- About Us
- Insurance Programs
- Lehman’s Terms
Virtually everywhere we look these days, it seems a question exists as to relative value. In so many situations, even we consumers have a difficult time defining what we value. All we know for certain is that far too often what we experience is significantly less than the expectation that was created. It has gotten so bad that we just factor into our choices the knowledge that the odds are fairly high we will not receive what is advertised.
If we look at the definition of value, we find the following: (1) Assessed worth, or desirability (2) The fair monetary value (3) Utility or importance. There are also values attributed to the duration of a musical note or the intensity of a color.
Value is a complex relationship between our senses, our expectations, the desired outcome and the actual experience. Have you ever savored something first with your eyes as you looked at a picture on the recipe (or menu) only to have a less than savory experience when the outcome was finally tasted? Marketing experts have blasted us with pictures, noise, and promises often touching all of our senses. Unfortunately, our senses often discover the producer fails to deliver on that sensory experience.
When was the last time you had an experience that really exceeded your expectations? When whatever was actually delivered exceeded what was promised? Business tends to be focused on three outcomes: delivering cheap, delivering fast, or delivering quality. The advice to the consumer and to the producer is, pick one or two but never all three. As a society, we have become so consumed with cheap and fast that these end up being the values we pursue. However, when the picture on the box does not meet our sensory expectations, we discover the real value is something else.
I recently took a trip to a ranch in Colorado. For her tenth birthday, Omi and I (Opa) took Emma (our granddaughter) for a week of horseback riding and ranch life. As we concluded our week at Latigo Ranch, we all agreed that the week far exceeded our expectations at all levels. Our one-on-one time with Emma created memories that none of us will ever forget. The owners of the ranch have a commitment to delivering a complete, whole-person experience focusing on all four elements of body, mind, spirit, and soul. The staff, many of whom were young college students, displayed competence and character at a level that renewed my faith in the future of our young people. I would hire any one of them!
Being in a business, yes we insure property, but in reality we serve people. This experience made me ask the question “Are we promising more but delivering less, or are we among the few that deliver more than we promise?” At a recent gathering of our management team at Mennonite Mutual Insurance Company (MMIC), we shared thoughts from some readings. One of those that stood out was, “Long after people forget what you said, they will remember how you made them feel”.
Perhaps that is the ultimate definition of value. Are you, am I, is your business, is MMIC, delivering promises, services, and the personal touch at a level that people will say, “Not only did they respond as promised, but they made me feel valued”? The folks at Latigo Ranch sure did! I hope it is a lesson well learned that will make a difference.
So I ask, are we promising more but delivering less, or are we among the few that deliver more than we promise?
Thanks for reading and for your valuable feedback.
DaveDavid L. Lehman President, Mennonite Mutual Insurance Company