Systems Eat Strategy AND Culture

Every company has “systems”. There are “hard systems” like IT and “soft systems” like organizational design that help form the DNA of any business. Even if a company has a clearly articulated strategy, dynamic leadership and an engaged culture, these “systems” can hamper or even sabotage any change initiative. When organizations begin, they experiment with various methods of getting things done. Eventually best practices are determined and systematized. Efficiency demands that these practices become standardized and routinely repeated by everyone who completes the task. In every company there is an archive of un-written systems that are the “code” underlying the organization and operation. We may understand this to be the culture of the organization but in fact it is the management system that has been either chosen or more often adopted over time. This “code” may or may not be aligned with the desired culture of the organization. […]