#13a: Culture, values, and performance variation across companies.
An employee's at work experience is greatly affected by their local environment, yet a company's performance does not comprise only the sum of its employees' individual experiences. Performance variation has been found to be stronger across companies than within them. A ten-to-one variation of individual performance within a company can be explained by the influence of a micro-environment; the observable ten-to-one difference of performance in individuals across companies cannot.
What separates companies are their values and culture. Values drive who a company hires, who succeeds, and how people behave at all levels. Individual high performers may succeed in spite of, rather than because of, their company's overall culture. While pockets of excellence may exist, created by local environmental factors, we cannot ignore the effect of values and cultures (the macro-environment) on a company's performance.