Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer. —

Culture is something we all have discussed. Yet, we hardly understand it. This quote, "Culture eats Strategy..." has been fascinating to me for a long time. Earlier, I didn't quite understand it, yet the quote was cool and smart. It has two significant words - Culture and Strategy, both of which are hardly understood by most people.

Once you get the meaning of this phrase, you start to see a company culture from a very different lens. Also, this phrase is best experienced than understood. This is the beauty of culture.

To understand the above phrase, we need to first define Culture and Strategy.


This is who we are, and this is how we do things or behave. Culture is simply how we behave in our natural environment - collectively. It is the norm and the established way of doing things. No one explicitly stated the culture, but we all have adopted it with time and have become a part of it. Culture is the unsaid rules of a group or a company.


It is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim. Simply put, strategy is how (plan and guidelines) you will move from your current state to the desired state.


As I said earlier, this quote is best experienced. So, to help you understand, I will need you to imagine and visualise the below situations and play along.


There is a workplace problem. We have identified the problem and have a plan of action (Strategy) to solve this. However, the strategy is not implemented successfully because..culture. Since it's hard to change the way of doing things, all strategies fail. It's hard for people to change, and to bring a change at a group level is even harder. Let's get into the examples now.

P: problem at hand; S: Strategy developed to solve it; C: Culture - this is how things happen

P: We need to monetise our product and achieve 50% YoY growth via our product.

S: We have developed a product strategy and roadmap with milestones for the next 1 year to achieve our goals.

C: CEO: Forget the strategy, build this in the next two quarters. This is what we are building.

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