Defining "Value" at a Jazz Club


    A little weekend lightness… serious stuff to come this week…

    When I was in the UK last month, I was able to catch a late night Saturday show at the well known Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. It was my first time seeing/hearing the amazing bassist Christian McBride and his band. I was pretty serious about my drumming back in the day, including playing in jazz groups, for those who didn't know.

    I couldn't help thinking about “value” in regards to my visit. I, along with hundreds of others, paid $30 or more to get into the club. In the Lean framework, a major aspect of defining value is looking at what customers are willing to pay for. Paying to get in, that choice, is a clear indicator of value. Buying a cocktail — clearly “value” since we pay for that.

    But I was pretty appalled with the amount of table talk during the music, even though an announcement was made at the start asking people to keep it to a minimum.

    I had some people near me who talked almost the whole time.

    So it seems there are two types of customers:

    1. Value = being there, consider it “cool” to be in a jazz club and want to chat with their ladies over chardonnay
    2. Value = seriously enjoying the music while having a drink

    The Type 1 customers actually detracted from my value quite a bit. As a Type 2, I'd actually be willing to pay MORE to be in a self selecting “no talking” section, but I did not have that option.

    In a way, the Type 1's are subsidizing the ticket price of the Type 2's. If Ronnie Scott's limited their audience to those who want to pay attention to the music and not talk, the smaller audience would each have to pay more. And maybe the other Type 2's aren't as uptight as me about the talking.

    Different customers, different value. But we were all lumped into the same club “value stream.”

    But if you're a jazz fan — check out Christian McBride… now!

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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