Oftentimes, changing business strategy around a fixed corporate culture is one of the hardest things a strategist has to do.
The following is a list of ten elements that are most useful in linking culture to strategy:
- Formal statements of organizational philosophy, charters, creeds, mission and vision statements
- Designing physical spaces, facades, and buildings to mimic the company’s beliefs
- Deliberate role modeling, teaching, and coaching by leaders.
- Explicit reward and status system for employees.
- Stories, legends, myths, parables about key people and events. (Think Sam Walton)
- What leaders pay attention to, measure, and control.
- Leader reactions to critical incidents and organization crises.
- How the organization is designed and structured, ie. hierarchy.
- Organization systems and procedures.
- Criteria used for promotion, retirement, and advancement.
The preceding areas deal less with the actual process of business as they do with how a business is perceived by its employees. Each and every corporate culture is made up of everyone from early adopters to those resistant to change. They key is to affect the main areas consistently while trying to spread business strategy throughout the organization.