Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
By Seshachari, March 18, 2016
Organizations spend time on formulating strategies – often faced with challenges while implementing those strategies due to the culture of the organization is often strongly resistant and refuses to accept the change.
Culture means the set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterize an organization. It’s all about behaviors, thoughts, and feelings which will determine how and if a strategy is implemented.
The culture is all about what we do and say, the way we behave, the way we treat each other, our products, our services, our customers, our community and ourselves. In crux, it’s the “personality of our practice”. Eventually, it is much more about what leaders do than what they say that makes the culture what it is.
It is really very important because culture drives the way we do things influences the customers, employees, and stakeholders!
There are a powerful 3-way relationships in corporate transformations – Strategy, capabilities, and culture. All three need to be designed together, aligned and enabling of each other to create true organizational transformation.
In order to change the culture, organizations have to engage the Hearts & Minds of employees. In essence, employees must ‘want to do it’ and see it as something that’s normal for them to do.
Culture is the oil that makes the company’s value creation engine turn friction-less, enables organizations to achieve three main goals i.e. Higher customer satisfaction, improved employee satisfaction index & acquiring new business.
Key questions that help to map culture:-
- What is the cultural profile of your company?
- What stories do people voice about the organization – internally and externally?
- What heroes, villains and mavericks appear in these stories?
- When an issue or problem faced, what rules do people apply before solve it: act and then ask permission? Or seek permission first?
- Org, structure – is flat or hierarchical? Formal or informal? Organic or mechanistic?
- Does the process or procedures are loosely or tightly controlled?
- Who has the real power in the line? Is it the same as the formal power?
- How big a cultural gap will your company be able to bridge?
- The company can’t do strategy without considering its culture. Organization needs to formulate their strategy that fits in with their culture.
Culture makes the company’s value creation engine run seamless, working with and within the culture companies can accelerate the transformation journey programs. Company culture is persistent, hard-hitting, and buoyant, and it inspires employees to take action.
Company culture is your brand & to make themselves truly unique – Competitive Differentiation
Don’t let culture eat strategy for breakfast. Have them feed each other!