Sustained Business Success

According to this, the keys to business success are strategy, execution, culture, and structure.

StrategyWhatever your strategy, whether it is low prices or innovative products, it will work if it is sharply defined, clearly communicated, and well understood by employees, customers, partners, and investors.

Build a strategy around a clear value proposition for the customer.
Develop strategy from the outside in, based on what your customers, partners, and investors have to say-and how they behave-not on gut feel or instinct.
Continually fine-tune your strategy based on changes in the marketplace-for example, a new technology, a social trend, a government regulation, or a competitor's breakaway product.
Clearly communicate your strategy within the organization and to customers and other external stakeholders.
Keep focused. Grow your core business, and beware the unfamiliar.

ExecutionDevelop and maintain flawless operational execution. You might not always delight your customers, but make sure never to disappoint them.

Deliver products and services that consistently meet customers' expectations.
Put decision-making authority close to the front lines so employees can react quickly to changing market conditions.
Constantly strive to eliminate all forms of excess and waste; improve productivity at a rate that is roughly twice the industry average.

CultureCorporate culture advocates sometimes argue that if you can make the work fun, all else will follow. Our results suggest that holding high expectations about performance matters a lot more.

Inspire all managers and employees to do their best.
Empower employees and managers to make independent decisions and to find ways to improve operations-including their own.
Reward achievement with pay based on performance, but keep raising the performance bar.
Pay psychological rewards in addition to financial ones.
Create a challenging, satisfying work environment.
Establish and abide by clear company values.

StructureManagers spend hours agonizing over how to structure their organizations (by product, geography, customer, and so on). Winners show that what really counts is whether structure reduces bureaucracy and simplifies work.

Simplify. Make your organization easy to work in and work with.
Promote cooperation and the exchange of information across the whole company.
Put your best people closest to the action.
Establish systems for the seamless sharing of knowledge

It seems simple enough, but it is amazing how many companies can't do these things successfully.