Resolving the Strategy & Culture Paradox. The Roger Martin Interview

I suspect that’s why Strategy and Culture are often pitted against each other.

Cultures, inherently, are prone to protect the status quo because they’ve evolved over time to become a set of shared beliefs, systems, values, and actions. Strategy requires some aspect of that to change and that’s where the resistance is created.

As such, you can understand why doing the hard work of Strategy — and the inherent changes that will likely occur — is always preferable inside a strong or consistent Culture.

For me any culture change is a retail, not wholesale, exercise.

Wholesale is when organizations make sweeping grand proclamations about doing things differently.

Retail is when they pay very specific attention to each, and every, interaction and use those individual interactions as a catalyst to do things differently.

This may be a controversial view, but I think that our growing obsession with data, and data-based decision making, is exacerbating an already poor, and limited, ability to create great Strategy and winning ideas.

That’s why I wish we instilled more curiosity in our business school graduates versus teaching them to find an answer and immediately stop looking.

We need leaders who are relentless about seeking a better, different answer to the challenges they face versus letting a justificationist mentality hold them back.

That begins with an insatiable curiosity.



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Hilton Barbour

Hilton Barbour

Networker. Marketing Provocateur. Loves travelling - love my 2 daughters more. Perpetually curious.