The culture determines whether the strategy succeeds - but why?
It's an ongoing discussion, and yet 70% of strategies fail – and pretty much all of them because of the culture. If you want to know why, and at the same time see how culture can increase your bottom line, read along here. Culture & changes
All changes are demanding for people – or rather for the brain. From brain research, we know that people who are in transition are highly activated in the survival center. This means a violent discharge of stress hormones. But there is a difference. Employees in a high-performing culture strive for change - and employees in a low-performing culture fear change.
All strategies have a strong element of change, otherwise, there would be no need for them. It requires new behavior/culture – and this is the biggest and most difficult part of strategy implementation. It requires a top manager or team to understand how we get the right thoughts, feelings, and actions in ourselves, our managers, and our employees. How do we get them to understand and be passionate about the strategy we have put in place? How do we create ownership? How do we get the managers to work properly with the strategy? How do we measure whether our culture is shifting so that we succeed with the strategy?
Albert Einstein said “there is no surer sign of insanity than doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” Perhaps today he would think that it happens when we implement new strategies. We make the same mistakes over and over again, which is why every analysis since the mid-90s has shown the same thing. The number 70% stands and flashes like bent in neon - and the reasons are the same - people!
Working with company culture for many years, we did our first company analysis many years ago with a then-newly developed culture measurement. Now we will share some of the findings and an understanding of how you can improve strategy implementation and the bottom line.
The overriding conclusion is that there is a clear connection between the development of the culture and the bottom line. Better culture – better bottom line and vice versa.
The key is, only if you work with the right definition of culture. As more and more people talk about culture, the understanding has become more and more wrong. Therefore, it is difficult for a manager to see the right one-to-one connection between culture and the bottom line.
Let's start by getting the concept in place. In the short version, culture is the collective behavior in our company. Slightly expanded, one can add that it is the thoughts and feelings that precede and thus create the behavior. Therefore, it now immediately begins to make sense that there is such a clear and unambiguous connection between our culture and our success.
CULTURE = WHAT WE THINK / FEEL / DO = OUR COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR
Therefore, culture is involved everywhere and in everything, we do in the company. What we think, feel, and do about our strategy. What do we think, feel, and do about our finances, customers, products, and processes. And the same for management, the team, the individual, and not least for our guidelines in our mission, vision, and values.