EA-Tokyo one year anniversary 2

The second half of what I thought in this discussion titled “What does it mean to create value?”. Jeff Char joined as one of the speakers as a replacement for Caroline Pover.

The discussion was thoroughly enjoyable but is wasn’t exactly what I expected. The expectation was that all panelists, each of them having a long and tough history of associating with the customers, would share a similar opinion on what value creation means and as a result agree on one or two core aspects.
The method of how to deal with customers effectively might be different among various industries, but after all it all goes down to sense of satisfaction, which won’t be so different. This is what I thought and I unconsciously wanted them to follow a single line of discussion, eventually leading to a nice conclusion. There is one more reason – I wrote about the importance of chemical reaction in the newsletter advertising this event and I hoped that become real, not just another overstatement. Justification, rather than expectation…

But it didn’t happen that way. When it came to value creation and the relevant topic, everybody talked in his own terms or point of view or whatever is based on his history. But they didn’t have a conflict or disagreement either. I suppose the theme and the related experience was too personal for them to answer in a generic term. Obviously they have pondered this question deeply and still working on it.
The air of pondering influenced me and as a result, I was thinking what the value creation meant to me. Perhaps there were other people in that mode too. Forty thinkers – Rodin might had gotten his inspiration for Le Penseur with this question.

I couldn’t get my thought together then so I will put “what does it mean to create value?” question in my to-do-list. This question is tricky. We are not comfortable asking it, because it sounds like we are a hopelessly lazy person who is always looking for a low-hanging fruit, or a hopeless dumb who never got through enough hardship to get his own version of the answer. I don’t want to hear this advice in a patronizing tone: “You will know once you have enough experience”. And of course today’s bookstores are filled with similarly titled hardcovers.

One speaker, Tim Williams gave a simple and powerful comment: Ask the customer, “Do you want to make more money?”.
It might be close to cure-all solution. I would like to romanticize a more sublime version for the time being.
Money alone doesn’t make you happy, but you can avoid (most) unhappiness – this is the motto I have now.