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.

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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:-

  1. What is the cultural profile of your company?
  2. What stories do people voice about the organization – internally and externally?
  3. What heroes, villains and mavericks appear in these stories?
  4. When an issue or problem faced, what rules do people apply before solve it: act and then ask permission? Or seek permission first?
  5. Org, structure – is flat or hierarchical? Formal or informal? Organic or mechanistic?
  6. Does the process or procedures are loosely or tightly controlled?
  7. Who has the real power in the line? Is it the same as the formal power?
  8. How big a cultural gap will your company be able to bridge?
  9. 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!

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Seshachari

Results-driven business leader with 25 years of deep experience focused on Revenue and Profitability - P/L management, sales, presales, demand generation, lateral growth transformational programs, global delivery, quality assurance, optimization of the overall customer satisfaction score -CSAT Currently responsible for India Business Unit (IBU), develop a business plan that anticipates changes, opportunities, and ensures profitability, strengthen alliances and build & drive teams with key business partners and customers to ensure all planned targets are achieved. Presales -Leadership at Bids & Proposal effectiveness, Crafting winning strategy to win New deals and sustaining existing customers and improve overall pre-sales effectiveness of the organization. Have led & setup global delivery engine, managing large team setups, client delight focus across all our operating geographies- leading the operational turnaround of the company by working on cost optimization & sustainable Delivery Platform in Products and Services business. Non-linear growth - Have led the organization in the area of Product engineering using BPM, SOA, and ESB by driving the roadmap for the next generation of IP led solution accelerators and differentiators to the organization. Have led QA/MR Defined, implemented, managed and achieved CMMI L5 1.3 Version process certification by partnering with KPMG. Provides leadership to the KM teams that have created key enablers, productivity accelerators and differentiators to the organization. Prior to BCT, Chari has worked at Tech Mahindra, Xoriant, 3i infotech, & TVS Group.

One Reply to “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast”

  • Good explanation for why Strategies are unsuccessful in culturally resistant organizations.
    Am curious to know how do you go about bringing change in such organizations??

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