Culture eats strategy…

Culture-eats-strategyCulture eats strategy for breakfast.
— Peter Drucker

…and for lunch.
— Coffman and Sorensen

Versions of Drucker’s quote have been circulating since before there was an Internet. What makes it resonate with our experience as leaders? This month we’ll be exploring challenges associated with shaping organizational culture.

The Strategy& company defines culture as an organization’s “self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing.”  Partners Jon Katzenbach and Paul Lienwald  recently hosted a webinar on organizational strategy and culture.  They identified a “crisis in strategy” caused when organizations take too many approaches at the same time, leading to lack of staff and leadership confidence in organizational direction.

To resolve this issue, they point out that leaders must understand an organization’s strengths and its culture in order to:

  • Choose a strategy that fits the culture
  • Leverage cultural strengths to enable transformation
  • Balance cultural weaknesses

How would you define your organization’s culture? How can you work within and outside of the culture to build effective strategy?

Dee Anne Bonebright

 

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