CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” Famously proclaimed by Peter Drucker popularized by Mark Fields, the president of Ford Motor Company

What is that first things that comes in your mind when you hear this quote? Well when I read this quote in one of the training sessions I attended, I realized how true it is, to change and to have a shift in mindset.

And any disconnect between culture and strategy is putting success at risk.

Forming strategies, making people aware of things that are happening in organization is one thing and having a cultural shift in alignment to strategy is something that should be taken into consideration.

Let’s first see what is culture and strategy

Culture: Organization culture is sum total of beliefs and values that we follow, the way we interact with our stakeholder, our colleagues. The way departments in an organization interact or relate with each other. Culture is something that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. It is the behavior of the employees which form the culture of the workplace.

Strategy: Strategy is the steps taken to identify and achieve organization goals. To remain at competitive edge in the society or in market. The goals that are set by the leaders of the organization, it could be to have more profitability or to have major market share, it can be anything to survive in today’s fast changing environment.

And why do we want to have a collaboration between both:

When strategies are made, leaders should give a thought around how we need to bring a cultural shift in the teams and people working in org. It takes time to get things working as per the new goals but should happen gradually.

While we say its management or leaders responsibility to ensure cultural changes with changing market needs, its employees or people responsibility as well to understand why is it required? It’s for their personal and professional growth too.

While formulating and implementing strategies, one need to step back and see the bigger picture. Culture is not the only factor but a major factor that can influence the success rate of the projects. If a project is not successful you cannot blame the policies or the project managers, they are working in a culture that is not supportive enough. To make culture supportive it is important to have clear goals and objectives, leaders need to empower people to take small decisions and work their way up. It is important to remember that values in culture do not drive the business; they drive the people within the business. Values must be internalized by the people in the organization to have meaning.

Hence, Both Leaders and Team members need to work together for the better environment of the organization. Here’s to hoping that strategy and culture can always sit together at the breakfast table.

25th Sep 2016

Sumiti