Culture is Your Competitive Advantage

To be a functional, fast-growing organization, you need a team that is aligned around core values. I’ve experienced this firsthand. A few years ago, I thought I had a great team, but it became clear we had a plague of misalignment spreading fast.

To align on our core values, we had to start living this stuff. 

What’s the point of having your core values if you’re not upholding them? They can’t just be a cute poster on the wall.

We started basing every client decision on our core values. Now that’s how we run the organization — you’re going to meet the core values, or we’re not aligned. 

If someone doesn’t meet the core values, we meet to discuss how they can get aligned. If they don’t, then perhaps we’re just not the best place for them. Either you make a plan to get on board, or you make a plan to transition out.

After we aligned, the team came together. We truly became #TeamFirst (one of our most important core values). Finally, we were collaborating, working with one another, and putting the team before the individual

The outcome? We:

  • successfully put on the second Game Changers Summit  
  • hit the Inc. 500
  • earned a Pacesetters award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle
  • were named one of the fastest growing private companies in Atlanta
  • built out a high-functioning leadership team
  • had the best year in the history of the company 

When we became an organization that lived out our values, culture became our competitive advantage

On the way to making my vision a reality, not only did I need the right people — we needed the right culture. 

You’re going to want to write this down: Culture is either by default or by design. 

You either allow it or you create it. 

Excellence can become contagious — but so can mediocrity. 

You endorse what you tolerate.

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