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What Does Culture Eat For Breakfast?

Photo by: Cillian Storm Creative Commons
Not strategy.  Leaders, more likely, at least those managing by catchphrase, as Dan Beckham suggests.

From the article:

"The Problem of Buying into the Catchphrase


"One proponent of the "culture eats strategy" catchphrase, Shawn Parr, an innovation and design consultancy CEO, made his case in a Jan. 24, 2012, Fast Company article holding out shoe company Zappos as an example. In response, Bob Frisch, a strategy expert with experience at the Boston Consulting Group, had this to say in the same publication a month later:

"Parr attributes the success of Zappos to a culture that is inclusionary, encouraging, and empowering.' Customer service representatives write zany emails and company leaders have often affirmed their belief that if you get culture right, success follows. But Zappos also has fast delivery, deep inventory, a 365-day return policy and free shipping both ways. That's a strategy — not a culture — and if Zappos weren't competitive with catalog sellers and mall shoe stores, all the culture in the world would make little difference. … In the business world, it's easy to take a handful of current winners, give them a backstory about their cultures and conclude, like Parr, that authenticity and values always win out.' Always? Walmart is the winner in retail. McDonald's serves more meals than anyone else. And yet they're hardly praised as paragons of superior culture."

Read the whole thing, here.

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