Sunday, April 03, 2011

Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner

Culture eats Strategy
Last week I happened to read a quote of Peter Drucker - " Culture eats Strategy". I didn't realize full value of this statement till I did some research and encountered a few situations at work.

Strategy is defined as coherent marketing direction. Much of leadership's team time in many company is spent on defining the strategy and the execution plan. One of  the critical components in strategy is competition differentiation. All these concepts were perfectly right in a demand and supply game. When the demand was greater than the supply, we had the manufacturing concepts and when the supply is greater than demand, we have the sales & marketing concepts in vogue. As a consumer, you are surrounded by great marketers who have the skill to convince you  about their products and services.Adding to this is the media power which is related the money power of the company. Worse, in the Internet era, to find an alternate product or services provider is just no big deal. With so much of competition and growing buyer demands, competition wars gets murkier by the day. What do you do as a company to grab the share of consumers wallet?

But what is the consumer looking for?  A scarce Community in today's world - Trust

I am now beginning to understand and believe that business is not just about making great products with distinct competitive advantage. These competitive advantages are like mirage, seemingly real but truly unreal. But the consumer is looking for is great deal of trust. Why is this become so important? In this cut throat world, self centered value systems have peculated deep inside many companies. " I win and not worried about where you stand" is the underlying attitude.Which is why consumers look to negotiate, so that some of the post purchase dissonance can reduce.

On the other hand, if brands were to  build a strong relationship with consumers. Easier said than done. Relationships are built through every interaction with the consumers. every employee should imbibe the value systems of the company and translate it as positive experiences for the consumers. Mind it, this is not strategy. This is nothing but  culture that needs to set in and peculate to all levels in an organization. Trust thus built through these interactions turn out to be positive stories about transformational customers experiences. Positive stories do find a way to reach other customers either through WoM or Social Media.

But where is competition in all this? Its tempting to fortify territories through strategic initiatives but time spending on building a culture within the organization far outweighs it.

Countless stories that we hear about Zappos, South west airlines are not just born out of strategy. The culture within the organization is the pivotal point.