Posted by: drewdice | February 11, 2013

Finding your sustainable competitive advantage

As I’ve built my physical and online communities, I’ve been pretty intentional in surrounding myself with folks who value and believe similar things to me (not groupthink – you get the difference). As such, I know many of you also spend a good amount of time and energy working on the ‘people’ part of the equation in your businesses.

And so, here are two thoughts for your consideration today:

– Whether a business leader’s goal is to massively scale an organization, or to achieve, steady, modesst growth, attracting, hiring and retaining “A” players should be one of the most critical aspects to the organizational strategy. Without great people to collaborate, innovate and serve, the best business plan is likely to fail. So, why do so many companies fail to build this part of their organizational ‘muscle’ well?

– Some companies do actively recruit ‘A’ players – that is part of their strategy. Where they fall down is in having a clear vision: of the organizational strategy, how the business creates value, how decisions are made (aligned to the vision and the overall values of the organization), and creating the right structure to execute. What I have seen and heard (personal experience, consulting engagements, peer experience and research) is that as businesses grow, they sometimes get consumed in working ‘in’ the business, and driving metrics, numbers and all the things which they are already very good at, and comfortable with, that they do not spend the appropriate time and attention to this other very critical part of business health. Why? it can be uncomfortable, awkward, many leaders are not good at it, and people typically gravitate to their comfort zone.

In businesses who ‘get’ the whole picture, a robust culture and talent strategy gets as much time, attention and focus as does a financial strategy, the customer acquisition strategy, the plans to optimmize efficiencies.

A winning culture and healthy organization, dedicated to attracting, retaining and growing top talent will have the most sustainable competitive advantage. Hands down

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