Rising Tide Blog

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Posted by Matt Hale

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“Culture eats strategy for breakfast“. Words made famous by Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields, but initially uttered by Peter Drucker. 

It sounds simple in theory, let’s work on our culture & everything will follow. But what is culture? If you live & breathe footy like I do, you would’ve heard Hawthorn talk about their “family club” culture, or more recently Richmond coach Damien Hardwick say “how proud I am of our culture, how we always manage to cope during tough times”.  

I am still not close to knowing what it actually means, so I locked in half an hour with Leading Teams facilitator Marti Harkin, to delve in to things a bit deeper.  

Rising Tide has been working with Marti & Leading Teams for five years – working on our working environment, communication & relationships has helped us navigate some noisy times in the last few years. 

A couple of things I have learnt along the way;

  • Every business needs a clear purpose, it helps with decision making (and words written on a wall that no one follows doesn’t count)
  • Improvement is a journey; you have good days & bad days – you need to strap yourself & enjoy the ride
  • Just because you think you are a good communicator, doesn’t mean everyone else agrees

I am hopeful this chat might help a few others on their workplace journey. 

Here are some of the ideas we cover off, with corresponding times in the video to make it a little easier; 

3:00What is the benefit of a business purpose 
6:20What have you learnt this year?
9:15How to improve relationships 
12:20How to build better relationships at work 
14:15What is a risky conversation?, and why should I have them? (see below for a diagram that might help)
20:20Characteristics of a high performing team
24:00A few steps before 2020 finishes
Conversation Diagram