What’s in the DNA of the most successful companies?


The values that a company bases itself on will often shape its future. Getting them wrong can lead to diminished revenues while on the flip side getting them right can be incredibly fruitful.

The most admired enterprises didn’t get that way overnight. The Berkshire Hathaways, Googles and Apples of the world – the latter of which is the most admired of them all according to Fortune – build their reputations on solid foundations.

Financial soundness, innovation, social responsibility and the quality of services should be at the forefront of the minds of decision makers, as it is these attributes that guide and mould consumer opinion.

While location isn’t important – after all, the biggest and best companies are based everywhere from Silicon Valley to Singapore – defining the characteristics that outline the company DNA should play a role within any strategic planning.

A report from research association The Conference Board explained that while the brightest businesses may differ slightly, there is a commonality in their approaches that underlies their success.

“FedEx and Coca-Cola, or Target and American Express, would seem to offer little shared insight into excelling in each other’s businesses,” said Amy Lui Abel, managing director of human capital research at The Conference Board.

“While the DNA of every high-performance culture is unique, they rest on a common catalogue of ‘genetic’ elements that proactive leaders will identify, adapt, and incorporate into their own company’s identity,” she concluded.

So what are those underlying factors? The three most prominent shared by the most successful enterprises are:

  • Efficient and thorough alignment of resources.
  • Strong focus on the customer experience.
  • Organizational capability in support of critical business objectives.

While the nuances will vary by sector and the size of the enterprise, having the core values of the business identifiable to both the customer and those within the organization can help pave the way to success.