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Does Your Organizational Culture Support Your Business Strategy?

Summary: This article explains the importance of a company culture that supports new business strategies and warns that unless company culture supports the new strategies, organizations can struggle or even fail to adapt to these changes. Although company leaders usually understand the importance of culture, it can be very challenging to self-diagnose the current situation and determine what culture would be ideal to take them where they need to go. Although drastic changes may be needed, a company can reinvent itself without losing its self-identity. Core values such as service, the belief in putting the customer first, integrity, and respect are elements that can be carried through and remain as essential to a company's existence. The authors describe five strategic changes that may require culture change: 1) strategic redirection instigated by a chief executive officer or other top-level executive; 2) mergers and acquisitions; 3) globalization; 4) spin-offs and start-ups; and 5) culture capture, the intent of which is to preserve those core features so they are not lost in succession or in future growth. Three steps are recommended for driving culture change: 1) align the senior team members; 2) make changes in the people processes; and 3) change behaviors and culture symbols. This article is open access. The results of an associated culture and strategy executive survey are available online.

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  • Topics: Strategic Planning
  • Keywords: Organizational culture, Corporate culture, Cultural change, Culture, Change strategies, Strategies, Core values
  • Author: Eaton, Dave; Kilby, Gabriella;
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation