In our previous two blogs, we examined what strategy means and looked at the role of leaders in forming and implementing strategy. We will now look at the impact people and culture have in successfully executing strategy.
At Converse Strategy, we define culture as the corporate beliefs and behaviours that determine how a company’s teams and leadership interact with each other.
“Culture eats strategy for lunch” – Billie Otto, former Exec VP and CIO of Trueblue Inc.
“Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led” – Ross Perot, former US Presidential candidate.
Billi Otto hit the nail on the head. Without a high performance culture, leaders cannot successfully implement a strategy:
High performance culture can be steered by the following:
- Commitment to the cause – The company’s leadership has effectively communicated the purpose of the organisation to all teams, and everyone has understood and believes in the purpose of the organisation;
- Loyalty – The company’s leadership value its teams and teams value each other. There is deep trust within the organisation;
- Cohesiveness – The company’s leadership and teams are in sync and working together towards the same purpose and objectives;
- Readiness to accept change – If teams are encouraged to embrace change, they will constantly seek out more efficient ways to achieve the company’s purpose and goals;
- Empowered teams – Employees are given more freedom to use their discretion. They can change processes and procedures to improve outcomes.
- Ethics – The company’s people must adhere to the same value set and moral framework in order to move together towards achieving the company’s purpose.
Once a high-performance culture is established, the leadership of the organisation has the dual responsibility of maintaining culture and delivering according the agreed strategy. To do this effectively requires that all levels of the organisation understand and have bought into the strategic plan.
External factors such as customers, markets and competitors become easier to manage with a high-performing, motivated and unified team.
We believe that leadership, strategy and culture form the foundation of a purposeful business.