The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In the movie City Slickers, Curly the old cowboy gives advice to a visitor, "The secret to life is one thing," he says. When asked what that one thing is, Curly answers, "That's what you've got to figure out."
Could there be one thing that accounts for business success? There may be. That one thing is flawlessly executing the fundamentals. Every athlete has heard it from his/her coach. But it is also true in business.
1. Managing a Business Strategy
2. Maintaining a Nimble Organization
3. Cultivating a High-Performance Culture
4. Executing With Discipline For example, take Kmart and Wal-Mart (WMT). These two companies were financially similar at the start of the study. But 10 years later, Kmart was considered a loser. During the study period, Kmart executives focused on managing quarterly financial results. Again and again, executives tried to "manage the score" by cutting headcount and slashing prices. Wal-Mart, a winner, chose a different path. It focused on improving its fundamentals in purchasing, supply chain and data-driven merchandising. This allowed Wal-Mart to build muscle for future price fights. If it strengthened its fundamentals, financial results would follow.