The seed for the Value Imperative blog was planted on a bitterly cold day in New York City in February of 2009. The economy was in free fall with no bottom in site as I found myself giving a briefing to 50 executives on how to manage pricing through the downturn.
The day was going well as we discussed strategies to mitigate the effects of the recession and uncover hidden growth opportunities. As is often the case, I had prepared more material than we could possibly get through in the day. So at 3 o’clock I asked the group how they would like to spend the rest of our time.
We could either talk about additional ways to improve margins or we could talk about what might happen after the recession bottomed out. My co-presenter and I had prepared some thoughts about the prospects for long-term growth and offered to share them with the group.
It was an eye-opener when every one of those 50 executives voted to talk about what comes after the recession – even if it didn’t have any direct impact on their current situation. The ensuing discussion was robust and lasted for nearly 2 hours. The group revealed that managers across industries shared a deep uneasiness about how their markets were changing.
The executives shared how technology was transforming products and services, resource prices were becoming more volatile, new competitors were emerging with radically different business models and how customers were ever more aggressive in demanding lower prices. The world was changing and the question on everyone’s mind was “how do I grow my business in the new market reality?”
It occurred to me that this is the central question of our times. The world has changed and markets are being disrupted. Generating profitable growth is becoming harder as traditional approaches to growth fail to deliver. Firms must either adapt or die. But how?
After reflecting on this question for some time I realized there was an answer. I had spent the last decade working with hundreds of firms to better understand how they create value for customers and then how to capture that value through value-based pricing and selling strategies. My experience showed how combining a quantified customer value data with the right decision tools and processes could not only transform companies – it could transform markets.
In the years since that snow winter day, I have been testing and refining this value-based approach to strategy that I call Value Management. I have been working with colleagues at the Strategic Pricing Group and Monitor to isolated pieces of the new paradigm. In that time, I always had a vision of how to integrate those piece parts but there was never enough time to pull it all together. But as any writer knows, the birth of a good idea cannot be denied. So I finally pulled my self away from client work to start the Value Imperative website and blog.
The blog will cover a wide range of topics. But the focus will always be on practical solutions to the most pressing problems of the new market reality.
I hope you find the discussion interesting and useful.