Corporate culture is an incredibly powerful factor in a company’s long-term success. No matter how good your strategy is, when it comes down to it, people always make the difference.
A strategy that is at odds with a company’s culture is doomed. Culture trumps strategy every time – culture eats strategy for breakfast
Culture means different things to different people. It is emotional, ever-changing, and complex. Culture is human, vulnerable, and as moody as the people who define it.
It can be intimidating and frustrating, often leaving leaders dodging it, neglecting it, or discounting it. Because so many companies are run by people whose expertise is heavily skewed to the rational, financial, and legal side of the equation, culture is often subordinated, misunderstood, or underappreciated.
Increasingly in 2014, it will become near-impossible to ignore the culture question altogether.
Recent results of the 2013 Culture and Change Management Survey from New York-based consultancy Strategy&. demonstrate that of the 2,200 executives, directors, managers and employees polled, 84 percent said culture was critical to their companies’ success.
Furthermore, 96 percent of those same respondents said some form of culture change was needed within their organizations, and more than half – 51 percent – said a “major culture overhaul” was necessary.
DeAnne Aguirre, a Partner with Strategy&, suggested that she wasn’t shocked to find the support for culture change so close to 100 percent.
“The fact that culture is recognized as essential to an organization’s success – and yet it is not seen as an important topic on the agenda of senior leadership and is not effectively managed – perfectly explains why people feel a change is needed,” she quoted.
Many business benefits
Adam Zuckerman, a Consultant in Towers Watson’s Chicago office, was quoted stating that culture changes can lead to competitive advantages for a company in its industry.
“There is growing recognition of that fact among business leaders,” Zuckerman said. “The reality is that culture is one of very few truly sustainable competitive advantages. Companies win not because of what they do, but because of how they do it. And how they do it is determined by culture.”
Competitive advantage is not just about being the most inspirational, innovative company in a specific field,
Culture has a direct impact on operational cost and also on revenue. Aligning culture and strategy and finding a translation of the strategy into an engaged, driven, directed and innovative workforce is the key to success.
Article written by Lindsay Dubock
CEO, Adcurata Limited