Thursday, May 30, 2019

Why Culture eats strategy for breakfast

That's a famous phrase first uttered by Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motors and then popularised by the management guru Peter Drucker. 

This statement must connect with people since I've heard it many times and not just in Organisational behaviour classes in my MBA program.

Culture is crucial for several reasons. Your organisation needs an appealing culture to attract talent to it. The most successful teams are the most diverse. 

Video below: A Guide to the Theory & Practice of Creating Diverse, Inclusive, High-Performing Teams.

- and did you know that 'diverse' also means 'cognitively diverse'?

 - Yes, according to extensive research, the most successful teams have the widest range of thinking styles to develop the most innovative and effective solutions!

Your company must do the utmost to make its Culture appealing since it wants the best skills to further the business.

Just in the UK, we have skill shortages in Web Design, Software Programming, Digital Marketing, Engineering, and all analytics roles but particularly those in data science.

- on Linkedin 'Data Scientist' has gone from zero searches to the top search in the last ten years. 

In the UK, this 'skills gap' is costing our Economy £6.3 Billion per year. Companies are forced to look at anything that will give them the edge over their competitors when hiring. 

There is an even more pronounced skills gap in the USA. I have seen figures for this 'gap' varying from one Trillion to three Trillion US Dollars over the next ten years.

Google and Facebook are well known for their beautiful offices and perks. Salary is another way to attract talent. 

However, culture is perhaps the most important. The top employees want to work in an environment that fits them best. And it shouldn't be a 'cookie-cutter approach'.

These days Human Resources experts talk about 'Culture add' not 'Culture Fit'. Let's face it, 'Culture Fit' makes some of us think of that comedy 'Office Space'!


Over fifty per cent of employees say that they would not take a job at a company that did not share their values. 

With Millennials, this percentage is even higher, Seventy per cent or more. Millennials make up one-third of the workforce, and soon they will be in the majority. 

So, culture is the future. And it's surprisingly easy and cost-effective to improve your culture. How?

- Simply by listening to your employees!

The most burning Culture issue right is how organisations will manage 'the new normal' after the Pandemic. 

- What do you think will happen? 
  • Will it go back to 'business as usual'? 
  • Or will we find a middle way - a combination of working from home with some days in the office?

One day companies will see Culture as they do Brand today; Essential rather than desired. 

I predict that company Culture will soon be measured on its balance sheet just as a Brand started to be fifteen or twenty years ago. 

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