Culture vs Strategy

Every business starts with a defining moment, a simple thought about what could be. A person, or a group of people come together with this idea and build upon it until it becomes a viable business. The longer a business is running, its culture and strategy start to become clear. For a business to be successful they must work towards and understand the balance of culture vs strategy to their advantage to achieve their business goals.

Culture vs Strategy -What are the differences?

What is Culture?

Culture is what enhances and amplifies a company’s mission, vision, and values. It also ensures that the strategies implemented by management can also be effective. The culture of the organisation must align itself with the strategy, as this will ultimately dictate the success of it.

The idea of culture within a business originated from Peter Drucker as he stated that people are an organisation’s most valuable resource. As time has gone on, this idea and the concept of culture has been expanded upon. The idea of an effective culture is now dependent on the mission, vision, and values of the organisation and the people within it.

If the culture that is present doesn’t align with the company vision and values, then the productivity and effectiveness of staff will inhibit the success and progression of the organisation. When the correct culture is developed and nurtured over time businesses often find higher engagement from their staff.  One thing that you need to be aware of is that, if you don’t have the right culture for your business then it can be extremely difficult to change.

How does culture affect business?

Good organisational culture is dependent on what the company’s mission, vision, and values are. If the company is focused on targets and profits, then a culture that is focused on its people may not be a good fit, and as a result, the business is unlikely to achieve its full potential. Whereas a company that is highly process and compliance driven may find they benefit from a highly documented and process-driven culture.

What is Strategy?

Organisational strategy is referred to as “the way the organisation positions itself in its environment in relation to its stakeholders, given the organisation’s resources, capabilities, and mission”.

More often than not, a strategy is created based on the mission, vision, and values and where the organisation sees itself in the future. For a business strategy to be successful, it must have clear objectives and targets and set an outline of how to achieve these.

How does strategy affect business?

Any business has the potential to remain operational, however, to be successful and to grow, a well-thought out strategy needs to be implemented. For the strategy to be effective, there two main factors to consider:

  • The objectives and targets of the strategy – Are they realistic? Do they align with the values of the organisation?
  • The engagement of staff – Does the strategy motivate the staff?

Having the right strategy in place can set your business apart from its competitors and elevate it to new heights.

Culture vs Strategy? Which is Better?

The question “Which is better; culture or strategy?”, is subjective and up for interpretation. If you are a person that says people are what makes a business successful, then you would say that culture is better. If you are a person that says having clear objectives and targets are important to a business’s success, then you would say that strategy is better.

In my personal opinion, it is important to have both to have a successful business and to set yourself apart from everyone else. Culture and strategy work together. A business needs to strike a balance between culture and strategy that aligns itself with the company’s vision, mission, and values.

Without culture, a strategy cannot reach its full potential. Without a strategy, an organisation cannot progress into the future and grow as a business.

Would you like to learn more about culture vs strategy in your organisation today? At Bramwell Partners, we conduct Workplace Culture Surveys that are designed to assist businesses evaluate if their culture is aligned with their strategy. This evaluation can be key in determining where a business should assign resources to have the greatest impact on their culture and strategy. Find out more by getting in touch with a dedicated HR consultant at Bramwell Partners today.