Culture vs Strategy

ā€œA mind cannot be independent of culture.ā€ -Lev Vygotsky

TASK AT HAND: This week Iā€™m thinking about the interplay between culture and strategy. What would you prefer ā€“ advantages in culture or a superior strategy? This a question that comes up frequently when looking at organizational design and strategic plans. There are two considerations we need to discuss when contemplating this answer.

1. Culture Trumps Strategy. A superior culture has definite advantages over strategy development. Organizational excellence is akin to having a built-in mechanism for effective strategy. To be part of an organization that is grounded in metrics and principles of development is always preferred because there is an inherent advantage to set processes and practices. An example I commonly use is a take a football team. A superior culture is analogous to a strong playbook whereas a superior strategy can be compared to one dominant play. You can use that one play successfully but, in the long run, developing a playbook that is composed of plays for a myriad of situations that may be encountered is best.

2. Strategy Shapes Culture. The main reason why one cannot simply rest on laurels of culture is because, culture alone, is not enough for long-term growth and improvement. There is a necessity to continue to develop strategies for the challenges encountered. It is in these circumstances where well-constructed strategy has the benefits of providing you with an approach to a problem. Moreover, at the same time, this strategy allows you to shape culture. Contrastingly, fragmented strategy that lacks cohesiveness, can harm cultural identity.

When I surmise the idea of culture and strategy, I feel the need to stress the importance of culture over strategy. However, effective strategy is a powerful influence on culture. The final point that should come to light, and one I discuss in my book in several chapters, is that strategy does not exist in a vacuum. Thus, aligning strategy with culture is an excellent path to achieving goals and objectives.

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: Yesterday, Saturday October 7th, Dr Ed Ryan presented one of our recent studies at the 50th Annual Retina Society Meeting at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, MA.

Our study, Outcomes of Current Techniques for Repair of Moderately Complex Phakic Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment, compares scleral buckle, vitrectomy and combined scleral buckle and vitrectomy surgical techniques in retinal re-attachment rates in phakic patients.

 

GRATIS: Last Sunday, October 1st, I had the once in a lifetime chance to share the court with Mr Karim Abdel Gawad for a squash event hosted by Boast Squash here in MN! Gawad is a professional squash player from Egypt who reached World No. 1 in May 2017.

It was humbling and an honor to share the court with a fierce talent like Gawad. I had a blast and thankful to Gawad for having some fun with us amateurs!

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

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