Think Like an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee
Customers as well as investors have many choices these days. They can choose to do business here. Or they can easily get their interests satisfied somewhere else, maybe by some company based halfway around the world. This puts more and more pressure on our organization to perform. Either we outdo the competition or our days are numbered.
As a starting point, all of us need to understand clearly how we personally can contribute to value creation. So maybe you need to ask some questions, like what the “value drivers” are in your organization. These are the factors that most powerfully affect the outcome of the business in terms of value being created... or maybe destroyed. Many companies, and employees, fail to clarify which activities drive value, and which only drive costs. Make sure you know which is which.
Next, find out how you can have a positive influence on the value drivers. Be conscious of how your work might help cut costs. Or generate more cash. What can you do to boost productivity? Build sales? Delight customers? How might you adjust your personal attitudes and work habits to help make the workplace more appealing? The idea is to think like an entrepreneur—like you own the business—and not like you’re simply an employee.
The truth of the matter is that value gets determined deep inside organizations, by people just like you. Value creation occurs at the grass roots level. It’s a function of how well people on the front lines do their jobs.
About now you might be asking yourself, “Why care? What’s in it for me?”
Well, at the most basic level, it makes your job future more secure. In the years ahead, our pay, promotions, and very employability will more and more be determined by our demonstrated ability to create value. It’s going to get dangerous for our careers if we can’t tell whether we’re contributing or not. Beyond that, directly connecting your job efforts to value creation makes work more meaningful and enjoyable.
Let’s not forget—the creation of value, and our contribution to it, are the very things that deliver the paychecks we take home. Raising the organization’s prosperity is the surest way to increase our own.
“The trick is to stop thinking of it as ‘your’ money.” —IRS auditor