The dark side of corporate culture – Death blow to strategy

The dark side of corporate culture – Death blow to strategy

Posted by Torben Rick | November 24, 2015 | Corporate Culture
Dark Side of Corporate Culture - Death Star

Strategy and culture are working at cross purposes with each other

Corporate culture’s dark side demands attention

Understanding the causes of corporate failure

A common issue at a leadership level is not understanding the interplay between strategy and organizational culture. Companies cannot sustain growth, profitability and competitive edge without harmony and alignment between business strategy and culture.

So many companies fall short in their goals because they overemphasize strategy with little/no attention to the cultural aspects that drive it. The most ingenious strategy in the world will never come to fruition without creating the right culture to drive it.

The dark side of corporate culture – Death blow to any strategy

Allowing the organizational culture to become infected by “The dark side of corporate culture” is a death blow to any strategy.

And in extreme cases it can threaten a company’s  existence – Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank are some reasonable good examples of “The dark side of corporate culture”.

The dark side of corporate culture

The dark side of corporate culture – Death blow to any strategy

Who is behind the black mask?

One day Dart Vader might put off the mask and say:

I am the father of corporate failures

Will it be the companies leaders? Let’s face it: The behavior of the senior team has a direct impact on the performance and productivity of the entire organization. Organizations are shadows of their leaders ….. that’s the good news and the bad news. So don’t leave it unattended.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Blog Comments

An interesting approach to connect management greed and criminal energy in Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen to the corporate culture. There is some truth in that. But your picture shows different: it is the traditional view about the mindset of staff, that makes change difficult.

But who is the enemy behind the black mask? It is the underlying assumptions of „to big to fail“, ongoing growth, manager’s infallibility. One day Dart Vader might put off the mask and say „I am the father of corporate failures, sorry“. We have to look also on management styles and believes. Corporate cultures will follow. Management isn’t just headwork.

Interesting and insightful. Thanks for sharing.

Couldn’t agree with you more! Very interesting analogy! Fabulous article!

I strongly believe that people resist change because they don’t understand how they will benefit from it. Often change doesn’t translate into something better for employees! If they saw it as a bridge to a better worklife and it was really meant that way, employees may be more willing to embrace it…Marie

Rick,
You always write inciteful posts.
I feel that the conversation of cultural change needs to start at the top of the organization. All too often the sponsor signs the check then disappears.

People often don’t change for the same reasons that they fail to address big issues in their personal life. They know its hurting them, they know they should be doing better, they want to do better. But they can’t cope with uncertainty. They want someone to give them assurances that we just can’t have in this world. Sometimes we don’t know exactly how the change is going to work, and we can’t guarantee that the change will please their individual wants. Sometimes all we know is that we have to try something different.

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