The very question of which is more important—company culture or strategy—misses the mark.
If your business consists of more than one person, your company has a culture.
The fact that you’re successful, and your business has a viable plan for creating a positive economic impact for your employees and your customers, indicates you have a business strategy.
And if you’re not intentionally managing company culture, then chances are your organization isn’t as healthy or as strategic as it could be. In fact, it’s probably stressing you out.
As Aristotle stated, nature abhors a vacuum. To the extent that your culture isn’t managed intentionally, that vacuum will be filled with each employee’s interpretation of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). Ever have the feeling that parts of your organization have an inward “Us-against-Them” mentality? Good luck trying to implement a winning strategy!
Culture lays the foundation for strategy, because humans are tribal. Creating an intentional culture has to do with defining and enforcing the tribe’s identity. You do that through communicating your unique traditions, heritage, habits, ways, and values. These shared qualities make your people feel connected. Tribalism creates a strong cultural identity that separates members of one group from the members of another group. A strong tribal culture creates an outward-looking “Us-against-Them” mentality. That’s remarkably different from the inward Us-against-Them culture above. Now, we can talk strategy.
Creating an Intentional Strategy
Tribalism creates a shared view of superiority. You can’t create a great organization until you can inspire each member to feel superior in some defined way. The stronger you define the “us” tribe, the more effective you will be at winning against the “them” tribe—your competition. This now sets the stage to deploy an intentional strategy.
Strategy creates the proof of your tribe’s superiority by stating how the tribe will leverage its unique culture to ensure its growth. An intentional strategy keeps tribe members’ sense of superiority grounded by beating the competition in the way you define and manage your culture.
Culture and Strategy Must be Viewed Holistically
Within an EOS® context, we don’t view culture and strategy as two sets of initiatives, but as one complete operating system. When you answer the 8 questions of the V/TO™ (Vision/Traction Organizer™) at an extremely personal level, you’re defining your tribe. The V/TO enables you to manage your culture and strategy with hyper-focused intentionality.
At EOS, we say that “vision without traction is hallucination.” EOS provides simple tools for your organization to:
- Share a compelling and focused Vision.
- Attract and retain the right “tribespeople” by defining People membership requirements.
- Collect Data as a foundation for objective decision making.
- Identify and solve all Issues that are barriers.
- Document Processes that define and standardize your special way to provide key deliverables.
- Provide a high level of accountability and Traction to continually keep the momentum moving towards greater levels of accomplishment.
Ready to create an intentional culture as the foundation for your company’s strategy?