Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast by George Ambler


Research from Booz and Company found that 84% of executive believe culture is critical to their business success and 60% of executives believe culture is more important than strategy or their operating model. Clearly culture has a huge impact on business today.

“Everything I do is a reinforcement or not of what we want to have happen culturally.” – Steve Ballmer, Microsoft – Culture and the Chief Executive

The survey – conducted by the Katzenbach Center at Booz & Company – to better understand better understand global perceptions of culture and its impact on change – explored the views and perspectives of 2,219 executives. The report describes culture as follows:

“A company’s culture is the collection of self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing, the patterns that determine ‘the way we do things around here.’” – Culture and the Chief Executive

To be honest leaders have recognised culture as critical to their success for a number of years. Whilst this research serves to confirm the importance of culture it does of to raise a number of concerns as to how leaders are managing their organisation’s culture.

“In my view, the most significant finding from the survey is that organizations aren’t leveraging elements of their existing culture to sustain change,” said DeAnne Aguirre, a senior partner at Booz & Company.

“We clearly saw that a much more holistic approach, one that leverages assets like informal networks and storytelling, is required if companies want to see the effects of their change programs stand the test of time.” – Culture and the Chief Executive

Key Findings
Some of the key findings from the survey are as follows:


– 84% believe culture is critical to business success.
– 96% said some form of culture change is needed within their organisation.
– 51% think a major overhaul is currently needed in their culture.
– 60% think culture is more important than strategy or operating model.
– Only 35% think their company’s culture is effectively managed.

Top Reasons Employees Resist Change:

– Are skeptical due to past failed change efforts
– Do not feel involved in the change process
– Do not understand reasons for change

Top Barriers to Change:

– Competing priorities create change fatigue
– Systems, processes, and incentives do not support change

Creating Sustainable Change

– Only 54% of organisations are capable of sustainable change

Read the rest here:

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