The biggest competitive advantage is……

Susan S Freeman Blog

According to Patrick Lencioni, author of The Advantage, and Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Strategy, Technology, Finance and Marketing are still alive, well and important, but “as meaningful competitive advantages, as real differentiators that can set one company apart from another, they are no longer anything close to what they once were.

That’s because virtually every organization, of any size, has access to the best thinking and practices around strategy, technology, etc.  In this age of the internet, as information has become ubiquitous, it’s almost impossible to sustain an advantage based on intellectual ideas.”

Lencioni, believes there is “one remaining, untapped competitive advantage out there, and it’s more important than all the others ever were.  It is simple, reliable and virtually free.

competitiveIt’s organizational health.

Healthy organizations always find ways to “tap into every bit of intelligence and talent that it has.”

If this is the case, why don’t more companies invest in creating healthy organizations?  Leaders need to have courage, the ability to learn, to develop themselves, to manage through their discomfort with one another.  With proper focus, support and new habits, they learn to solve problems in healthy, functional, and empowered ways.

Recently I’ve conducted a number of strategic offsite events with such groups of leaders.  What I have observed consistently is that despite high degrees of technical proficiency and market knowledge, most teams are not functioning nearly at the level of their full leadership potential.

When we work together to build the team into a truly cohesive team, creating trust, collaboration and effective communication, things really start to change fast. Helping teams develop self-awareness through facilitated exercises, 360’s and other measures is critical.

The next layer is aligning the team around the vision; getting clear on where they are going, the organizational goals, and the necessary culture and behavioral shifts that need to take place to achieve and exceed those goals.  Then we work to cascade this throughout the teams that report to them.

One CEO client recently wrote to me:  “Aha moments! Our retreat helped us immensely to bond and to get aligned.  We are eagerly looking forward as a team to achieve our personal and professional goals.  The content and examples not just fit our industry, but can help any organization build “A” teams.”

Leaders who stop and take the time to truly build their team and create alignment with their vision rapidly reap the rewards.

I invite you to post your comments here.

To obtain an organizational health check-up, I invite you to contact me at

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