Just Because You Can

In the game of service, the ideal exchange between parties is to provide value for value. You have something you can deliver to a customer that brings great value to their business. They, in return, pay you.

Framing the way to exchange value is often done with a proposal of sorts. This makes it clear what each party gives and gets.

However, it’s easy to muddy the waters when you have the ability to solve more problems than you agreed upon. Just because you can do a thing begs the questions, “Should you?” When you are seeing other problems you can solve beyond what you agreed to, it’s tempting to jump in. We empathize. It’s natural.

If you have IT skills, but you were hired on writing, do you simply fix issues within a platform or setup?

Or, if there is scope creep and a customer sees one of your employees is able to do more work than agreed upon, then a project manager might not be aware of the client managing their employee beyond project deliverables. Free labor and value.

No, just because you can do a thing does not mean you jump in and solve problems that were not agreed to.

Good agreements make for great relationships. When you exceed an agreement or there are more opportunities, simply stop and ensure a new scoping discussion starts the conversation, not simply jumping in and working.

Otherwise, you not only add cost to your own team by working for free, but you also create expectations and precedents that can bite you later. You take on liability without compensation.

So, the process is:

  1. Opportunity
  2. Scope
  3. Agree
  4. Work
  5. Repeat

Don’t skip step 3.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I am a management consultant to business owners, executives and entrepreneurs. I write and speak on systems, strategy and leadership on my blog and help empower business clients to achieve their goals for revenue and efficiency. I live a life of adventure and work with business clients all over the world from remote locations to help them start and grow their businesses.

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