Editor's Note (The View From Here)
What Value Relationships?
- By Deborah P. Moore
- August 1st, 2015
How do we measure value? Is it strictly based on dollars spent? Do we ever take into account the not-so-obvious things that we gain?
I had a thought-provoking conversation this past week with someone from a community college who asked these questions and brought up some very interesting points that I had never thought much about. The gist of the conversation was that the strict rules we have in place when it comes to purchasing don’t always look at the big picture and are oftentimes in direct opposition to the directives given by the leadership regarding community engagement and the formation of partnerships — a different kind of capital.
The conversation we had was not about spending more, nor was it about life-cycle costing. It was about valuing the often hidden gains that come from developing partnerships and supporting the local community and businesses — the people that come to your sporting events, take classes on your campus, pay local taxes and donate money to sponsor your events. His point was that too many of us have let the idea of saving 10 cents on a single transaction trump the benefits that can be gained from developing meaningful relationships.
Transaction vs. Relationship. I am not so fond of the “What can you do for me this time?” mentality many of us have developed in recent years. Transactions are singularly focused — price on the consumer side, making the sale on the business side. The idea is that consumers win… or do they? Relationships are more my style — focusing on longer-term needs, understanding my goals and helping me solve the problems that are sure to arise. It is not an “I win” mentality, it’s a “we win!”
While a transaction mentality may save me 10 cents on a purchase, a relationship/partnership that has been nurtured and developed over years is priceless.
This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of College Planning & Management.