In my experience companies are more usefully transformed from the inside out, rather than being forced to change due to external pressures. To accomplish this transformation, company leadership must encourage education and self-improvement for everyone in the company.
But it cannot stop there! Company leadership must also commit itself to continuous self-improvement. A company whose leadership leads by example in this regard is extremely attractive to talented people who want to grow personally and professionally.
It is not enough to have a corporate roster full of good people; good people, more than anyone thrive on a steady diet of learning, peppered with challenge. In my observation people are more motivated by an ever-expanding opportunity to contribute in positive and meaningful ways than they are by any other factor.
This metric – individual fulfillment – is not usually measured or consciously considered, but to my mind it is one of the most important in the summation of a company’s value.