Importance of Culture vs. Strategy

In their most recent regular survey of international executives, Bain and Company found nine out of 10 executives agreed “culture is as important as strategy for business success.” This finding was equally true across all global geographic regions and business sizes (small, medium and large).

Do you agree? Is this true in every instance? In his Three Star Leadership Blog, Wally Bock commented that “culture trumps strategy every time” during a merger or acquisition.

I disagree with Bock. Even during the emotional upheaval of a merger or acquisition, culture and strategy are equally important. No – it goes deeper than that. Culture and strategy must become so interwoven they cannot be separated. A company’s strategy – for managing employees, for acquiring customers, for increasing shareholder value – must be always mindful of the culture the company wants to foster. Employees, customers, even shareholders, are emotional beings and it is the company culture that appeals at the deepest level to those, and other, constituents.

When a culture of appreciation becomes woven into the very fabric of a company’s strategy, then the significant gains possible through employee engagement will be realized.

What do you think? Be sure to take our weekly poll or talk back through comments to tell me where you stand.

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