The move from “good” to “great”
I began work this past month with a highly successful media company, my first. They are interesting organizations. Full of bright, ambitious, dynamic youth who are on the move. They operate in a strategic environment that is shifting constantly and substantially. We were doing an internal assessment, i.e. strengths and opportunities to improve performance.
I was struck by the strength of this corporate culture. Sure, there were issues. There are always issues. But, the issues were about going from “good to great” as the General Manager often says. There were few substantial issues to be had, and there were scores of impressive strengths. In short, a strong corporate culture.
Not surprisingly, this company is VERY dominant in its market. Great people with passion for what they do and for excellence—it’s a winning formula.
It can’t be imitated
I ended up telling the group a story about Sprouts Farmers Markets, another client with a unique and VERY strong corporate culture. The big boys in the market have tried to take them out and their peers have literally copied their unique store design, product mix and then located themselves next door. But, the copycats can’t compete. Why? Execution.
The secret sauce of Sprouts is that their organization is fun, focused on customer, with focus on employee a close second. There are traditions in the organization that are held as sacred, such as the CEO being at every store opening (now a very big challenge because of rapid growth) and spending the day bagging groceries and listening to customers.
For the customer, there is nothing like being in a well-organized space, with enticing merchandise and employees who love what they do. It creates customer loyalty that has Sprouts outperforming competitors and Wall Street expectations.
The secret sauce and the competitive factor that can’t be copied is corporate culture. Creating it is not linear and it’s not left brained or logical. It comes from the heart, not the mind. You can’t track it on the financial statements or company metrics. It’s rather magical really.
I would love to connect with you to help you spark that kind of culture in your organization. You can reach me via e-mail.