Creating Value

A component of entrepreneurial mindset


Creating Value is a component of the entrepreneurial mindset. It is the third of what we call the 3Cs (Curiosity, Connections, Creating Value.

The increasing complexity of the challenges facing our world tells us that engineers must be outstanding problem solvers, designers, and value creators in a variety of settings.

But what is value? Value can be economic, social, societal, or personal - and likely is a blend of some or all of these elements.

Engineers with an eye toward value creation understand stakeholder needs, learn from failure, and habitually work to provide benefits while understanding the consequences of their actions.

How To Teach Creating Value

Creating Value is getting students to:

  • Focus on making impact for self and others.
  • Possess a clear vision for the achievable and articulates it to others.
  • Possess a big-picture perspective.
  • Seek to make a positive impact on society.
  • Focus on delivering value to customers according to the customer’s actual needs.
  • Make the most of limited resources.
  • Think creatively about how to solve problems.

Design exercises so that students: 

  • Become empathetic ethnographers, or observers of unmet needs.
  • Habitually reframe problems as opportunities.
  • Ask questions that reveal authentic demand.
  • Develop archetype users of engineering solutions.
  • Offer solutions to problems, testing novel ideas with others to obtain formative feedback.
  • Create value from underutilized resources.
  • Extend existing solutions to new situations.

Classroom Materials

Creating Value: What Do We Mean?

What if every engineering graduate focused first on creating value? Engineering solutions would inherently become more impactful to their beneficiaries.

Solution Success: Going beyond problem solving

A high percentage of products and services introduced to the marketplace fail to find success. Apply these case studies to improve approaches and outcomes!

Eliminate Bias: Who are we creating value for?

Challenge students to share their personal experiences of exposure to a biased design, discuss its impact, then work to create value for negatively affected people.

Capstone Value: Design begins with a need

Give students the opportunity to define their own projects and directly apply entrepreneurial mindset concepts - especially "creating value."

Matrix Approach to Defining Value

Use this prompt and rubric to identify and discuss social, economic, and environmental values in relation to a proposed solution to a problem.

Scorecard for Creating Value

When can you tell your students what value creation means? A value-creation scorecard can help guide your approach. [Card contains a video presentation.]

[VIDEO] Can human heart muscle grow on spinach leaves?

Dr. Glenn Gaudette (Boston College) had an aha moment while at lunch. His desire to create value for society led to a major medical and scientific breakthrough merging biological kingdoms to grow human heart cells to fight heart disease.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Get more Creating Value resources.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Continue exploring the 3Cs:

Curiosity_button_new.png      Connections_button_new.png