Does one eat the other's lunch or do they share a biscuit over tea?
and foundations ranging from one to nearly one hundred thousand employees
worldwide. We've watched thoughtfully designed efforts take fire inside a
corporation and others fizzle out before leaving an inbox. When this happens,
we wonder, how much of a role does the culture or strategy have in whether or
not something advances within an organization?
topic of 'Strategy vs. Culture.' One side of the debate, "Culture vs. Strategy:
What's More Important?", relegates culture to ping pong, pool
tables and coffee breaks. On the other side, "Culture
Trumps Strategy, Every Time," doesn't seem to go far enough '
perhaps that's because they're promoting a book.
added corporations we've worked with that embody each of these culture types.
family-like, with a focus on mentoring, nurturing, and 'doing things together.'
dynamic and entrepreneurial, with a focus on risk-taking, innovation, and
'doing things first.' (Herman Miller)
results oriented, with a focus on competition, achievement, and 'getting the
job done.' (3M)
structured and controlled, with a focus on efficiency, stability and 'doing
things right.' (IBM)
(i.e. formulate a strategy) for the direction you will take a brand,
product line, new offering or other organizational initiative, do you consider
culture? From our observations, those with experience in the organization
do consider culture. It comes in the form of phrases like, "oh
we would never do something like that" or "we could
never get that idea approved." These are hints at the culture, taken from
people who have been there long enough to know.
create necessary change. Those are the exciting ones who might even be called a
virus inside the corporate organism. The change they create challenges culture
or even battles it in a 'clash of clans' manner. But, we also know culture
changes slowly if at all, once established.
organization it also considers culture a friend not foe. Some strategies just
won't work inside some cultures and some cultures will implode if a strategy is
taken forward (by force) and the organization, brand and people will
brothers, you can get them to be the best of friends just as easy as find them
in a bloody brawl over a sideways look. This leaves three beliefs coming from
1. We believe the people inside benefit when the two work hard
2. We believe it
is better to leverage a culture vs change it in favor of a strategy.
3. We believe a
strategy can die a thousand deaths inside a culture not able to accept it.