Text from the video:
The management consultant Peter Drucker said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”
The quote stuck because it underlines an essential human aspect.
Strategy is important, but it’s almost useless without the right culture.
We can have the best action plan, the best business ideas, the best practices, it will be wasted effort and work if people don’t buy into the vision.
If you don’t have their endorsement, it’s doomed to fail.
And culture is a vast topic.
We can think of the customers’ culture.
And there are plenty of examples of companies failing their international expansions because they neglected or misunderstood the culture of their new hosting country.
I saw it happen many times in China when I worked over there.
We can also see culture as internal to the company.
It covers multiple aspects, such as stories.
You know stories that become almost mythical, like this one-time where the whole developer team had to work for almost seventy-two hours non-stop, snacking on pizza, binging on coffee and power drinks, in order to get the demonstration ready for the customer meeting.
There are also company rituals.
For instance the one at the interview process, where we have to include a weird question, like how many golf balls can you fit into an Airbus A380.
Or the one for any farewell party, where everyone brings cakes, and signs a lovely card.
These aspects, practice and narrative, are important to develop corporate culture.
But, the key elements to develop culture and make it thrive, are vision and values.
The leadership author Simon Sinek explained this – before you delve into the how and the what, namely your strategy, your implementation, you must start with why.
Why do we do this in the first place? What’s the purpose?
And does it align with who I want to be?
With my own values? With my identity?
So, if a company wants to deploy its strategy successfully, it has to foster the right culture to appeal to its employees and more largely, to all its stakeholders.
Otherwise, the plan will be met with skepticism.
There will be reluctance to act upon it, even more if it requires change.
And at our level, as individuals, it’s the same.
It will be hard to implement any strategy if we don’t see how this ties with who we are and who we want to become.
That’s the reason why it’s so hard to stick to a diet.
We bought the book, the videos, the meal plans, the powder packs, everything.
We have the whole strategy.
But after two months, we can only come to the conclusion that we failed to implement it.
This is where identity comes in handy.
I am not on a diet to be healthy.
I’m a healthy person, therefore I am on a diet.
Even if it appears to be only semantic, the order has its importance.
Your why, your identity, your values come first.
So when you are about to slide your hand in the cookie jar, you could ask yourself, would a healthy person eat sugar at eleven in the morning?
You can leverage your identity, your core values, to help you pull through challenging situations and grow into a better person.
And if you struggle to find what’s your identity now, then just pick one you want to embrace.
The famous performance coach Todd Herman, wrote the book: The Alter Ego Effect.
In his book, he explains the power we can get by defining and adopting a secret identity.
He gives examples of high-level athletes who would transform into someone else as they enter the court, which enables them to be at their best.
It’s a bit like Clark Kent.
Removing your glasses would instantly change you into Superman.
And for me, the trick is not to remove the glasses, but to wear them.
You see, I am in the process to write my first book and it’s far from being easy.
There are moments where I doubt myself, especially when I struggle to write two consecutive sentences.
So I use this mental trick.
When I wear the glasses, I am not a beginner anymore.
I am an accomplished author, with several books published.
This is my new identity.
It gives me strength.
It also fits with my vision and my values to empower and make others grow.
Now I am a bit curious. Tell me, what would be your alter-ego?
What would be your secret identity?
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See you soon,