Does a business spend more time thinking about its strategy or its culture?

I’m sure that in most cases, the focus will be on strategy. The culture of the company can be forgotten about despite being a key pillar of success. How often do we see a Culture & Innovation Director instead of the usual HR or People Director?

A strategy cannot be implemented successfully if the culture of the business is not appropriate.

Too often a culture is articulated as part of a vision or mission statement, but not something that is at the heart of the business, being lived and breathed by all employees daily.

More than anyone else in the business, the board must be obsessed with their business culture, to ensure it permeates through the whole company. To be totally customer focused this must start at the top. It will be supported from the bottom up if everyone is empowered to do the right thing for the customer.

To achieve this, the culture must start at the recruitment phase and follow through to the induction and beyond.

Retailers like Beaverbrooks and Richer Sounds really think about their people and culture and this is a key component of what drives their success.

If we take customer data as an example, of which we now have an endless supply. However, it is not insight. Therefore, we need to instil a culture of wanting to understand what the data is telling us, and the actions required to improve performance and predict what's next.

If the business is allowing it people to pull in different directions, then the true understanding of the customer will not define what needs to be achieved.

Values and behaviours that put the customer first and at the heart of everything will enable both the customer and the company to thrive.