Why culture eats strategy for breakfast

I’ve come to realise that none of the organisations that we have worked with have remained the same over the 25 years I have been running this business. Each one of them has changed in one way or another. Some have ignored our advice and gone bust, some have struggled, others have been steady and a good many have positively transformed.

The key to success is when companies have consciously and strategically driven the kind of deep-rooted culture change that always provides significant improvements in performance and results.

With the alarming pace of change happening around us, organisations often fail to understand that culture is the key driver in improving all the key performance indicators.

Several studies around change management initiatives have reported that the inability to manage, or shape, the organisation’s culture was termed as one of the often cited reasons for the lack of success. In other words, failure to change the organisation’s culture sabotaged the other kinds of organisational change initiatives – systems, processes, procedures, new products etc …

Organisation Culture is the way things are done in the organisation, which in turn is influenced by self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking and believing. If Organisational Capabilities are the core engine that drives strategy, or value creation, Culture is the engine oil that ensures smooth running.

As first articulated by Peter Drucker: ‘Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast’. It’s important for organisations and leaders to understand that organisational culture has a fundamental role in facilitating, or inhibiting, the execution of the organisation’s strategy. A culture is powerful enough to thwart and resist efforts to change, no matter how good the strategy.

Our experience tells us that there is a common pattern in organisations failing in their desire to change their culture: they straightaway launch into initiatives without spending considerable time and energy on getting everyone to “get” the new direction and why it’s important. Unnecessary complexity is created, but the real problem is ambiguity; simplifying does not solve the ambiguity problem, clarity does.

Please don’t waste any more time solving the wrong problems. Contact Sewells now for your free “growth” consultation. Just look at the results we helped organisations like yours create:

  • As a result of our work with an organisation in the manufacturing industry they had seen their profit grow to £66 million in 2015, after 4 years of flat lining
  • Another organisation in the automotive sector so far, after Q1, are at 13.9% increase in sales and a further 21% increase on the YTD position
  • Also, after working with an organisation in the financial services industry they had seen profits up by 120% in 2015 over 2014.

Contact us today us on 01244 681068 or email us at tellmemore@sewells.com to arrange a convenient time to talk  –  and a trusted member of our team will contact you.

You’ll be really glad you did!

Yours enthusiastically,

 Will Holden


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