How NOT to use "Value"

Louvre Abu Dhabi

BEM Values is the name of our method which guides all our work. It was named “Values” because business success depends greatly on the interpretation of the concept of “Value”. If “Value” – one of the most used concepts in business – is not clear to all stakeholders then it can result in numerous errors. Here are two examples of the incorrect use of “Value”:

1) Use the word “Value” without actually mentioning the values
Emmanuel Macron has referred to Louvre Abu Dhabi as promotion of “Western Values”. Probably no one understood what he meant. Using the word “Value” without actually listing values is too abstract, like saying “transport vehicle” instead of Mercedes C200d. Best is not to mention the word “Value” at all, but simply describe the values – positive changes accepted by the customers. A clearer and more engaging alternative for Macron would have been: Louvre Abu Dhabi raises the importance of cultural choices in a society and sets a standard for multicultural cooperation.

2) Mentioning only one selected value instead of all relevant values
Defining value of something with a single metric is an error. For example, value of a company can not be defined only by its revenue or stock price alone (Scott Galloway and Asmath Damodaran have an interesting discussion on Valuing Tech’s Titans). Using only one metric or one value to define something results in exclusion of many other possibly important values. Best is to always list as many relevant values as possible.

Defining “Value” is important for business decisions. Minimum requirement for defining value is to list at least few values. Avoid using the word value alone (Coca Cola values, Western values, etc) and avoid using a single metric (weight, speed, price, etc).

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 27 Nov 2017