Do a google search on strategy and culture, you are going to find many versions of the maxim that states the superiority of organizational culture over business strategy. Several anecdotes, that suffer from recency bias, are used as supporting evidence to this almost axiomatic statement. If you are in business off-sites and retreats you get to hear from hired organizational health consultants lecturing you at length on this amorphous and poorly defined aspect called culture.
A vital, vibrant culture unifies, aligns, focuses, motivates, and propels. But it is not enough to produce a profitable business. Culture must be linked to, and pursued with the same rigor and vigor as, the customer experience.
It doesn’t make sense for a company to develop purpose or values to inspire and engage employees if those aren’t inextricably linked with how the company inspires and engages its customers.
Denise brings a nice balance of business purpose, strategy and how you execute on it with the right set of values and employee engagement. On the other hand when we see
Culture eats strategy for breakfast
we are told to lose sight of the customer, what customer needs we want to serve, how we create value, how we will do this better than any other alternative available to them and how we convince a group of people (employees) to join us in delivering this value and how we are going to do this at a profit.
If culture eats strategy for breakfast, who is going to pay for lunch?