How to Determine Value

In this video Craig talks about a dent in his car and tells the story of the consultant and the red X. How do YOU determine how much you should pay for something?
Craig’s answer might surprise you.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody!

Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

This is my work vehicle. I got tables, easels, projectors, a screen. But I want to talk about the outside, right here.

I had a dent; a pretty big dent. I took it to my buddy Glenn who runs an auto body shop. I’ve been doing business with Glenn for 20 years and I asked him, “What’s it going to take to fix this dent?” He looked at it and he talked about how he was going to have to drill rivets and pull it out and sand and repaint. “Well,” he said, ‘two or three hundred maybe.”

And then he said, “Well, wait a minute. Sometimes….” and then he looked real careful here. He looked from the other side. And then he whammed it with his hand and the dent popped out! Just like it is right now. Fixed. Boom. Good as brand new in about five seconds.

It reminds me of the story of the consultant and the red X. Big manufacturing plant; one of their machines went down. It was costing thousands; tens of thousands of dollars a day in lost production. They were trying to get this machine fixed but couldn’t. Finally they called in a consultant who looked at it real careful. And then he pulled out a can of red spray paint and put a big X on the side of the machine. And then he pulled out a sledge hammer and he whammed that red ‘X’ right in the middle. And the machine started working! He sent them an invoice: $10,000. Well the folks that hired him were like, “What do you mean $10,000? You were only here for like, twenty minutes! Can you at least send us an itemized bill?” He said, “Ok, I can send you an itemized bill.” The bill came. Spray paint: $20. Sledgehammer: $80. Knowing where to put the X: $9,900.

That was the value; just like Glenn’s value was knowing exactly where and how hard to hit the back of my car to fix that dent in an instance.

If you’re part of a group having to make decisions about how to spend money, it’s tempting to want to base those decisions on hourly rates or cost of materials. Those are tried and true methods. But if some solution is going to come along which seems to have little baring on cost of materials or an hourly rate but gets you a fix in a hurry, that’s worth considering.

One way to access value is NOT looking at cost of material or hours spent but look at the alternative cost. In the case of that factory, the alternative was costing tens of thousands of dollars a day. In the case of this dent on the back of my car, the alternative was to spend two or three hundred dollars on Glenn and be without my car for a few days. So I whipped out my wallet and I offered to pay Glenn a hundred dollars on the spot because for me, that was good value even though it only took him five to ten seconds to fix it.

I’m just offering that there are different ways to think about value and don’t be tethered to the old fashioned ways. If you’ve got a solution that’s going to get the job done cheaper and more effective than any other solution, that’s all you need to know. Go for it.

I hope this helps you and your group make good decisions.

Thanks for listening everybody.

Oh, one more thing. A little plug for Glenn’s Auto Body, Route 125, Durham, Maine.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.

A Complete Listener

In this video, Eunice and Jennie explain what it means to be “a complete listener”.  They explain how listening to understand and being mindful of differences and similarities not only makes conversations more meaningful, but also makes us better people.

Thanks Eunice and Jennie!


This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

I just lead a workshop about inter-group dialogue, and Eunice here said that it really helps in conversations when someone is a complete listener.

I love that phrase and so I’m going to ask her and also Jennie to talk a little more about it. Let’s see what they have to say.

Okay, so Eunice, Jennie tell me what does it mean in your mind to be a complete listener?

“I think a tendency of people is to listen with the intent of responding as opposed to listening with the intent of understanding the perspective first, and then formulating some sort of response that will deepen the understanding, and then facilitate a conversation with their differences or similarities.” – Eunice

“I also think it’s about thinking about what assumptions you have going into the conversation. How your experiences have informed your own perception and then using that to think about how others also have their own experiences that are different from yours, and using that as a way to really authentically listen to what they have to say knowing that you have differences and similarities.” – Jennie

“And one more thing. Everybody has their own experiences through the lens catered to their experiences that they have, by listening you can see how somebody else sees it from a different level, from a different view and I think it’s important not only for the person in the conversation but also as a self-bettering assessment of being a person.” – Eunice

Awesome. Thanks Jennie. Thanks Eunice.

I hope this helps you, listeners, be a complete listener.

Thanks a lot everybody.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.

Teacher Appreciation

Thank you Professor Eugene Mawhinney!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Craig explains what made his teachers great and encourages us to teach each other, by example.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody! Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

It’s teacher appreciation week and here in Maine our Commissioner of the Department of Education is encouraging people to make little videos thanking their teachers.

I would like to thank Professor Eugene Mawhinney who taught Constitutional Law at the University of Maine. Gene Mawhinney was a great teacher because, not only did he have command of constitutional law, he also held us to high standards. But he also engendered in us a love for law and for the Constitution.

Here’s inside the book by the way; pretty beat up, written all over. I loved this course. Duct tape on the outside.

Now many of us have had great teachers in the classroom; you might call it book learning. But a lot of us learn about good group decisions from other people in the group. Those are our teachers too; the elders, the veterans, the people who don’t just talk about how to do things but who do things in ways that work really well for the group. Follow those people. And if you are one of those people, continue to set a good example and be a good teacher.

I hope this helps you help your group make good decisions. Thanks for listening everybody.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.
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