Patrick Lencioni’s most recent book, The Advantage, is one of the best business books published in the past year. Early on he argues that there’s two requirements for success in business:
- Smart – strategy, marketing, finance, and technology
- Healthy – minimal politics, minimal confusion, high morale, high productivity, and low turnover
Most executives focus on the “smart” side of the equation because it is easier to deal with, taught in school, and believed to be the differentiating part of running a successful business. The reality is that the “smart” requirement is now much more of a given due to the availability of information, educational background of executives, and competitive nature of most markets in the Internet age.
The “healthy” side of the equation is the one that isn’t given enough attention and over the next 10-20 years will become just as top-of-mind and worked on as the “smart” side. Entrepreneurs and executives that don’t embrace the “healthy” side will have more limited lifespans and outcomes compared to those that do. Some people will deride it as being fuzzy and a corporate culture ploy but in the end a strong corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage completely within the control of the company’s leaders.
What else? What are your thoughts on the two requirements for success from Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage?