Monitoring the employees added value tells us a lot about the state of innovation in the company. Especially if we compare our work within our own branch. Some of such indicators help us to abandon bad activities more deliberately and replace them with innovative, more valuable ones.


Three very different options for improving the Added Value

The fastest and easiest one-time increase for adding value is with creative accounting. This is how I imagine it, although I was never an accountant.

The next short-term option is saving. It’s short-lived because saving is not possible indefinitely and it is limited by some sort of “zero point”. We can not go below that point. 

And at the end, we can increase the added value by increasing the value of our business.  But this is definitely easier said than done.


Well, it’s not that hard. There are three conditions.

First of all, we must be aware that we run our business on the market with business models, rather than products and services. We can offer the same technologies, patents, products, services or trademarks in different marketing areas by different marketing ways.

The second condition is the fact, that persistence on the same models can not bring more added value. Even Einstein stated, that doing the same thing while expecting different results, is nonsense. Therefore, it is necessary to innovate. To innovate is to look for better ideas, concepts and solutions. It means to anticipate, try, search and find.

And the third condition is the ambition of the owners and management. If there is no desire for greater added value per employee, there is no need to innovate. Without ambition, we get stagnation, which is the pre-phase of the company’s collapse.


We have to be bold in action, not in words

The first practical proof of ambition is that management understands the company’s distinctive competencies (patents, technology, raw materials, knowledge, sales channels, customers, brands, capital …). Furthermore, that we define concrete challenges and we communicate these challenges with our employees. We also pass them on to our partners, suppliers, customers, sometimes even competitors.


Again, easier said than done. But still, not that hard. The most difficult part is yet to come. 

By processing the challenges, we get ideas to prove them. The idea-givers are usually in a minority, which is ok. We do not need a lot of people, but we need the right “pioneers” who can confront ambiguities, uncertainties, risks and pressures.

For the most promising ideas, we make complementary teams of the most committed and competent individuals. The teams have to be small. An ideal team would count three members. covering the profession, the user and the business. If there are more breakthrough teams, progress made by mutual learning is even faster.

As an ambitious leaders, we have one task in particular. We need to give our teams the minimum conditions to succeed in finding alternative business models that are expected to increase added value per employee.


What does it mean to enable teams to succeed in finding successful new business models?

These can be free fridays (20% of the time), when they can devote to their “project” (they also add afternoons and weekends). Teams need to be covered by limited basic material and travel expenses. It is very important to give them a special place to work and easy access to the resources of the company that would benefit them. It is necessary to gradually invest – first, a smaller amount of time and money, which increases with regard to the quality of evidence that the new business models are really very promising.

In the reimbursement for time and money investments, we require a weekly report about the progress and a formal presentation of the state of new concepts every few weeks. Reporting is very similar to sales team reporting. They do it for current business flow and innovators for potential future ones. But just to understand – not all ideas become new business models. Just like all potential customers do not become our clients.

“The key to success is the mutual trust that we build and maintain with proper communication on the management-team relationship.”

added value per employee