Why is culture always the poor cousin of strategic planning?

If “culture eats strategy for breakfast” why is culture always the poor cousin of strategic planning?

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Ah yes, Peter Drucker’s immortal phrase is so important because your culture can ruin a brilliant strategy. The Aged Care Royal Commission Interim Report: Neglect cited culture 30 times as a persistent problem.


Many of us are knee-deep in strategic planning right now.


It’s going to be a wild ride because a strategy is only a 50-50 bet. Your likely success rate is circa 50% (according to Candido & Santos, 2015).


Leadership creates both the culture and the conditions for strategy execution.


As such, strategy + capabilities + culture need to be aligned:


· Where are we going? –> Strategy


· How are we going to get there? –> Culture & Capability


Trouble is, strategy sits comfortably with people but culture is seen as both nebulous and intangible. It’s just too hard to deal with, let alone change.


In the same way strategic planning follows a formal process, both culture and leadership capability can be measured, planned and executed with the right tools.


At your next breakfast meeting, make sure strategy, culture and capability all have an equal seat at the table. It’s a much more enjoyable meal when you're a team.


Life's great, Bruce

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