The Value Habit

Bob Dalton/Brent Wortman

You already know what makes your company valuable. But institutional routines, obligations and pressures create behaviors in your organization that inhibit new value creation. Here are three of the most detrimental habits, and the alternative value-creating behaviors that can close the gap between vision and reality.

What we know about value hasn’t changed much since Adam Smith penned "The Wealth of Nations" in 1776. Yet, in just the last five years more than 70 books have been written about this subject. While it is easy to theorize about value, what's needed is not more abstract analysis but some pragmatic advice about how to turn what you know into action -- how to close the "knowing-doing" gap.

This article, adapted from The Value Habit (Deloitte Development, 2004), presumes you know what makes your company valuable. But institutional routines, obligations and pressures create behaviors in your organization that hold you back from acting on what you know.

Instead of merely pondering the concept of value, let’s take a look at three of the behaviors that commonly work against it. More important, let’s recommend some value-creating behaviors you can use to overcome the inertia of good intentions. The positive behaviors recommended here can help you and your organization get the value habit: by closing the gap between vision and reality.

Value-…

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"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them."

- Mark Twain

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