Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch and Dinner Too

breakfast-lunch-dinnerIt was Peter Drucker who gets credited for the famous phrase, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Well, we’re now further along in our evolution, and have realized that culture is even more important than originally advertised. In fact, many will make the argument that in today’s world, your company or organizational culture is everything.

No matter what you do, sell, deliver, serve, create, or build, your brand identity (and success) is largely dependent on your culture. It’s not all about WHAT you do, but it is about HOW you do it. How you and your people show up to their job to work, serve, and create (together), is what makes all the difference.

You may have never thought about it this way, but there is a culture to every relationship, family, team, group, club, department, and certainly, business. Culture is the ecosystem that grows every time human beings come together to accomplish anything. It is always changing, evolving, growing, or deteriorating. The compelling question is, do you want to play any role in defining what it becomes?

The very best teams (or whatever group of people you’re imagining) intentionally make time to step back and think about the culture they desire. They enter into a process that defines the attributes of the environment they want and then link the attributes to action and behavior. Language drives their behavior. So, how do you begin designing your company culture or team culture?

  • THINK — what are the shared values for your group? What are your core values? What is the mindset you want everyone to have when they come together? If you can’t articulate what you want, then you can’t be surprised when it doesn’t exist. If you have them already, are you living them as an organization? Or, are they just a cute poster on the wall?
  • ACT — what are the leadership attributes or skills that it will take to bring those thoughts into action? What are your guiding leadership characteristics that you want to develop in every individual within your culture? Every single person’s actions on a daily basis contribute to the culture.
  • INTERACT — how do your people interact on a moment by moment basis? Every day there are thousands, if not millions, of tiny little interactions between your teammates, your clients, and your potential clients. The way you Think and Act as individuals impacts how the Interactions build or deplete the culture.

The most compelling cultures have a clear image of HOW they want to THINK, ACT and INTERACT daily. They are passionate about engaging the minds and hearts of their people. It is a process they never stop building, strengthening, and feeding.

After all, culture now eats three meals a day.

Travel Gracefully,


Jason Barger is a globally celebrated author, keynote speaker, and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.

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