Culture eats Product Strategy for Breakfast

The importance of aligning company culture with product strategy and provides two ways to do so, structure people's time and lean into company values, in order to effectively implement strategies and achieve goals.

Talk transcript of Thamsanqa Moyo – recorded on 14 Jan 2023 Culture

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Culture Product strategy Alignment Company values

One of the challenges that we often face in our day-to-day work is the discrepancy between the original product strategy and its implementation. It’s common to find that a few months down the line, the actual implementation looks nothing like the original strategy.

To bridge this gap, Peter Drucker quote saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” can enlighten the conversation. The quote highlights the importance of aligning the best strategies with the right company culture. Without a supportive culture, even the best strategies are bound to fail.

Two ways to align on product strategy using culture

Here are two ways to align culture with product strategy:

  1. Structure people’s time in their calendar - The way people spend their time and the things they have in their routine shape their imagination and practices. An example from my work at Jem HR, where we build HR systems for desk-less workers, is that we had to rotate the entire company to go on-site and do customer activations every few weeks. This has helped shape our employees’ imaginations with our customers’ reality, making the customer’s experience always front of mind in decision-making.
  2. Lean into company values - At a previous business, we had four company values that were always aligned with our company strategy. We also had a rewards program where employees could nominate their colleagues who embody the company values. This helped create a culture that supports and reinforces the implementation of the product strategy.

Culture and product strategy are intertwined and should work hand in hand. By aligning culture with product strategy, organizations can effectively implement their strategies and achieve their goals.

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