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“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

attributed to Peter Drucker

What IS culture and why is it eating my breakfast?

Leaders are sometimes reluctant to engage in discussions around “culture” as it comes across as something amorphous like “spirit” or “feelings” (shudder). It’s helpful to think of it more like “wind” – you can’t see it but you can certainly see the impact of it.

Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that influence how people interact. You can see evidence of a company’s culture in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction, and every other aspect of operations.

For example, let’s say an organization wants people to collaborate and share ideas. If the company has a long standing history of “every person for themselves”, it will be difficult to shift the mindset to one of collaboration. Like wise, if the strategy requires agility and innovation but the prevailing culture is one of status quo thinking, the new strategy will most likely fail.

So how do I shift it from eating my breakfast to making my breakfast?

Leaders have a great deal of influence on the culture of an organization, yet leaders are more likely to have an inaccurate picture of how their current culture is supporting or inhibiting that ability to deliver results. As organizational culture has a powerful impact on leadership styles, it is important that leaders understand the culture they are creating.

We are accredited users of the Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI) combined with the Organizational Effectiveness Inventory (OEI) – both from Human Synergistics International. The process is straightforward:

  • First, we help you quantify the type of culture you will need to execute your current and future strategies.
  • Second, we develop a picture of how people perceive your current culture.
  • Third, we analyze the gaps and determine the key factors that are contributing to the disconnect.
  • Fourth, we help you craft a plan for moving the needle on critical causal factors.

Creating a culture that is in alignment with the organizations purpose and strategy is a key element in organizational effectiveness, and we would be happy to work with you to create the culture you want and need.


  • A one day program for senior leaders of a technology firm to help them identify the differences between their current culture and their desired culture. The result was the identification of key initiatives to address the barriers to the desired culture.
  • A half-day program on effective and ineffective cultures for leaders responding to engagement survey data in a electronic payments company.
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