It is essential that you align your strategy and your culture to achieve your greatness
Many founders and organizations are doing their strategic planning initiatives for 2022 right now or plan to do so in the very near future and as I ask these leaders about their process and how their culture strategy plays a role within this, I have found some common themes from these conversations.
I cannot express enough how important it is that culture is a key element within your strategic planning or else you may face some dangerous misalignments within your organization.
Think of it this way. Strategy is forward-oriented. It’s today’s game plan for tomorrow. It's all the goals and impacts you hope to achieve and a vision for where you hope your organization is in the future.
Culture, on the other hand, is essentially the product of your history. It reflects how you have behaved in the past, and how you do things today. It's how your teams communicate with each other, it's how you make decisions, it's how you execute your roles and business activities, and everything else in between.
One is shaped by the future, the other is forged by the past. Also, strategy can be rerouted quickly. In fact, that can happen all the time. But culture doesn’t behave that way. Culture fights being changed—that’s its nature . . . actually, its duty—and it’s very good at it.
See the problem? The big challenge for top management is to shape culture such that it aligns with, and powers your plans for tomorrow. Most of the time, we change plans for tomorrow but dont acknowledge how our cultural behaviors dont align with the future.
This alignment of the two doesn’t just happen automatically. Any significant shift can produce a dangerous misalignment. And the likely result is an invisible, internal fight breaks out between strategy (shaped by your view of tomorrow) and culture (a legacy of the firm’s yesterdays)
Now the question is, how do we align the two and conduct strategic planning so that it is actually empowered by our culture and we are able to fulfill our objectives
So as you do your strategic planning for the future, at the very least, make sure to include the question, is our culture capable of...?