Monthly Archives: August 2013

Know Thyself. It’s Strategic

Jonathan WilsonGuest Blog by Jonathan Wilson, Soul Systems

One of the myths of our increasingly globalized age is that people are all, in essence the same. I’ve lived in radically different settings over my forty plus years and I can testify that they are not – these include seventeen years growing up in a remote tribe in the rainforests of New Guinea to working with warlords in South Africa to my leadership and strategy work with Europeans and North Americans (I have also studied culture academically).  Cultures vary widely in how they view time, what makes someone a leader, whether life is a primarily a set of mechanical problems to solve or a variety of relational ones to maintain, and so on. And, as our European and Asian counterparts tend to be quite familiar with (where their work teams are more culturally diverse), differences between cultures can make it tremendously hard to maximize performance. But when teams figure out how to tap the unique contributions from each person and their culture-informed contribution, magic happens. Continue reading

What is Culture and How do You Change It?

This statement “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” is provocative. It stems from the idea that corporate strategies cannot be met or achieved if the culture isn’t there to support it. Some would say culture is soft and in reality often put on the back burner to satisfy strategy first.

It’s easy to define ‘strategy’: it’s a design, a game plan, the means to help achieve something. But how do you define culture within a business setting? It can be hazy and perhaps a trendy thing to talk about right now. Continue reading

Strategy, Structure then Culture

Culture is celebrated in successful organizations – as it should be. Corporate culture is ultimately the way you get things done; it’s the glue that holds an organization together and is often a big reason why people want to work with you.

An effective culture can be identified as one that gives its employees a shared sense of premise, purpose and promise: Who are we? What do we believe in? What inspires us? Where are we going? What will it look like when we get there? How great does it feel being a part of this?

A successful and meaningful culture doesn’t happen by accident or wishful thinking. It is, in every way, a designed application like any piece of software. An organization with an outstanding strategy will, more often than not, develop an outstanding culture. The key is the sequence of development…strategy, structure, and then culture.

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