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Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast! – Which Is More Important?

As the phrase by Peter Drucker says, culture is the determining factor upon the success of an organisation’s strategy. According to this idea, no matter how amazing your strategy is, if your company culture isn’t adequate, your business visions are set up for failure. 

 

When it comes to business, strategy is prioritised and as a result, culture is neglected. The more successful companies today know that there needs to be a balance between developing meaningful culture and strong strategies. 

What is culture and strategy?

Culture is defined as the behaviours, values and attitudes of the company’s people, leaders and employees included. Culture can be the result of intentional or unintentional behaviours that propagate into the shared culture. However, proper culture needs to be ideated, communicated and continuously improved. What’s great about culture is it’s unique to your company: no one can replicate it. With the appropriate culture, you can fuel your company in the long term and be resilient to the most challenging obstacles because your people have a purpose. 

 

Strategy refers to the goals, objectives and outcomes that a company strives to achieve. It gives employees a clear direction and action plan in which they can collectively direct their efforts. The reason that strategy is so reliant on proper culture is because the people who drive those strategies and your success need to have a deeper motivation. If employees aren’t engaged, passionate or happy to do their jobs, the execution of your strategy will suffer.

How to cultivate good company culture

If your company culture is suffering and you’re worried about it dragging down your business strategy, consider taking action to revive your culture. Company culture is not the easiest thing to grow and nurture as it can constantly change and be impacted negatively if you let the wrong people lead. However, it is a vital part of your success.  

Ask for input from your employees 

Employees are the heart of the company, so ask them how they feel about their work and what they would like to change about it. Employee satisfaction is also a large contributor to a positive work culture, so consulting them when making decisions will keep them happier and make them feel heard.

Build interpersonal relationships

Encourage and make opportunities for employees to socialise, have fun and get to know each other beyond their professional relationship. Company culture is more than just getting along and being able to work with others: it’s about mindsets, values and social patterns. Activities and interactions outside of work are a great way for employees to bond and grow a more positive culture. 

Set values and visions that your employees can work collaboratively towards 

Employees grow and work the best when they have a common target they need to reach, therefore company goals and objectives should be clearly communicated. Company culture should focus on a more meaningful purpose other than profit making. This can include values about how to treat one another as well as clients, and the correct ways of operating.  

Reward and recognise achievements

Another contributor to employee happiness and good work culture is taking the time to reward employees for their achievements – even the small wins. When employees are recognised for their work, they’re more motivated and likely to keep up their good work. 

Recruit leaders who align with and advocate your desired culture

It is fundamental to have passionate leaders who uphold and implement the right culture as they enforce standards of working. With the right leadership in place, new and old employees will be held to the same expectations of culture. A mistake companies often make is leaving their HR team to solely manage culture. This is not adequately sustainable as culture is something that should be most importantly upheld by all leaders and team members.

Syncing your culture and strategy

In an ideal situation where culture and strategy are perfectly aligned, companies have the ability to achieve tremendous things. It will never be perfect but recognising and prioritising them will get your organisation much further compared to those who don’t. It will also boost your productivity and appeal. The key message here is that you should be prioritising your culture just as much as your strategy; they should support one another in order to give you true success. 

 

Just like how a business strategy is frequently reviewed, company culture should also be monitored to ensure it’s still serving the employees, the company, and the strategies. Growing and maintaining a healthy work culture goes hand in hand with strategic success. It should be a priority for every company in their long term vision.  

Get in touch with the team to find out more.

Want to improve or revive your company culture? Speak to our Performance by Design team. We specialise in offering training and resources so you can perform at your best. Cultivate a more positive, coherent company culture and increase your chances of success by working with us. 

Don’t forget to check out our other articles on Organisational Culture in Sports.