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Strategy That Works by Cesare R. Mainardi, Paul Leinwand

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4

Put Your Culture to Work

What’s your company’s biggest asset? We often asked this question in interviews we conducted with leaders of companies that had closed the strategy-to-execution gap. These leaders nearly always named their culture.

At CEMEX, human resources chief Luis Hernández said the culture “produces the behaviors that reinforce the capabilities that will make us successful.”1 Haier’s CEO Zhang Ruimin said that “the main factor enabling [the difference between Haier and other companies] is our culture.”2 Peter Agnefjäll, CEO of the INGKA Group at IKEA, said, “Our culture is very difficult to copy. You could copy our Billy bookcase or the retailing format or our warehouses, but how do you copy our culture?” We could quote similar ...

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