Culture Eats Strategy

aka "Culture Eats Strategy for breakfast" (business strategy)

attributed to Peter Drucker, but that seems to be false

  • The 1985 book “Organizational Culture and Leadership” by Edgar Schein included a precursor expression between quotation marks suggesting that it was already circulating: "More and more management consultants are recognizing these types of problems and are noting explicitly that, because “culture constrains strategy,” a company must analyze its culture and learn to manage within its boundaries or, if necessary, change it."

Seems like the point is: for an existing company (BigCo), there's an ingrained culture. And trying to pivot to a new strategy will be constrained by the patterns of the culture.

  • of course, even a 3-person startup has a culture
    • but a smaller org has more of a chance of changing culture, since it can have discussions about it with "everyone", and there aren't 6 layers of management and illegible incentive-structures in the way....

2012: Venkatesh Rao:

2024, myself: Funding model eats business model for breakfast. (OPM)

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