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How the best differ from the rest

"Only the mediocre are always at their best." Jean Giraudoux (French dramatist: 1882 - 1944)

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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1 comment:

ratethatcorp said...

These are some valid ways to improve that I didn't think about. I've recently wrote an article stating few other ways on how to improve your business: Ways to Improve Your Business

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