Culture eats strategy

Two years after filing for bankruptcy and receiving a significant cash infusion from the United States government, General Motors has returned to profitability and gone public. It almost sounds like GM is poised to snatch victory from the seeming defeat of thirty years of underperformance. Commenting on this, John Ryan, CEO of The Center for Creative Leadership notes that the prior culture of GM undermined any strategic planning they engaged in. You can find the article here.

“Culture eats strategy.” This is an important reality for leaders to remember. At the end of the day, the culture of an organization is what will cause that organization to succeed or fail in its mission. Plan all you want. Put reporting requirements in place so that current realities can be used to forecast futures. All will be for naught unless the culture of the organization places value on the right things, and that comes through modeling from managers and senior leaders.

As I lead our Area Team, I’m constantly aware that unless the culture of our Area is such that we want to do excellent ministry, to the best of our abilities, to the glory of our God, then all the other stuff is in vain. It’s really that simple.

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