When culture likes to eat strategy for breakfast…
More than 40 years ago, the management thought leader Peter Drucker coined the metaphorical phrase: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast". For many years managers did not want to understand what he meant by that. Since the outbreak of Corona, however, the complexity of this sentence and our cultural crisis have become tangible reality. ... What - have you never heard of Peter Drucker?
Who was Peter Drucker?
He was a management visionary and thought leader. Similar to Jules Verne, Einstein or Roddenberry, Peter Drucker was way ahead of his time. He saw what many did not see, sketched what many could not imagine and said what many did not dare to say. If there were a management bible, his thoughts and theories would be a core element and correspond roughly to the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount.
He called for autonomy, education, thinking and agility - both managers and employees. For him, the secret of a crisis-proof company lay in the sovereignty of all employees. Flat hierarchies, decentralization, clear objectives and the focus on core competencies were seen as the means to success for him. Success that can only be achieved through motivated employees who are treated with appreciation, trust and humility by their managers. People were valuable to him - not a burden.
The new reality faces the complexity of our cultural crisis
In the third lockdown we experience firsthand what the above sentence means. Because no matter which strategies have been decided for our society, our health, for opening up our companies or for a new life with the crisis - every strategy has been gnawed on by our culture over the past 13 months. A culture that not only caused our Chancellor's decisions to fall on her feet before Easter, but also threw each and every one of us off the hook every day. And even if we don't like to admit it: we helped to shape this culture - we allowed it.
I often wonder what Peter Drucker would advise our desperate politicians and suffering entrepreneurs. Because no matter which of his world-famous key ideas are used, each one draws a razor-sharp picture of our current situation today (Drucker died in 2004 at the age of 96).
Here's a little sample of his “Corporate Culture commandments” - I'm sure you've heard one or the other statement:
- „Anyone who wants to lead others must first be able to lead themselves.“
- „Leadership doesn't mean getting people to do things they don't want to do. It means empowering people
- to do things they never thought they could do.“
- „There is nothing more pointless than doing something efficiently that shouldn't be done at all.“
- „If you can't measure it, you can't improve it either.“
- “ The most important thing in a conversation is to hear what has not been said.“
- „Culture eats strategy for breakfast“
With this in mind: Do you fancy a new culture for breakfast? I’ll help you with it – let’s do it!
An article written by Britta Viktoria Opatz, published on April 8th, 2021