Over 30 years of global experience has taught us that a winning culture produces at least four critical outcomes.
• First, organizations with winning cultures achieve sustained, superior results — today, tomorrow, next quarter, next year.
• Second, they establish loyal customers, customers who come back again and again, and tell stories about why they do so.
• Third, their employees are fully engaged, giving their finest efforts to their work.
• Fourth, the organization’s stakeholders develop a sense that they are making a distinctive contribution, that what the organization does and their role in that work matters.
Consider employee engagement for a moment. In today’s world, with all its attendant challenges, moving pieces, and barrage of information, the key factor between the organizations that will sustain success and those that don’t will be the ability to engage one’s people to volunteer their very best. It is the ultimate competitive advantage. Let’s look at two powerful examples of this ultimate competitive advantage in action.
Coach Anson Dorrance of the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team has created a remarkable culture of winning. At one point, his teams achieved a 103-game unbeaten streak, and the team has won 21 national championships and counting. This seven-time National Coach of the Year is recognized as simply one of the greatest coaches ever in any sport.
Performance like that doesn’t happen by chance. Coach Dorrance deliberately and masterfully engages top talent in a collective pursuit of performance. He’s done so by creating a framework for engagement and synergy, and the athletes integrate their individual contributions into that framework. These skilled athletes quickly realize the level of commitment required for Coach Dorrance’s system, and they work daily to live up to that level. The results of such a team culture speak for themselves.
THE ULTIMATE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Great short- and long-term results require more than talent — most collegiate athletic programs have amazing talent but don’t achieve anywhere near UNC’s results. In short, these type of results require a winning culture, and that is the framework Coach Dorrance has established.
“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” – Jack Welch
The sports arena is certainly not the only place this applies. After partnering with some of the greatest organizations and leaders worldwide, we know that this type of culture, where people get excited to perform and contribute, can happen in the department, division, team or organization you’re leading. A shared framework enables you to leverage the most powerful, hard-to-replicate, and sustainable competitive advantage — a winning culture.