What can you expect here?

I am passionate about making a difference to people and organisations- and I guess there are many who would like to do the same. I hope this could be a platform to share views and experiences so that we can all grow together and make a difference.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Culture eats strategy- so how?

Its obvious that execution is critical to making your strategy come alive- and an organisation's culture is a key determinant of how well it executes. However, the organisation's culture also determines how robust the strategy is, and how inclusive was the strategy development process. So its a double whammy- your organisation's culture is key, both for developing strategy and executing it.
This is complex- and most of us grapple with it. And successful organisations struggle with this even more, as they need to break big mental barriers to transform themselves. I would like to discuss some experiences and learnings, and understand how some do this better than others. Do share any ideas.
As I explore this further, I would present a few thoughts and hypotheses as I go along. First, how do we get this realisation of importance of culture. The common mistake we make is we equate culture with people or talent- but even if we have the right talent, we may not be able to get things done if we do not enable them. I guess enlightened leaders realsie this, but getting this sharply understood by all leaders is probably the step one.


  1. You hit the nail!

    I feel if you take the IPL auction and the attempts at team building across the different teams, it would be a great exercise to analyse:)!


  2. I'm a fan of your title "Culture Eats Strategy"

    As a lifelong student of culture's role in the recruiting process, I've constantly been forced to rethink how I view the elements of 'culture'and their subsequent impact on how we 'execute' a strategy i.e. culture influences 'what' we consider a critical fit, 'how' we screen that it is present, 'whether' we select it in or out and, ultimately, if we ever determine/measure that our choices were correct.

    The one area where standards seem to be lacking is our definition or what constitutes 'culture'.

    I say that only because when I listen to different stakeholders (company leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, consultants and job seekers/prospects) discussing the exact same practices, their assessments, tactical and strategic choices, and energy over what they are willing to execute on is not only impacted by their individual role perceptions but vastly different function to function, company to company, region to region and country to country.

  3. There are various theories, definitions & wisdom based insights on Culture. With my somewhat signifcant duration of experience in Corporate Organizations I feel the true test of culture is "Constructive behavior of employees when they are fully aware that no one significant is watching, no performance evaluation impact & no repurcussions on their career". I feel that building a collective corporate conscience grounded in principles and values by selecting, rewarding, recognizing & growing leaders of "character" & "integrity" would make the difference. Easy said than done, but it starts with self - Can I stand all temptations of the corporate world, more so when I am in a position of power & influence and be guided by doing the right thing and not only doing things right.

  4. Yeah you are absolutely correct that's culture is very dangerous in any firm. We find many different cultured people in a firm. To complete those strategies people needs freedom to work otherwise not possible!

  5. Culture is the life force of an organization. You can feel its presence when you walk through the front door on Monday morning. It can be your greatest competitive advantage, or your worst nightmare...

  6. Culture underpins organisational brand. It is certainly living - that's why it's called a culture. A bit like penicillin, it grows and multiplies, but it can be damaged by toxic agents as well, so company cultures have to be understood, nurtured and protected.