Culture eats strategy for breakfast and lunch

Peter Drucker the great management guru known to have said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

Few years back when I happen to meet Curt Coffman Senior Partner and Chief Science Officer at The Coffman Organization and former Senior Vice President at Gallup, he was about to launch his new book called – ‘Culture eats strategy for lunch‘. He shared his wisdom on why companies are unable to successfully drive transformation and why leaders are unable to engage their people enough to make a difference.

Book Cover - Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch

In his presentation he depicted Strategy as just being tip of the iceberg, which most leaders try to work upon, where as the real levers of change are beneath the surface.

Often management consultants and business leaders focus on evolving a powerful strategy to achieve business growth, making too many changes too often without realising that culture is not that easy to change, neither its impact can be undermined. It’s the most critical lever in company’s transformation.

Every organization has a unique culture with each of its employee contributing uniquely through their behaviour and beliefs. Any transformation effort will require to tap into this reservoir of energy. Tap into the uniqueness of organization’s  innate strengths. It would be much easier to tap into what strongly exists than attempt to rebuild on the foundation on existing company culture.

Strategy is the lighthouse which can guide the organization to keep marching ahead towards greater vision. Where as culture is the DNA on which company survives, thrives and arrives.

While strategy is the mind, culture is the heart and the soul of an organization. It’s still possible to change one’s mind but not the heart and the soul. Those can only be nurtured.

Perhaps that’s why management experts are telling “culture eats strategy for breakfast as well as lunch ”.

Rajat Chawla is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Asia’s first Certified Customer Experience Professional. He regularly shares his insights on: Building Strengths based Performance Culture and facilitates Customer Experience Transformation with global corporations. You are welcome to subscribe to his blog posts at: