It's not always easy to point to the organizational tools, techniques or assets which directly and unambiguously create value. Maybe you have a fantastic brand that creates value. Or a secret sauce. Maybe you have a captive genius whose product ideas never miss. Or maybe you have a proud bank of relationships that guarantee profitable activity.
It's right to treasure and nurture these value creators wherever we find them. But of course we want to do more. We want to find new sources and generators of value. Allow me to spotlight the greatest unsung value creator of them all: Data standards.
First, standards destroy waste. By using standards, you remove activities that suck up costs and gum up the works.
Second, standards enable innovation. Once you're running in a standards-based environment, you can move faster, and introduce new products, services, and processes faster. Even better, you have an actionable, legible environment that inspires new ideas rather than frustrating people.
Third, standards make connections. When you take up an industry standard, you gain a new kind of passport. You're now in a position to collaborate with partners like never before.
Fourth, standards stimulate growth. That's right – growth from standards. Because, with standards, you can replicate successful solutions easily, cheaply, and confidently. This means quicker market entry and lower risk.
I struggle to think of anything comparable which can produce such benefits. Standards are simple, safe, and people-sized. Yet they can transform your business.