Speed and Flexibility is NOT Enough! What’s Your Value?

This blog discussed speed and flexibility a couple of weeks ago (read more here). They are crucial qualities for executives in the new economy. The pace and pervasiveness of change make it critical that each of us can quickly adjust in our roles in order to find new opportunities. Speed and flexibility are necessary for success in this new economy, but is it enough?

There’s a good post from Terry Flanagan on the Vallon Blog that suggests it’s not enough. He outlines the characteristics of the new entrepreneur and how every executive should consider themselves an entrepreneur. Terry makes a solid case that the best way to handle all of the uncertainty is by thinking and acting exactly like an entrepreneur would.

Central to his discussion is that we all understand the value that we create. It’s key to know what we are able to do better than the competition – and others in our profession. This is the most difficult – and most important – thing that any of us will do. It involves two steps: Defining your unique value, and identifying what part of that value depends solely on you.

Unique Value

Defining your unique value means creating a clear, specific statement that describes what you do better than anyone else. Make sure your statement passes both tests: Describes value and is unique to you. “I build teams that solve difficult problems” passes neither of the tests. “I provide high-octane interim talent to address difficult issues” passes them both.

Understanding the independent value is a more subtle exercise. It’s easy for us to overestimate our personal value and underestimate the value that our organizations create. At Vallon, I create value as a leader, matching requirements with talent. It’s a critical value, but the support that the company’s infrastructure and my peers provide leverage that value even higher. Being able to separate the two values is critical – especially if you are striking out on your own.

The conclusion is that speed and flexibility are not enough. We must also understand the value we create – both individually and as part of an organization.


2 Responses to “Speed and Flexibility is NOT Enough! What’s Your Value?”

  1. February 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Buckley – as usual, you are spot-on. The imperative for everyone to understand their UNIQUE VALUE is greater than ever, and yet too often, when defining ourselves we all stop shy of exactly what it is about us that is different. I think you could go even further than your statement, “I create value as a leader, matching requirements with talent.” to describe how your leadership is different from all the other folks in the recruiting space that could claim a similiar value.

    There’s no question in my mind that you provide a different value than most people that match requirements with talent, but what is it exactly? What do you bring to the table that makes your requirement matching talent demonstrably better than others? Is it related to your ability to understand requirements better – due to your understanding of how organizations change, how new innovations are implemented, and what kind of qualities in a person line up with a culture? Is there something about your personality, your background, your unique perspective, your unconventional skill set – that allow you to provide DIFFERENTIATED value? I think I know what it is – since I’ve spent a bit of time with you this year – but what do you think it is?

    Write more about this! You are on to something powerful!

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