About two months or so ago I started a LinkedIn Group, Strategy+Culture. This is a fully managed group, with an independent manager to facilitate discussions and help keep the topics on track. Currently we have over 1,000 members and the debate and discussion has been lively and interesting.
I have long seen an intimate and self-reinforcing relationship between Strategy and Culture, but like most topics in the business world, they are often treated independently and even seen as very separate issues. Classical business thinking looks at strategy as the analytical, data-driven, marketplace focused studies and plans to beating the competition and gaining competitive advantage.
Culture, on the other hand, has been for many years treated as a “second-class” citizen in the business world. Criticized as too soft, too subjective and impossible to measure or manage, it is often talked about, but poorly understood. While the term “Corporate Culture” burst on the business scene over 30 years ago with the 1982 publication of In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Bob Waterman and is now a common place topic in executive boardrooms, it is still seen as mostly an isolated component of business, much like a line item on a balance sheet.
(for a more modern view on the relationship between strategy, culture and leadership, see FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution).
Our group, however, is composed of some very experienced executives and professionals around the globe who all have a deep understanding of the connection between Strategy and Culture and the ways in which they impact each other and business performance. If you believe, like most of us, that the popular term: “Culture eats Strategy for lunch” is just too simplistic, then I encourage you to join in the discussion on Strategy+Culture. We are looking for insights and examples that we can all learn from in order to be more effective in our roles of executive leadership and professional consulting.
Our first topic really got the ball rolling with over 160 separate comments to the question: “What are your top reasons why companies fail to successfully execute their strategies?” (http://linkd.in/W7sWYa)
Our second group discussion is now underway as well: What is the best way to communicate the strategy down to every level of the organization in order to gain focus, buy in and understanding?
So, if you are a business professional with an interest in how Strategy+Culture are interconnected and how they impact business performance, then I encourage you to contact Julie and register you interest in joining this group. Then join the conversations, read the postings and gain some useful insights in business effectiveness. You will also find numerous relevant articles posted by our members on current research into both strategy and culture.
Also, please pass this posting along to others who may have an interest in this group and its topics.
Tight Lines . . .
John R Childress