Create competitive edge with the right people

No matter the type of business you’re in or the size of your organization, your company is at risk of becoming irrelevant. Business owners and leaders stuck in their current business models fail to keep pace with changing markets. How do you avoid this pitfall to protect your business and create competitive edge? You must build innovation into your company DNA.

Tapping into the creativity of your company’s team is one way to help you identify new opportunities and initiatives. Diversity is critical to an organization’s ability to innovate. When you work with people who are different from you, you’re challenged to think in different ways. You shed your stale ways of thinking and are pushed out of the autopilot habits that limit performance. Generational diversity is another important element to consider in today’s changing workforce. Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) now out-number Baby Boomers according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.

Here are more tips to create a culture that will give your business a competitive edge:

Hire for life

Make the right hires and give them a reason to stay. Companies with a competitive edge hire for the long-term not just for an open position. They want someone who will perform well over time.

Share values

Every organization needs employees who mesh with its core values because values drive business decisions. It’s important to screen your job candidates for a good cultural fit. The CEO of Zappos will fire someone regardless of their job performance if they are not subscribing to the Zappos values.

Give feedback

The annual performance review that has been a standard practice for years, isn’t a good fit for today’s fast-paced economy. Business leaders in highly functional companies today are providing real-time feedback to employees. Regular one-on-one meetings allow for the setting of priorities, a discussion of achievement with coaching and development.

Get out of the way

When you hire the right people for your team, you need to get out of their way and let them do their thing. Your business will benefit from the creativity and diversity of ideas.

You can create a competitive edge for your business by hiring the right people, investing in them, trusting them and empowering them. Give your employees a reason to be a true partner in business growth instead of another cog in the wheel. Listen to the breadth of ideas and perspective your diverse team offers and harness that creativity to stay a step ahead of the competition.

To learn more about the tips listed above (and six more!), join me for an engaging webinar on Thursday, Feb 23 at 2pm EST.

About the Author

Susan Wilson Solovic is an American entrepreneur and author. Solovic's book "It's Your Biz" became a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com Top 100 and USA Today bestseller.