Culture vs. Strategy
There has been a noisy debate circulating around “culture versus strategy” and which should be the focal point behind a company’s promise. Favoritism towards culture appears in press releases and CEO speeches; Stanford University even offers an Entrepreneurship Lecture entitled “Culture Trumps Strategy.” But Mike Myatt, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, feels that a healthy culture and a sound business strategy should go hand-in-hand. He believes that ping-pong tables, free lunches, and on-site massages won’t save a flawed business model.
A culture that is formed in the moment and isn’t grounded in the company’s values and purpose, can crumble in a moment. Click to read more on Myatt’s perspective of why culture and strategy should have a symbiotic relationship.
Commandments of culture
When Ken Thomson, former chair of the Thomson Corporation (currently Thomson Reuters), died in 2006 he had grown his business into one of the largest information companies in the world. He was the ninth richest man in the world, yet neighbors spotted him leaving a local convenience store with jumbo packages of tissues on sale.
Thomson understood the sanctity of value, not only in a good deal at the grocery store, but in his people. He cultivated a culture in which he surrounded himself with hardworking passionate people and worked to earn their loyalty and respect. From hiring people based on their ambition and passion rather than solely their credentials to celebrating diversity in the workplace, click here to read more “rules” for creating a long-term viable culture.
Your cultural DNA
A company’s foundation begins with its founders’ beliefs, values and work ethics. When Marc Beinoff, CEO and Chairman of Salesforce.com, turned an idea into a billion-dollar company he made sure his business aligned with his own core values. He wanted philanthropy to be a cultural value embedded in his company, not just a word thrown around on career sites and press releases.
On his first day of work, he made sure that the Salesforce.com Foundation, which donates its people, time and technology to support small organizations working to make the world a better place, was filed as a public charity at the same time that Salesforce.com was incorporated. Culture needs to encompass much more than just the company’s bottom line; click here to read more about establishing a culture that reinforces your business values.