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What Really Makes You Valuable

Last week I had the honor of opening the Worldwide Partners’ North America Annual Meeting with a talk about The Humanity of Creativity.

Much of the talk centers around the four pillars of human relationships within your business that either motivates or hampers the way to creating great work and getting great results – Self, Clients, Talent, and Partnerships.

We also heard from other speakers who had great expertise to share about everything from Mergers + Acquisitions, Work Scope Analytics, Net Neutrality, and iTrends.

One of the last speakers I saw struck a particular cord with me.  Keith McCracken, of McCracken Advisory Partners, specializes in Mergers + Acquisitions in the advertising and marketing worlds.  They evaluate over 100 agencies a year.

Companies that want to acquire smaller shops or smaller shops that want to be acquired seek out their expertise to help them get ready and identify opportunities.

Regardless of the fact that most of the people in the room were independent shops and were NOT looking to sell their companies, what he had to say was extremely relevant.

He spoke about how a company is only as valuable, financially-speaking, as others value them to be.

McCracken defined the value of agencies to be everything from the more obvious, like financial metrics and client roster, but he also stressed the importance of reputation, which heavily relies on a company’s people and how they work.  I loved this quote from him, “We are our people. We are not our clients.”

The people part of the potion is often a company’s secret sauce – including the Management Teams.  How do they engage with one another?  How do they have healthy disagreements?  How do they lead?

Culture matters.  And so does Leadership.

We know this in our day-to-day experience of work.  When we feel connected to our work, teams, and company vision, our output can be magical – even when hit with tight deadlines and challenging clients.

But the financial world actually looks at all of this to determine the value of a company.

Your people and how you develop them are worth a lot – literally!

I invite you to use this lens of valuation.  Are you doing what you need to do – regardless of your role – to not only make your people happy but to create a healthy, viable company?

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