Does Culture Trump Strategy?

 Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal


by Rachel Harris

A quick search revealed dozens of articles from around the world declaring that culture trumps strategy. Legendary systems thinker Peter Drucker has written extensively on the topic.

Organizations, like people, are complex entities with competing priorities. We live with the paradox of needing to relieve immediate problems while engaging in slow-moving culture change one interaction at a time. Drucker writes, "Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” In order to overcome this slow-moving culture change, and wanting to solve problems, one must set their priorities. It is needed to put culture before strategy in order to see the change that is desired. 

According to a Harvard Business Review article written by Nilofer Merchant, "Culture is the domain that enables or obstructs a velocity of function. By addressing where an organization is limiting its velocity, you can accelerate the engine that fuels innovation and growth, and, ultimately, financial numbers." With a combination of culture and strategy, it allows an organization to perform at its' strongest ability. 

The ultimate question is how does one incorporate the importance of both culture and strategy to get the most results and how does one measure those results. 

Given such qualitative evidence, is it possible to create lasting strategic results when a quick fix is wanted, yet a culture change is warranted? We believe the answer is yes. Call us at 612-920-3039 to set up a plan to change your culture with lasting strategic results. In the meantime, follow Center for Purposeful Leadership on our LinkedIn page for updates on how to master the Art of Convening