Culture Drives Strategy – Not the Other Way Around

Culture is the often-overlooked foundation of an organization. It determines how the group retains talent, how it develops and releases new products and whether it meets targets. It affects how happy and satisfied employees are at work.”
7 Elements of Strategy Execution

When Mona Mitchell and I struck out to research for our book “7 Elements of Strategy Execution”, we knew that the key to success was not just in the execution of the plan, but in the development of the culture around that execution of the plan.

“Your people are the force behind the execution of your strategy, and if they’re not thinking and behaving in ways that advance your goals, you’ve got a culture problem”

Bain & Company conducted a survey of 1,268 managers called ‘Management Tools & Trends’ survey, 2017.  In it, 4 out of 5 respondents agreed with the idea that today’s business leaders must trust and empower people, not command and control them. 

Leaders must give their people something to work for, something to drive for and a sense that they are part of a bigger picture – this builds culture. 

Mona and I asked Alan Middleton, Executive Director, Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business, York University to pen the forward to our book.  In part, he wrote “Lou Gerstner the ex-CEO of IBM observed ‘culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game’, yet too often we fail to engage our most valuable resource, our staff, in the journey through disruption and change.”

Yes, culture drives strategy – not the other way around.


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