Resourcery Plc has been in the information technology space for over 35 years. People sometimes ask me what the secret to corporate longevity is. Is it having a great strategy, good marketing, continuous innovation? I tell them it is a combination of executing on basic business fundamentals, company culture, and a bit of luck.
I have found that Patrick Lencioni, in his book “The Advantage”, best captures the concept. He says most companies concentrate on being “Smart”, focusing on strategy, finance, marketing, technology, etc. What is usually ignored, however, is company “Health”, which he characterizes as minimal politics, clarity of communication, high morale, high productivity and low turnover of the right staff. While most organizations focus on being smart, what will sustain an organization over the long term is being healthy. Advantages gained in strategy, marketing, finance and technology are replicable by the competition and therefore generally brief and time-bound. They are also hit or miss.
Companies who have the right smarts and are executing on them but also have high degrees of internal politics, dysfunction, confusion and bureaucracy will find it hard to maintain their lead. When they stumble, they fall harder and faster than healthy companies. In contrast, a healthy organization will learn from its mistakes, it is resilient and eventually, it will get the smart stuff right. So ideally, organizations should be healthy first, and then smart.
I attribute Resourcery’s ability to survive over 35 years mainly to our company culture, the health side of what Lencioni described. We do not always get it right but we have an internal compass that puts us back on track. Our company culture has provided an indispensable cushion in hard times, from a staff, customer and supplier point of view. Culture, smarts and a little bit of good luck have served us well over the years.
Written By: Tani Fafunwa, the Managing Director Resourcery Plc.