Thursday, January 5, 2012

“Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch”

One of the guest speakers we had in for the Nonprofit Strategy graduate course I taught this past fall at the University of Maryland shared this quote with the class, and it was one of the students’ favorites of the term.

I’m not sure who originated the quote, but there are lots of articles with this title and even a new book about to come out by that name.  (I have not read it yet, so I can’t make a rec – maybe later.)

Why is this such a popular quote?  Well, first of all – it is great imagery.  But most important, it is true!

Step One in strategy implementation is making sure to align your culture with your new strategy.  This has been recommended by consultants for years.  And yet, many organizations stumble here.

If your strategy is stalled, it is time to do a culture check.  Ask yourself, “Is our strategy being supported by our . . . . .”

*Standard Operating Procedures?

Example:  I know of leaders in an organization who, as part of their strategy, needed the organization to be more innovative.  But the organization had a legacy of bureaucratic systems and standard operating procedures.  The strategy was going nowhere until the CEO made major changes in systems and procedures.

Take some time to start your new year off with a culture check.  Making changes can help your organization implement your strategy more effectively and make more of a Mission Impact.

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