjoyment. Or, on a personal level, I will get hired by ‘Company X’ at an acceptable salary because I can make them more money through my productivity. This productivity happens because I am able to get to work thanks to my vehicle.

How Value is Determined
As a consumer, I may choose to buy a car to get me back and forth to work provided the job pays enough money to warrant the expense of a car. I determine if the cost is worth the exchange of resource for productivity potential. I may also choose not to buy a car and take public transportation because the price of a car is not worth the ‘real’ price I’ll have to pay.

How Value is Delivered
To understand the delivery of value, productivity benefits must be understood. For instance, I may purchase a car to get to work not because it’s worth it to me but because I plan to charge three other workers a ride to the same job. My cost of owning a car is covered by my trip to the job. My coworker’s ride to the job is the productivity potential I desire.

Understanding value is essential. It is a great exercise for companies and individuals to undertake. As value is realized, its potential can be marketed to the community.

Lance McGonigal is a Senior Business & IT Consultant for McGonigal Consulting, LLC. You can reach Lance any time at

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Lance McGonigal

Senior Business & IT Consultant | McGonigal Consulting, LLC.

September 22,2016

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