‘Culture eats strategy for lunch.’ I love this phrase!

I hadn’t heard it in a while and was reminded of it recently in a meeting. It makes me laugh out loud when I hear it. It’s both pithy and witty. I don’t know if Peter Drucker did first coin the phase, but I think the sentiment rings true.

But why does culture eat strategy for lunch? My view on this is as follows: if all of your staff behave in the same way, and have the same attitude, and these behaviours are consistent with corporate culture, then whatever they execute is going to be done consistently too. They’re all pulling in the same direction, for the same things.

Strategy is only as good as the success, consistency and constancy with which it’s applied. When the culture’s not right, you don’t have everyone buying into the way things are done. It’s half-assed execution.

Culture is a bit like the goodwill you get from a brand. It’s hard to quantify but you know it’s important, you know it has immense value, and you want it for yourself or your business.

And that’s why culture never goes hungry.