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“Organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast”

This quote is widely attributed to Peter Drucker, although some scholars assert they have searched all his speeches and writings and cannot find it. At the time a widely used statement was Culture beats strategy.


Transforming organizational cultures must be a major element in strategic execution. Since most cultures are resistive to meaningful change, design for strategic execution must include transforming the existing cultures and employee mindsets. KingChapman specializes in mobilizing your workforce around a culture-altering vision articulated by committed and authentic leadership.

“Corporate cultures that inhibit strong, long-term financial performance are not rare; they develop easily, even in firms that are full of reasonable and intelligent people.”

John Kotter & James Heskett, Harvard Business School[1]

As the quote suggests, organizational culture is stronger than strategies. Culture is so strong that it will overcome the best efforts of talented people. As Edgar Schein, professor of MIT Sloan School of Management, said,

“We tend to think we can separate strategy from culture, but we fail to notice that in most organizations, strategic thinking is deeply colored by tacit assumptions about who they are and what their mission is.”[2]

[1] Kotter, John and James Heskett. Corporate Culture and Performance. (1992)

[2] Schein, Edgar H. Organizational Culture and Leadership (1985)

Culture change

KingChapman has assisted organizations to implement dramatic organizational culture changes in most parts of the world. There is always some interaction between organizational cultures, local cultures in locations where change is being implemented and the dominate national culture(s) of the company. Organizational culture changes must accommodate these differences.

KingChapman’s consultation on culture change begins with listening to approaches for growth strategies, executive’s aspirations for organizational culture and perceptions of the current culture. We conduct an assessment to determine the themes which best describe the current culture. This provides the data for robust conversations regarding how organizational culture change can be integrated with growth strategy execution and leadership development.

Organizational Transformation

KingChapman has been engaged in organizational transformation for about as long as any firm. Just after our founding in 1983, we became engaged in the highly success transformation of Ford Motor Company. Soon thereafter we included transformations of an Indonesian oil company, a division of the Coca-Cola Company and Johns Manville. We have continued to develop and refine our capabilities.

We believe that sustainable growth strategies require organizational transformations. This includes developing new leadership capabilities, engaging employees and other stakeholders, changing mindsets, and becoming a very different enterprise.

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