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Culture eats strategy for breakfast!


As a business you may have a strategy that is robust and meets the requirements of the business to achieve the growth you desire.    It’s a great start but no matter how good and well thought through your strategy, if your company culture is misaligned it could be a fruitless task.

To deliver a successful strategy you require your entire organisation to work together.   Culture can interfere with this, so ensuring you develop the right culture and recruit the right people to fit that culture, should be an essential part of your strategy.  Over time relationships between leaders can become strained and frequently a ‘them and us’ culture can develop between departments.   When this occurs it can dramatically stall progress.

I’ve seen this often between sales, marketing, finance and operations.   Each department has their own targets, their own standards and their own leader.   As an individual department they are running efficiently to meet their own needs.    However, as departments in a business delivering an overall strategy they are actually really inefficient.

The development of financial data to support decision making in a business relies on the flow of good quality data from across the whole organisation.   From an operational level, the information you provide impacts across the organisation, for example; providing accurate stock levels and stock days to keep KPI data up to date;   Details of fast moving and slow moving stock detailed to sales and marketing to aid their departmental targets.  

Finance needs to provide sales & marketing with accurate results and a breakdown of data that can be reported from the financial system.   Key IT systems should be in place to feed into reporting on who is buying what and who has dropped off from the customer list.

All of these areas require each department to understand each other’s needs.   Where a new IT function is requested to support real time data for sales, finance need to run the return on investment, marketing need to promote the feature providing better customer support.

Culture starts at the top, so where there are relationships that are not aligned to working together then seek help to bring your team together; providing the leadership and environment to promote collaboration is vital to your success.   This is the best chance you can have of delivering a winning strategy.

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