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Strategy+Business recently published “A CEO Guide to Today’s Value Creation Ecosystem.”

Despite the wonky title, a colorful image always captures my eye. Thankfully. Because said “value creation ecosystem” is proving a valuable tool for me in shaping conversations with leaders pondering the Future of Work (FOW).

The challenge at the heart of FOW is that – by definition – it’s unknowable.

It’s easy to get lost in the spin of all we can’t predict; the totality of questions we can’t answer.

But what if we focused instead on a single question we can answer?

How will we create value as we head into the FOW?

Enter the Value Creation Ecosystem, in all its technicolor glory:

The enterprise value framework is designed to help CEOs define how their organizations will create value. It’s comprised of 3 components:

  1. Financial productivity: how financial investments are allocated
  2. Resilience: how we respond to shifts and surprises
  3. Society: how our decisions impact citizens and stakeholders around us

As I read the article though, my mind kept asking “why can’t any leader at any altitude use this framework to define the value their team will deliver?”

So I boiled each pillar down to its essence, and granted myself the poetic license to reframe the ecosystem this way:

  1. Financial productivity: Priorities. Where we invest our time, focus, and energy.
  2. Resilience: Agility. How we monitor and respond to the unexpected
  3. Society: Impact. How our choices affect our teams and internal clients

I’m starting to use this framework with various leaders to focus their FOW-related thinking – regardless of how high up on the org chart they sit.

“We don’t have to figure it all out today,” I tell them. “But let’s focus on answering some targeted questions to help guide us.”

1. Priorities:
  • What projects or opportunities should command our time and attention?
  • Who must we collaborate with in order to deliver?
  • Where are the efficiencies in achieving these priorities?
  • What conditions will enable us to maximize the quality of our outputs?
2. Agility:
  • How can we assess regularly how our projects are going?
  • How can we quickly identify the best solution to a challenge as it arises?
  • How can we experiment as we go to find new ways of delivering?
3. Impact:
  • What strategies – formal and informal – can we tap to see how our work is being experienced by each other and our internal partners?
  • What key performance indicators should we watch for?
  • How can we maintain an open and ongoing dialog with our stakeholders so feedback is always inbound?

How can we honor our commitment to reflect on and respond to feedback we receive?

This is where we are beginning our FOW conversations. And just giving leaders a sense of scope and direction – pulling them out of the spin – is enhancing the quality of their outputs.

So, wherever you sit in your organization – how might you leverage this framework in defining with your team how you’ll create value moving forward?