It seems every company puts up posters that say “our people make the difference.” But what sort of difference are they making?

Intelligent, highly-skilled, and experienced people who are not aligned, can’t communicate with one another, and don’t have a common language might just as well not be intelligent, skilled or experienced. Operating alone, people make as much difference as a water removal specialist approaching the Pacific.

Here’s the elephant in the office: Many companies trademark their products so no one else can steal and sell them. Yet, the teams that make and deliver those products flounder in toxicity are often unaligned and can’t communicate effectively. These companies should post signs that read, “Our people make a difference – occasionally, usually around the holidays or when we give bonuses.”

The most important edge you can have over your competition – and the one thing your competition can’t steal – is HOW the people in the organization work together.


Jose is the president for the Latin American region within a Fortune 500 company. His team delivers greater profits to their global organization than any other region. And Jose knows why: “How we work together is what makes the difference. It’s our trademark. It’s what separates us from everyone else. We must protect this.”

Jose’s organization is facing the same economic and market issues as their competition, yet his team is planning for growth. And the confidence to deliver on that plan is palpable.

Are you – your company’s culture – worth a trademark? What will happen to the value of your trademarked products as the people who create your culture function as one – so they really can be “the difference”?

What is your priority today?

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?

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