Defining Value

How do you know whether you are giving good value? Or receiving good value? What’s your measure or yardstick?

For me, value is something we’d all do well to spend more time considering because when we do, it takes us pretty quickly into exploring our own core values and even our ethics. If we are driven by getting the most for the least then we will see value in one way. If we see value as a qualitative thing – something that is about respect, merit, or worth then we might take a broader and more holistic view of value.

On the whole, people only put money into shares that they can afford to risk.

Take shareholder value for example – in most commercial businesses there is a massive emphasis on increasing value to the shareholder – even to the point of driving our people into the ground to do so. So, is it right to use the word value in this case? Shareholders are putting forward hard-earned cash, taking a risk, supporting a venture. However, I’d argue this isn’t really showing any indication of value. On the whole, people only put money into shares that they can afford to risk. For sure there was the effort put into earning it perhaps, but they aren’t actually in a respectful, merit-based relationship with the company and its members/stakeholders.

If we do consider it to be an example of true value, then perhaps it says we place more respect on the money being given by the shareholders than the talent and effort being given by employees. If we are to use the word value, then in my view it needs to be about a meaningful and fair exchange. In the case of shareholders that would mean that instead of anonymous transacting through the medium of money and institutions they would be engaging in a considered way with the purpose and multi-dimensional realities that surround the business.

In life, value is a daily judgement call that we make often involving time and money – reflecting on things like whether it’s good use of my time (valuable) to be on this project or meet with this friend, buy this item, sell my time for this return.

But what about the value we place on loving support, unconditional friendships, good health, enjoying laughter, a healthy planet…if we reduce the definition of value to money and time then we will only ever be transacting.

Connecting with the true meaning of value and placing that more centrally in our lives, might help us make different decisions – as shareholders, as leaders and as respectful and ethical people. 


Lorraine Flower
Lorraine Flower
As a Corporate change agent, consultant, coach and mentor Lorraine founded azzur and is completely transparent about the spiritual principles on which it operates. Alongside her 18 years as azzur’s founder, Lorraine brings 20 years' service industry experience to bear through her senior leadership roles at British Airways (BA) and Great North Eastern Railway (GNER). It is Lorraine's belief in individual and organisational power for good that gives azzur its raison d'etre. azzur and Lorraine specifically has worked with clients across the business spectrum from financial services, to retail and transport to healthcare an in both the public and private sectors. azzur is focused on developing contemporary, spirited leadership capability, and organisations built on inspiring purpose, empowering cultures and a powerful vision and values. She is championing new models of leadership and organisational development founded on the principles of conscious leadership and writes extensively on these topics.She is a member of a number of global spiritual groups and communities serving the greater good of Humanity and the planet. She works and studies extensively in developing and exploring conscious leadership believing that business leaders are key players in transforming the well-being of the planet and humanity as a whole.

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