Culture Versus Strategy – There’s No Contest!

When it comes to success in your business, which is more important, culture or strategy? Truth is, it’s not even close. Culture wins out by far.

Culture has to do with defining, communicating, and living your company’s purpose and core values. Culture starts with your thinking…your mindset. For example, if you think of your employees as your greatest asset you will invest in them and do all you can to help them succeed. However, if you think of your employs as a cost of business, an expense, you’ll do what you can to keep those costs down.

Your core values are those behaviors that will never change no matter what else changes in your business.  Core values shape the direction of your entire organization.

Applying the filter of your core values to every decision keeps your organization on the right path. It also serves to break down silos as everyone in the organization is aligned by your purpose and core values.

Your thinking (mindset) drives behavior (driven by your core values), which produces results. And here’s the amazing thing. The link between a positive culture and positive business results has been proven through empirical studies countless times.

One such study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that, “…organizations that institute a positive culture achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity.”

This is especially true in the customer contact center industry. The top 25 percent most highly engaged organizations continue to have significantly higher productivity, profitability, customer ratings, lower turnover and absenteeism than those in the bottom 25 percent (Source: Gallup, State of the American Workplace, 2013).

So if you are looking to drive performance results start with building an intentional positive culture. Then focus on your strategies. Doing so will drive decisions that are consistent with your core values and produce the results you are looking for.


Bill Gessert – ICSA President

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