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Campus Beat

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Does culture eat strategy for breakfast?

Shipra Chaudhary

ByShipra Chaudhary

Oct 2, 2020

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There is a famous quote by Peter Drucker that says that “culture eats strategy for breakfast“. This came to light when Mark Fields, President at Ford, spoke about it. This implicates that the culture always determines success, despite of how effective your strategy may be. Although the quote was spoken in a management sense, it us applicable in almost every aspect.

Culture is defined by the way you act, think, communicate. When one creates a good team culture, they would first know their team, know what they stand for, what their interests and beliefs are and only when they have a basic idea, they could structure a bigger vision or a common goal so that the team aligns around it, and has a clear path forward. 

We can have a great plan, where we know what we should do and others should do for the success of that plan. We can make ourselves do what we want for it to happen, but we can’t always have others do exactly what we planned even if it is for success. They’ll do what they want. They’ll perform their actions on the basis of their beliefs and what they think. That’s where their culture comes. 

Culture is something that bonds us, it immensely depends on the background of a particular person. Whereas strategy is something that we plan and try to execute, culture is something that is instilled in us and we follow it no matter what, sometimes even unconsciously. We can say that we’re conditioned to it. 

Even while planning a strategy, if the team is full of people with totally different cultural values, they would not be able to come to a conclusion that forms a remarkable strategic plan and this might not give them the best results. Although the ideal case is culture and strategy are mutually reinforcing, the reality is culture is more important because people are loyal to culture not to strategy.
So, it doesn’t matter how ‘on point’ strategy is, its efficiency won’t be top-notch if your team doesn’t share the proper culture. Culture creates coherence in the team, in their actions, it connects them in a way that even a very diverse group of employees can work together.