Culture themes

Aligning culture with strategy

The challenge

Every business strategy represents a change from the past. You want more market share, more revenue, more products, more customers and less cost. You are asking the business to achieve something new, whether it is to do the same thing but better, or to do something entirely different things. So how will your people need to behave differently in order to achieve this?

When we work with clients, we help them identify how much of their strategy will be risk if the existing behaviours remain unchecked. If, for example, you want to achieve a revenue increase of $500m and believe half of this may be at risk if behaviours do not change, then it is well worth investing in culture management.


Recognise the risks

  • You can’t keep doing the same things, in the same way, and expect a different result. When you plan for the future of the organisation, do you also consider the culture you will need?
  • The more extreme the strategic ask, the more you’ll need to lead and manage your culture. Perhaps you need to adapt to shifts in your marketplace, to become more innovative, more focused on results, or more customer-centric. It’s time to be rigorous about exactly which new behaviours you need to instil within your organisation.
  • Don’t expect a new ‘to-do’ list for the organisation to drive through cultural change. The values and belief patterns of your people won’t alter simply because the process has. Without working on the deeper motivations that sit underneath the behaviours you’re trying to change, you leave a backdoor open for the old ways to sneak straight back in.

Action checklist

  • Create a culture strategy that sits alongside your business strategy. This process starts by setting a well-defined target culture that will deliver your business imperatives.
  • Create culture management capability within the business to lead and manage the change.
  • Identify those people already exhibiting the behaviours you want and work with them to influence others.
  • Create Key Behaviour Indicators against which you can track progress.

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