Culture vs Strategy, What's More Important?
Is your company’s culture or strategy more important to the success of the business? I attended a conference recently where this was discussed at length. Does one have more impact than the other, or are they intertwined? I believe that it’s impossible to separate the two, and that a strong culture and a clearly defined strategy are both instrumental for success.
A well thought out business strategy will only succeed if it is supported by a firmly embedded culture that includes effective execution along with responsibility and accountability. In order for the strategy to be successful, the strategy and vision statement must include the creation and sustainability of a healthy culture.
Creating this culture needs to be an intentional act. It doesn’t just happen. The behaviors of a company’s leaders day-in and day-out are what drive home values, and these are the foundation of a company’s culture. A strong culture is not tangible, but it is manifested in the environment that a company has consciously created—and which helps determine whether a business strategy thrives (or dies). A great business strategy cannot be executed in an unhealthy culture, and a poor business strategy cannot be overcome by a great culture. Both are necessary to succeed.
I saw this demonstrated first-hand when working with a client that had a significant workers' compensation issue. Their employees were getting hurt at an alarming rate, and consequently were missing work for long periods of time. We discussed the situation with our client, and recommended a variety of solutions. We advocated for a full-time HR employee, delivered safety training, etc. but none of these got to the core of their problem.
Through our continued evaluation of our client’s situation we uncovered the real source of the problem—an unhealthy culture and poor worker morale. After we identified that their culture was the issue, the client spent a significant amount of time over the course of two years creating a more positive culture, and ensured that their strategy and culture were aligned. These actions have completely turned this workers' compensation problem around.
If you would like to further discuss how we can work with you to positively impact your worker’s compensation issues, or a variety of other risk management issues please contact Bill Darcey at 781-726-7124 or email@example.com.
As President & CEO Bill leads the strategic direction of the firm, and has over 20 years of experience providing risk management services to businesses and individuals throughout New England. He works with clients to lower their total cost of risk by employing strategies such as loss control and risk management, safety training, and claims management.