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George Bradt
George Bradt
Offering a unique perspective on transformational leadership based on his combined senior line management, journalistic, and consulting experience. Founder of executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis, author of four books on onboarding and “The New Leader’s Playbook” weekly column on Forbes.com.
 
Posted in Business

Corporate Culture: The Only Truly Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Feb. 8, 2012 9:08 am

Given enough time and money, your competitors can duplicate almost everything you’ve got working for you. They can hire away some of your best people. They can reverse engineer your processes. The only thing they can’t duplicate is your culture.

BRAVE CULTURES ARE SUSTAINABLE

All music is made from the same 12 notes. All culture is made from the same five components: behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and environment (follow this link for more on BRAVE cultures). It’s the way those notes or components are put together that makes things sing.

In sustainable, winning cultures, behaviors (the way we do things here) are inextricably linked to relationships, informed by attitudes, built on a rock-solid base of values, and completely appropriate for the environment in which the organization chooses to operate.

It’s the context that makes it so hard to duplicate a winning culture. Because every organization’s environment is different, matching someone else’s behaviors, relationships, attitudes, and values will not produce the same culture.

ATTITUDE IS THE PIVOT POINT

As you work to evolve your culture, focus on attitudes. Of course, I am oversimplifying things. Few things are as simple as we hope they are. Of course you have to be in touch with your environment. Of course you have to make sure your values are current. Of course people and communication matter. Of course it’s all theoretical gibberish until someone actually does something that impacts someone else. Attitude is not the only lever. But it’s generally the lever to pull first, using that choice or change to influence the others.

Follow this link for the full article in The New Leader's Playbook on Forbes.com

 
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