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Moving up the value chain

By  Sep 14, 2007

Topics: Business & Management

Following on from my previous posting on decision-making quality, I wanted to talk a little about the related subject of the value chain.

A wide range of factors determines your position in the work value chain, some of which are:


  • The strategic content of your decisions

  • The extent to which your job is purely operational in nature

  • The extent to which your role is specialized

  • Ultimately, the level of pay

Anecdotal evidence suggests to me that many organizations are now actively seeking to dumb down the bulk of job positions. In this context, the newish trends of outsourcing and offshoring are interesting: If the vast majority of jobs are made replaceable or swappable then costs can be reduced by outsourcing and offshoring. Clearly, there are longer term issues related to these trends, e.g., reduced institutional memory. In spite of this, the three activities of outsourcing, offshoring, and downsizing have become a new mantra for cost-conscious organizations. And what organization isn’t cost-conscious nowadays!


I believe this trend is now mainstream, so what can be done by the average worker to avoid the dumbing down effect of a role or possible job loss? My answer is to move up the value chain and in fact I feel so strongly about this subject, I’ve written an eBook about it (http://www.informit.com/promotions/promotion.aspx?promo=135903&rl=1). By moving up the value chain, you make the decision to proactively increase your skill set! This has the welcome effect of broadening your thinking, improving your ability to rapidly acquire new information, and opening your mind to new job possibilities. 

You can move up non-work related value chains as well. One of the best examples of this is DIY – starting with really small projects and building up. As you begin to think about the concept value chain, you’ll realize there are dozens of value chains with which you routinely interact.

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