Destroying Value with Intellectual Dishonesty

There are three types of people who latch on to an idea without really going deeply into it and selling the idea. 

The first who somewhat understands the idea but does not want to go deeper into it because he can be seen as an expert with his limited understanding. 

The second type understands that many propositions are not really correct but goes along with it because he can become a leader or be recognised as one or get some gain. 

The third who really understands the proposition and tries to tell people the proposition is not quite correct…he gets ostracized, because the community using the proposition does not want the proposition to be diluted. 

As an example, the investigators who bent the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or those that examined the reports and came up with biased conclusions.

Or the bureaucrats who supported this idea, or those who led the US into a war with Iraq? Which category do you think they fell in and why do you think they did this? Did they create or destroy value for whom and how? Or, take politicians who do things for self-promotion, forgetting intellectual integrity and honesty. 

Another example is the mortgage bankers and sellers, knowing fully well that some mortgagees were bad risks, compromised their intellectual integrity in favour of greed and gave away bad mortgages to make money for themselves. They destroyed value for all of us by causing the financial markets crash of 2008. 

Take CRM. It was touted as the way to take care of customers. Many people got onto the band wagon. Some built it up to what it wasn’t and yet others latched onto the enhanced (but not correct) meaning, and sold it to customers as a panacea to take care of customers and customer centricity. 

CRM today has gone back to its proper meaning and is being used as such. 

Another area is CX. Some people are pushing it as more than it is and the ultimate for making customers loyal. It started as a better name for CSat and now has built itself to more than it is. 

My own personal example is the PET bottle I introduced in the USA. I accepted the party line of the bottle being more ecologically friendly than glass. I did not even try to study this more. 

The time has come for people with knowledge and intellectual integrity to slot it in its rightful place. 

Value is what customers seek, and experience is one part of creating value. Let us not destroy intellectual integrity and thereby value.


Gautam Mahajan, President, Customer Value Foundation
Founder Editor, Journal of Creating Value
New Delhi 110065 +91 98100 60368
Twitter @ValueCreationJ
Author of Value CreationTotal Customer Value ManagementCustomer Value InvestmentHow Creating Customer Value Makes you a Great ExecutiveThe Value ImperativeValue Dominant LogicCustomer Value Starvation can Kill
Come to the Fifth Global Conference on Creating Value, September 2-4, 2022 e-conference
Join the Creating Value Alliance at

Explore posts in the same categories: Business & Management

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: