The Value Mindset: Transforming Your Organization to Adopt Value
In 2016 and 2017, I joined a large global manufacturing company as a Value Coach to assist them in their value transformation in Europe. The project lasted 18 months and was a very transformational experience for the teams and for me. This is when I realized that all I knew about customer value management was not enough. I had to go deeper in concepts of change management, transformational leadership, and mindset change. I started studying Carol Dweck’s work on mindset and bought her bestselling book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This is not a business book, but its content can be transferred to business, value management, and pricing. I was very inspired and started applying many of the concepts she recommended. The value transformation I assisted with was extraordinarily successful and we ended up transforming the entire organization throughout 10 European countries.
This work was transformational for me and significantly changed my approach to change organizations. I ended collecting all my thoughts and experience in a book published in 2017 called Value Mindset: Accelerate Your Value Transformation by Changing Your Mindset. I wanted to share this experience with other companies and customer value management practitioners and help them accelerate their value transformation.
So, what does having a “value mindset” really mean? It is a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that is ingrained in people. Every day, people show up at work and they get in automatic work mode. They rely on rules, norms, routines, and priorities to do their job correctly. Changing these are extremely hard. Imagine asking a salesperson who has sold on discount and volume for 30 years. How do you convince them to change their way of working overnight? This is an impossible task. Too many companies think that they can put the sales team in a room for three days and show them beautiful PowerPoint presentations and, unexpectedly, they are transformed! It is not that easy. The goal is to create irreversible change in people’s way of working, way of thinking, way of approaching customers, and what they do every day. You are rewiring them to focus on customer value. It is challenging work for all parties involved. And it is not just the salesforce. Remember that customer value management is a team sport, and you need to transform all the relevant stakeholders i.e., those who interact with customers day-in and day-out.
If you read Carole Dweck’s work, you realize that it takes a lot of effort and experimentation for people to change for the long term and in a way that is transformative. You must move them from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset like you want to ask students to enjoy math instead of resisting and rejecting. Now, we are asking marketing managers, sales managers, and customer success managers to make efforts, to take risks, to experiment with value tools, and to put customer needs at the heart of their daily work. There is going to be fear of rejection, risk of failing, and an uncomfortable feeling of working outside of their comfort zone.
In the end, you are asking experiences adults to change and to adopt value to learn and grow. In my Value Mindset book, I explain how you do this both at the individual and the organization level. Both are needed to transform over a period of 18 to 24 months. It is demanding work for sure. This is when I also discovered that you cannot accelerate your value transformation without the deep involvement of the human resources and organizational development teams. They are critical in redesigning roles and job descriptions, in changing the performance review success criteria, in designing and executing progressive learning strategy using transformational and experiential methods, and in coaching and mentoring those who have a tough time transforming. You will be joined at the hip with these people for at least two years.
In this second blog in the Value Mindset series, you can gauge the critical differences between the first phase of the value transformation versus the second phase. The first is focused on tools, methods, processes, and systems. The second phase gets deep into individual transformation by focusing on mindset, culture, and change leadership. This is how you can accelerate your customer value transformation and get it done in 2 to 3 years instead of 5 to 8 years. I have been fortunate to experience three of these massive value transformations within the past six years. I enjoy that side of the work. This is also why I often say that pricing and value management are both science and art. Pay more attention to the “art” side, and you will be more successful.
Dr. Stephan Liozu (www.stephanliozu.com) is the Founder of Value Innoruption Advisors (www.valueinnoruption.com), a consulting boutique specializing in industrial pricing, digital business, and value models, and value-based pricing. Stephan has 30 years of experience in the industrial and manufacturing sectors with companies like Owens Corning, Saint-Gobain, Freudenberg, and Thales. He holds a Ph.D. In Management from Case Western Reserve University, and has authored several books, including his latest book, The Industrial Subscription Economy (2022). Stephan is a strategic advisor to DecisionLink and Monetize360, as well as a senior advisor at BCG.