“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” -Peter Drucker
This was a quote I heard at a meeting a few days ago from the CEO of the company I work for. I had never heard that quote before, but how true it is. We can strategize all we want, but if the culture we are a part of says, believes, and does something different; strategy will not have impact; it will only be great ambition on paper.

So how do we change our culture? How do we shift a mind set, a paradigm, a way things have always been done in business, church, family, or any group we are a part of? Maybe the first step to answering that question would be to ask yourself, “What do we value?”

Our values will ultimately define our culture. If we value great customer service as a business, it will be part of the very framework of the company, and be demonstrated throughout. If we value respect and healthy communication in our family, it’s what we pursue at all costs to be vulnerable. If we value connection and relationship in the church, then our actions to reach out will speak louder than our words.

As we discover our value system, and begin to operate in them, our culture will begin to shift. If you find yourself in that place of needing a cultural shift, I want to encourage you today to write out what you value as a business, family, church community, etc. Post these values somewhere they can be seen; e.g., on the walls in the break room, your refrigerator at home, a church bulletin, etc; and begin to live, act, and respond from them. The best strategies will come from a culture built on its core values.

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