The Valuation of Value

by Onyeka Nchege on May 3, 2016



As a CIO, it is often that I have to present the value-add entities that our IT organization is providing to the overall company. I talk about things like the amount of continuous connectivity the network team provides to our employees, the efficiencies provided through our software releases and the unremitting support our helpdesk provides. Those, and more, are things that can be quantitatively measured and displayed through reporting for our organization to consume and make their assessments.  Though these are critical extents needed to determine overall vision and direction, I recently had to ask myself, what methods of valuation need to be practiced to ensure individuals know they are valued.

There are numerous ways to measure tangible items like time and assets, but there are limited ways to measure intangible items like human feelings. More to that point, we can measure the tangible without needing to engage humans much at all, but we cannot measure the intangibles at all without engaging in some sort of human interaction. In short, this means that we as leaders within our organizations need to be purposeful in practicing the methods of valuation, so that we instill the feeling of being valued to all individuals. Some suggestions regarding value include the following: 

    Alleviate Your Assumptions – An unfortunate criticism I have heard in every organization I have been a part of is, “my manager only speaks to their favorites.”  This is often due to assumptions being at the forefront of thoughts and actions as opposed to a general openness in approaching everyone.

      Set Up for Success  – As those in an organization are tasked with new responsibilities and challenges, they need to be set up to be successful from the beginning. In addition, they need to be supported throughout the process. They should be allowed to run, but they should have the support of a running coach along the way.

      Convey Criticality – Everyone wants to feel that what they are doing is adding value, therefore, it is important to provide examples of things individuals have accomplished to show how intricate they are to the overall success of the department. 

      Intentional Interactions – In this age of social media, texting, IMing and etc., positive, physical human interaction has a more lasting effect than kind words on a screen. And, more so, it is critical to be mentally present during that interaction.

      Investment in the Individual – Contributing to an individual’s growth by providing them with needed training, coaching or mentoring shows that an investment is being made to increase their valuation.

    In leadership, it is often hard to balance the value of the tangible and intangible, but it is critical to show the value of both. You cannot sum up the worth of a person by merely focusing on a person’s output and what they can do for you. You must take a vested interest in what is being put in them as well. When you take the time to focus on developing and nurturing the person as a whole (i.e. what motivates them, how do they like to learn, what are their fears) you will then begin to appreciate and value them more fully. You will also notice, they will in turn appreciate and value you

    Take Action: If you are in a leadership position, invest in the individuals you have been called to lead. Understand their needs and feelings and put that above what they can do for you. When you do that, you will not only be benefitting them, you will be benefitting yourself! 

    Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N

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    A recent finalist for the 2017 ORBIE CIO of the Year award, Onyeka brings more than 20 years of experience leading teams, developing strategies and building technology solutions. He has also led the creation and integration of technology solutions for a network of retail store franchises and distributors across North and Central America. Onyeka contributes to CIO Review magazine and shares his insights and experience with peers and colleagues via his own blog, Before joining Interstate Batteries in 2015, Onyeka led teams at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, where he modernized technology practices and powered business processes for daily, on-the-street use. He is a graduate of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and currently serves on the EVANTA Dallas CIO Governing Body. If Onyeka were not at Interstate, he’d find another way to combine his three biggest passions: his faith, helping others, and, of course, information technology. Because ultimately, as he puts it, “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can always help someone.”

    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    avatar James Farewell May 3, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    ….investing into others… seems as if it’s a lost art now a days….if only one who leads would remember what it was like before they became a leader, then the value of their fellow co-labores would have more value. Great observation sir……


    avatar Onyeka Nchege May 3, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Well said Mr. Farewell. If only we all would remember our forming years and heed the “do unto others” principle.


    avatar DaVena Dimiati May 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Excellent commentary on “Value” Leadership. Todays Leaders are extremely process driven; hence, they fail to develop a true connection with their employees. It has been proven, when Leadership truly acknowledges the employees value; the productivity & quality increases.


    avatar Onyeka Nchege May 4, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Great observation Ms. Dimiati. Acknowledgement does breed productivity and quality. Well said!!


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