Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast: Can One Exist Without the Other?

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A frequently visited dilemma within organizations is weighing between strategy and culture, as any disconnect between the two can threaten organizational success. Culture and strategy walk together. Once a strategy is defined, leaders must build an organizational culture to ensure that culture does not trump strategy!

Mark Fields, President at Ford popularized the phrase “Organization culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, dinner” and must be never left unattended as authored by Peter Drucker. Over the years, plenty of management consultants, strategy leaders and CEO’s have studied a direct correlation between a seemingly strong, performance-driven culture responsible for contributing towards a healthy and consistent bottom line.

This leads to a powerful re-alignment of designing strategy, culture and capability as a powerful triumvirate while continuously managing business transformation and operational transitions, to raise some core questions – “what capabilities shall lead to seamless execution?”, “where are we going to focus and play?”, “which cultural initiatives shall enable differentiation and execution?”.

What must be remembered, is that anyone can copy culture, therefore creating organizational alignment is, perhaps, the most important challenge and often requires great deal of thought and supportive efforts, considering that strategy remains responsible for attainment of goals, activities, and objectives; while culture governs values, practices & behaviors, leading to desired business and management outcomes.

Here are few leadership pointers that align culture with organizational strategy:

  • Connecting people beyond profits, to a purpose
  • Crafting a shared vision, value statement and common direction
  • Visualizing growth, success, and collaboration
  • Organizational involvement
  • Performing together
  • Accountable for financial performance
  • Building a sense of ownership
  • Celebrating success, awards, and victories
  • Checking progress intermittently
  • Communicating often

As is always experienced, great corporate culture rarely occurs by accident, it needs continuous assessment and adjustments.

Eventually all forms of music are played out of the same 12 notes and culture globally, regardless of organizational type or size, is also driven by the following five elements:

The Five Elements Of Work Place Culture

Hence, the way“notes” or components are strategically aligned consequently define organizational successes and failure.

Westford University College has curated a specialized course in Business Strategy to cater to the professional needs of aspiring business officials and leaders. Acquiring knowledge of key topics in the study of strategy, students can look forward to receiving a Postgraduate Diploma certification at the end of the program that enables them to excel in their career fields.

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