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We live in a knowledge economy. In the world today, very few businesses gain sustainable competitive advantage through proprietary technology, manufacturing might, or specialized logistics. One key to success for every business is to create a strong corporate culture that attracts, grows, and keeps the best people.

This does not mean that every person who works for you needs to have three advanced degrees from Harvard and ten years as a former astronaut, only that each be the absolute best for the position that he or she is in — the best chief financial officer, the best engineer, the best receptionist, the best janitor. Obviously the skill levels of these four people are completely different, but the attitude, passion, creativity, innovation, and driving desire for success and excellence should be no different. Though you’d be hard-pressed to find a leader or manager today who doesn’t agree with you that it is critical to get the best people on their team, you’d also find that few organizations do a superior job of creating the systems and processes needed to keep a steady stream of bright, talented, motivated people who want to work for them.

Chapter Two can catapult an organization to a higher level of success with one powerful idea: turning your organization into a talent magnet.

Additional Resources

A couple of excellent articles from Guy Kawasaki

A must read on: The Art of Recruiting
You might also enjoy: How to Prevent a Bozo Explosion

Understanding and changing your corporate culture

Here are some good articles on corporate culture from
Culture: Your Environment for People at Work
How to Understand Your Current Culture
How to Change Your Culture: Organizational Culture Change
How to Create Team Norms

A great (and short) Harvard article on corporate culture:
A Good Way to Change a Corporate Culture

Great Place to Work Institute

Here is a great site, if you search around on the site you’ll find some wonderful case studies and other terrific resources:

Examples of workplace culture/climate surveys

Here are a few examples of workplace culture/climate surveys:”Quiz: What Is Your Corporate Culture?” “WorkplaceClimateSurvey.pdf”

Recommended Reading

First, Break All the Rules

This is a well researched and thought-provoking book about how to retain and grow top talent. After analyzing more than 25 years of data collected by the Gallup Organization – using an impressive sample size of 80 thousand managers and 1 million staff from 400 companies – the authors lay out precisely what is needed to better attract, manage and keep the best people.

Lessons in Excellence from Charlie Trotter

This is a superb book on what it takes to build a world-class company based on talent. Charlie Trotter leads what is arguably one of the top restaurants in the world, and this book gives you a window into how he has taken his team to the pinnacle of their industry. On a personal note, I used this book extensively when creating the vision, culture and key strategies of my business.

Make the Right Choice

This is a perfect book to give to your team to help them see how important it is to “make the right choice” about the attitude they bring to work every day. Written in a fun, witty, enjoyable tone, Joel clearly shows how each of us has the ability to live a more creative, passionate, effective, and productive life. I really loved this book.


This is truly one of my favorite books about how to create a fantastic corporate culture that will attract talent and allow them to thrive. I was deeply impressed with the ideas in this book and gave copies to many of my clients. This gets a very strong recommendation.

Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage

This is a solid, information-intensive book about the critical need to be “obsessed with talent” as a competitive advantage. Lots of examples, how-to information and superb advice on creating a human capital centric organization.

Team Building

A clearly written and easy to apply guide for creating successful teams, with lots of solid how-to information, excellent examples and great advice, it remains one of my very favorite books on team building.

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