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ATDChi | Value: How Are You Demonstrating It? | March 10th Event Recap
By Susan Camberis, Editor, Training Today
Communicating our value as talent developers is an important skill – whether we’re happily employed or seeking new opportunities.
“What we do matters, but we’ve not been very good at telling the story,” according to Judith (Judy) Hale, long-time friend of ATDChi and this month’s Networking Dinner speaker. In her work as CEO of The Institute for Performance Improvement (http://tifpi.org) and Principal with Hale Associates (http://www.haleassociates.com/home.html), Hale has developed or redesigned dozens of certification programs across industries and around the world.
Hale’s interactive session enhanced attendees’ abilities to define and frame value in measurable ways that resonate with internal and external clients.
Here are 5 smart tips to demonstrate value:
1. Focus on what matters to your customers. When you talk about your work, do so in a way that creates benefit for your customers or clients, according to Hale. Ask yourself: What do you do, and why does it matter? People look for solutions. What problems are you solving? What solutions do you provide? Build your story from here. Quoting her long-time business partner Deb Page, Hale shared: “If you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it!”
2. Create value that’s Definable, Detectable, and Different. What puts you outside the norm? Do you differentiate yourself through your scope of work (do you do “A to Z” or just “A & B”), quality of work, efficiency, practices, or all of the above?
Knowledge and expertise are two ways to create value. Consider: What do you know that others don’t? What unique expertise do you have? How can you help your organization or prospective clients solve their problems?
You can also create value through your skills and resources. What can you do that others can’t, don’t, or won’t? “Many times we belittle our own access to resources,” according to Hale. Can you access resources that others cannot? “Companies are now anorexic. People’s plates are stacked so high; you can bring attention to something they cannot do,” according to Hale. What can you relieve people of – something they can’t get to? This is another path to differentiation.
3. Ask questions that help define what success looks like. Rather than ask “why” questions, Hale prefers to focus on “what” questions, such as: What do you have to see to know that this project is making a difference? What are the little things that you want to see change that you’re not seeing now, or you want to see more of? What do you want to see that’s different at the end of this process that you’re not seeing now? “What” questions tend to be less threatening while providing actionable insights.
4. Demonstrate quick wins with leading indicators. One of the most important ways you can demonstrate value is by helping others correlate your work with changes in key metrics. Help others see gains and improvements more quickly by identifying leading indicators, or interim behaviors, that show progress.
5. Use value creation to build brand. “Brand is the outcome of value creation,” according to Hale. In the case of Hale’s own organizations, she’s sought to “touch the world in ways that matter.” By consistently doing this, her brands have attracted clients that are looking to do the same. Hale also recommends reminding people of your value; people are busy and have short attention spans. Brand can help with this too.
To have a greater impact, define what makes you different, frame your work in ways that can be measured and create an image that makes the value of your solutions more apparent. Tell a story of value creation, and you’ll develop a brand that others want to follow.