The Problem of Value-Added Operations

In business school I was taught to examine the operations of a company, figure out which ones added value, and try to get rid of as much of the rest as possible. That is a very simple idea. If you make widgets, then the more time your people spend actually making widgets, the more profitable you will be. But it ignores one huge fact – sometimes the value added by an action is not quantifiable.

If I owned a carpet cleaning company, I will probably get more business if my cleaning trucks are… well, clean of course. But how clean? How much