If you’re a transformation leader, you can seamlessly integrate strategy within your unique cultural context for amazing results.

A business plan that doesn’t suit the culture of the organization is useless.

I’m designing a strategic planning workshop for a client. One of the first questions I’ve asked the CEO is to describe their culture. This allows me to guide the workshop participants to develop a strategic plan that is implementable within their culture.

You’ve probably heard the quote: culture eats strategy for breakfast (typically attributed to Peter Drucker). As a transformation leader or innovator, you need to work effectively within your culture to get things done at scale. If you can’t, then your strategy will never be implemented. So I’d add to this expression:

Culture eats strategy execution for lunch.

Tip for the week

There are many attributes that can describe your culture. Chose 2-3 specific words (only), and then base your strategy execution planning (process and content) around these characteristics.

For example, my FutureBuilders colleagues and I were supporting a client to develop their strategic plan. The client’s culture is siloed, and strongly mission driven. We centred their strategic plan on an emotive call to action, to galvanize and unify the business (the content of the plan matched the culture). It was developed with involvement of each division at different levels (the planning process matched the culture). This generated outstanding buy-in to the overall plan from the different “siloes” of the business, and they are now making good progress against their plan. (I always change details so clients cannot be identified.)


Podcast interview

Listen to Shelley Flett’s Dynamic Leader podcast, discussing workplace culture and other implementation tips with me. Shelley is a DYNAMIC leadership trainer and coach, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Quote of the week

When people feel that they are able to bring their emotional truth to the workplace with leaders who are compassionate and curious rather than leaders who want the answers, that is a first building block of emotional agility.” Dr Susan David, Psychologist, Harvard.


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About Lisa Carlin

As a strategy execution specialist and scaleup mentor, Lisa works with ambitious digital leaders to turbocharge their transformation and business planning. Lisa’s clients have an independent sounding board and expert advice so they have absolute confidence they WILL ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. Lisa is Co-Founder and Director of FutureBuilders Group of organisational development specialists, and volunteers as Chair of the University of Cape Town Australia Trust. Her early career was with Accenture (South Africa) and McKinsey (USA).

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