APRIL NEWSLETTER 2014
"Culture could eat strategy for breakfast"
These words from the management guru Peter Drucker are as true today as they were when he wrote them some 20 years or more ago.
In other words, ignore culture – the way we do things around here - (organisational, national, social) at your peril!!
However good your business strategy may be, if the culture is not aligned behind it, the strategy will fail.
This may help explain why so many change programmes and organisational development initiatives fail. Various research studies have shown that about 70% fail to achieve their stated objectives. With organisations and individuals having experienced 5 years of austerity, cultures have changed so that cost has taken precedence over value, spend has a higher priority than return, do nothing and play safe overrules innovation and new ways of doing things.
Yet many business strategies are beginning to focus on growth, expansion into new markets, different products and services etc. What chance success?
Sales and business development plans cannot ignore the organisation culture, as it is this which ultimately determines how customers will be served, treated, supported and retained or lost.
Piecemeal tinkering with some of the cultural levers – the most common are changing the organisation structure and re-designing the systems and processes – will not be successful unless done as part of a holistic culture change programme that aligns with the business strategy but which recognises the current culture, its appropriateness or otherwise and uses it as a springboard.
Talent Development can potentially suffer a similar fate to strategy. If the organisation culture is not conducive to transfer of learning – as appropriate – the investment in learning and development is wasted.
If Learning & Development is not directly aligned with the business strategy, then the return on investment to the organisation is minimal.
However, if the two are aligned and the culture is appropriate there are huge benefits.