The power of a well-aligned culture

December 12, 2016 -  By
Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson

Peter Drucker, the “father of modern management,” allegedly said “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This means that no matter how brilliant your strategy is on paper, it won’t overcome a workplace where nothing works the way it’s supposed to. Many companies are frustrated with a lack of accountability and urgency. These are important cultural factors, but they’re two of many moving parts.

For CEOs wanting to drive cultural coherence, start here:

  1. Define the kind of workplace you want to be: Will you be a place of continuous learning, innovation, collaboration and social responsibility? How will you discourage complacency and reward achievements?
  2. Instill behavioral norms as characteristics of your value proposition and link them to business objectives. Codify how you behave with each other and with customers.
  3. Be clear on the business you’re in, the profile of the customers you serve and your message.
  4. Define excellence and connect the dots, so employees are motivated by a sense of purpose.
  5. Empower employees to have a sense of ownership, so they have the freedom to make good choices and take responsibility for their actions.
  6. Establish new norms for transparency; invite open communication and an inclusive and supportive work environment.
  7. Commit to never letting cultural performance fall through the cracks. Maintain high standards, and monitor and measure just like everything else.
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About the Author:

The author, of the Wilson-Oyler Group, is a 30-year industry veteran. Reach him at

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