Competitive advantage

What is organizational health?

December 15, 2010: 11:15 AM ET

Today, competitive advantage doesn't go to the company with the best widget. It goes to the organization that can reinvent itself and defend itself from attackers -- wherever they may come from -- better than anyone else.

By Colin Price, contributor

( -- We're at the end of an eight-year period, which was marked in the beginning by the demise of Enron and marked at the end by the demise of Lehman Brothers.

During that near decade, the quasi-religious mantra of business was shareholder value: Focus on performance and on performance alone. That's what real managers did. Everything else was stuff that needed to be done to run the machine.

We now know what that philosophy of management produced: an apparent growth in global GDP followed by an even larger decline in global GDP. It produced unsustainable corporate earnings.

The same is true in the public sector. Focusing exclusively on performance simply does not produce long-term shareholder value, sustainable competitive advantage, or an ability to achieve organizational mandates in the public sector.

So, how can we focus instead on longer term organizational health? More

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