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Why company culture eats company strategy for breakfast

No matter how good your strategy is, it makes no sense until the culture changes in such a way that it supports the strategy in place or the strategy that has been planned for. Strategy will come up with all sorts of plans on how to execute success, however culture will determine what standard of success will exist. No business no matter the accuracy of its strategy can succeed without culture. Culture consists of the little things that really matter, after all business is a fabric of the number of stitches sticking together. Culture creates attitude and attitude embodies work ethic.

Rain only matters to those who have seed in the ground

Culture defines the little things that will matter but goes beyond just the definition. It implements what is needed. Strategy will write down the little things that are required,  identifying time and specific actions. However, rain only matters to those who have seed in the ground. No matter how good the strategy is if the strategy is not part of the culture it will make no difference. When the culture is not changing it is usually because management is not implementing any culture change. Cultural change in any organization can only occur if senior management is the catalyst for it.
If you are going to implement a successful strategy then you have to decide how the culture is to be.

Also read 7 ways to improve work relationships

Rain only makes sense if there is seed in the ground

If strategy does not address an emotional need it will not succeed.

For people to make a strategy work they need to believe that the benefits are personal or associated with their emotional needs. Culture is practiced in order to meet an emotional need. The strategy must thus be explained in such a way that it will meet a need and change the culture. The key for a business turnaround or success is to bring the strategy into a perspective which will allow for cultural development. Think of total quality management, as a strategy it makes sense but in real sense it is a cultural change. TQM comes with Principles on how to act and approach work which is a cultural aspect. It is not the process that makes an organization profitable, it is the people’s work culture. Most of the time people think that it is all about the methodology and forget that it is the people that make the difference on whether the strategy works of fail.

A good strategy creates cultural habits

Cultural habits are specific little behavior sets that the business must assume. They must be repetitive to create consistency which will establish a culture. The easiest way to create repetition is to create templates for implementation that enforce habit creation. It can be as easy as creating a reporting template. If you take a break in using the templates then you break the habit creation. A template must last a business quarter not just a month in order to create a successful culture. The most effective business template for organizational change is exemplary behaviour by management. Until management gets their attitude and behaviour right, they cannot expect any operational change that is meaningful, all that the company will get are just sudden starts and stops.

Also read 5 Reasons people are always late

Life success is the level of culture

A strategy that does not recognize company culture is doomed to fail. There is no point in saying that the company is implementing cost management when the employees fail to recycle print paper. So the culture could be that presentations are printed before every meeting when there is a projector in the office to project the same presentations. The company can boast of delivering on time but if in every meeting there is at least one employee who is always late for critical meetings then that strategy is not the culture of the company .

Also read 7 Bad Management habits

Turning a profit or building a successful company is about creating the right culture that can be replicated over time in different business units and departments

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