Why is it that some companies perform better than others. Is it luck? Their people? Their products/ services? Their markets?
Some time ago, I reviewed the top-rated book "Six Disciplines for Excellence" . In that book, Gary Harpst defines five key reasons for why the best differ from the rest. Here's the top five - in order of their importance:
- Strength of the Leadership Team. Top-performing organizations rated 155% higher than the lower performers. The two primary factors were the ability of leadership to define a clear vision for the company, and the appropriate involvement of leadership in leading and supporting projects that were strategic to the organization.
- Ability to Attract and Retain Quality People. Top-performing organizations rated 142% higher than the lower performers. The best small businesses have found that success in this area all starts with recruiting.
- Disciplined Approach To Business. Top-performing organizations rated 114% higher than the lower performers. Top performers are also good planners, but are practical and are disciplined about the commitments they make.
- Strategic Use of Technology. Top-performing organizations give more emphasis to using technology to impact the business in strategic ways (114% more) than the lower performers.
- Effective Use of Trusted Relationships. Top-performing organizations rated 100% higher than the lower performers in their ability to utilize the expertise and talents of external organizations.
Other factors contribute to top-performing organizations and how they differ from lower performers (i.e., work ethic/attitude, teamwork, commitment, etc.). The five described above highlight the areas of greatest difference.