Many consider culture to be soft, squishy and, hence, a secondary concern for business leaders. In reality, culture is probably the most powerful contributor to a company’s competitive advantage. Culture is the unique DNA of a company; no two companies have identical cultures, the same way that no two people have the same fingerprints.
Your competitors can copy your products or your trade dress or your promotional strategy, but they can never replicate your culture. The most sustaining competitive advantage a company has is a deep, rich, powerful, values-driven culture.
The late Peter Drucker, regarded as the father of modern management theory (with whom I had the pleasure of studying), observed, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” As leaders, we often spend too much time focused solely on strategy and not nearly enough paying attention to culture.