5 minutes

Culture devours strategy


Alaa Jarrad


August 16, 2022

With the passage of time and the recognition of the importance of planning and developing effective strategies in various sectors, it has become rare for business institutions and government departments, as well as civil society institutions, to lack a strategy, even if the strategy has not been prepared in the required way, but the fact that 99% of institutions overlook - From my point of view - is the importance of the intellectual heritage and the existing convictions and trends, and even those rooted within the institution, and the totality of institutional convictions, trends, customs and traditions is what we call institutional culture, and it is like software (software) in the computer, can any computer work based on Only external components (hardware), of course not. Therefore, institutional culture alone is sufficient to destroy any strategy and not implement it. This was summed up by a jurist and scholar of modern management, Peter Drucker, when he said:“Culture devours strategy at breakfast,” meaning that the strategy will not persevere for some time before the corporate culture comes to it.

Of course, what is meant in Drucker's saying is a bad and toxic institutional culture, otherwise, a healthy culture is one of the main success factors for any strategy, but rather for any improvement initiative, and one of the patterns or characteristics of healthy cultures in institutions is continuous improvement, meaning that everyone seeks to develop performance continuously and within the framework of seeking And real work and not for the sake of appearance or empty propaganda, and also one of its features is the constant pursuit of learning and the rooting of the culture of learning from mistakes and rewarding learning, including listening to all those concerned, whether employees, dealers, partners or society, including eradicating the culture of blame, and many other features .As for some of the characteristics of a toxic culture that lead to emptying the institution of real competencies and the survival of hypocrites, few work, and even the unqualified, the most important of them can be highlighted in the spread of rumors, the absence of reliable channels for exchanging information, the presence of strong and paralytic centers, the lack of clarity of performance standards, the abundance of hypocrisy and showing loyalty, and the absence of Transparency, taking sudden and ill-considered decisions, increasing the rate of resignations, lack of clear and documented targets, intellectual stagnation and reluctance to accept new ideas, trying to discourage any proposals, stealing ideas, spreading a culture of blame and fear, rooting centralization and not delegating powers or empowering workers, and many more features. Other factors that reduce productivity and lower the morale of workers.

The question now is, is it possible to change the institutional culture and turn it into a positive healthy culture that encourages excellence and continuous improvement? The quick answer is “yes” it can, but by following scientific methods and proven methods that begin with measuring the current culture based on reliable models and proven tools, which are available and almost It is free, and successful strategists and foreseeing the future are those leaders who have the patience and “long breath” for intellectual and philosophical transformation and the creation and encouragement of new thought patterns in the organization, before they seek digital transformation, artificial intelligence, fifth generation and all the resonant terms that leaders and executives say these days, it will not happen Any transformation of any kind without cultural transformation first. People change their actions in two cases, either after changing their convictions or being forced to change. The effectiveness and sustainability of the first option has been proven compared to the second option.

• The fact that 99% of institutions ignore - from my point of view - is the importance of the intellectual heritage and the existing convictions and trends, and indeed those rooted within the institution.



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