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April 30, 2024

Culture Catalyst: Transform Your Company Culture to Drive Business Strategy.

Culture Catalyst - Transform your company culture to drive business strategy

Company culture is]...the essential element of how an organization and its employees behave, as well as its governing beliefs and principles. And yet, culture often receives less attention than purpose and strategy…

- Hubert Joly (2022)

Effective strategy has long been deemed crucial for business success, and in recent years, purpose has emerged as a vital component of conducting business. However, culture, which encompasses the fundamental behaviors, beliefs, and principles of an organization and its employees, is frequently overlooked despite its significance.

Business leaders benefit when they prioritize cultivating a positive company culture because it influences the work environment, decision-making processes, and the overall identity of the organization, which directly impacts every facet of the organization's success. The good news is that CEOs in 2024 are still recognizing “Evolving Culture” as a key priority alongside transforming technology, products & services and strengthening sales & marketing. According to the Winter 2024 Fortune/Deloitte CEO survey, one of the biggest challenges that CEOs will face this year is “Ensuring we remain the leading innovator in our sector while fostering a culture of inclusion and empathy among our employees.”

Why is Culture Important in 2024?

Company culture serves as the foundation upon which organizational success is built, providing a framework for how employees interact, make decisions, and contribute to the company's mission and objectives.

James Heskette found in his research for his book The Culture Cycle that an effective culture can account for up to half of the differential in performance between organizations in the same business. Simply put, culture is a business imperative, especially when combined with an effective business strategy and organizational purpose.

Key Indicators of A Positive Company Culture
A positive culture is often characterized by a clear set of values and a mission that guides decision-making and behavior throughout the organization. Employees should understand and embrace these values, feeling aligned with the company's purpose and direction.

How is Culture Created and Changed?
Every company has a culture, whether created intentionally or by default. Cultures form in response to what is or was needed for an organization, department, or team to succeed.

Assessing culture becomes relevant when an organization recognizes operational issues or conducts strategic evaluations for activities like mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, or partnerships. However, accurately understanding one's own culture remains challenging. What methods exist for gaining insights into your organization's culture?

In order to enact change, leaders first have to review the concept of culture and understand their organization’s unique business challenges (marketplace, competition, and unique value proposition). Reviewing your current business strategy (business direction and priorities), identifying your organizational values, and creating your purpose (why your organization exists) are also important exercises in the process.

What Can CEOs Do to Align Culture with Strategy?
The CEO’s role in aligning corporate culture to strategy is more important than ever. Here are four things CEOs can do to align company culture to strategy:

1.  Create strategic clarity
Every employee should be able to describe the company’s strategic goals and how their individual contribution helps to move it forward.

2.  Assess the current culture
Use company-wide surveys or assessments to measure the current culture and identify gaps. Assessments can also be useful to establish benchmarks for critical dimensions of organizational health and culture.

3.  Define the culture you need to execute your strategy
What kind of culture will help you accelerate the strategy and what shifts need to be made to create that culture?

4.  Make an action plan
Once strategic priorities have been identified, the CEO must ensure that an action plan is in place to get the culture in line with strategic objectives.

At The Heffelfinger Company, we provide cultural and organizational transformation for:

  • Fortune 500 Divisions and Functional Groups

  • Mid-sized enterprises (500-5,000 employees)

  • Newly merged organizations

Collaborate with us: To evolve your culture to meet your business purpose and strategy .


      Lori & James

      Lori Heffelfinger & James Jackma


      Deloitte. Winter 2024 Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey Insights. Increased optimism with an eye on global events. Accessed 4/25/2024.

      Hubert Joly. Does Your Company’s Culture Reinforce Its Strategy and Purpose? 6/10/2022. Accessed 4/25/2024.

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