The late, great management guru, Peter Drucker, once said that: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” He was referring to the fact that a disengaged and toxic culture can derail anything management is planning to achieve. It goes back to the very definition of leadership… ‘Getting things done through and with people.’
I know from the countless turn-around projects that I have done, culture is the most important tool a leader has, in order to achieve success (however you define success). I have seen cultures that are:
As a result of witnessing various levels of ‘crap cultures,’ I have come to believe that ‘culture eats everything for breakfast.’
Any ‘smart’ functions like marketing, engineering, sales, operations and accounting will be undermined by a bad culture.
Additionally, any heart-based function like connecting with customers, partners, suppliers, contractors and other team members will also be handicapped by a bad culture.
In the very near future (and it may already be here), the biggest problem businesses everywhere in the world will have is NOT competition for customers. It WILL BE competition for employees. It is going to be finding and retaining people that believe the same thing you do and align with your purpose. For this is the foundation to building an engaged, purposeful, inspired and customer centric (EPIC) culture. It is this EPIC culture that will building lasting trust-bonds with customers and grow your business.
Want proof? Without mentioning names, I have led turn arounds in different parts of the world by focusing on fixing the culture that resulted in:
And the list goes on and on.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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