Culture eats strategy for breakfast - or does it?

By Archi Stewart & ChatGPT4

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The renowned management consultant and author Peter Drucker says, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote emphasises the importance of organisational culture over strategy in the success of a business. Many strategists disagree; let’s look at both sides of the argument:

Argument For the Quote (Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast):

  1. Employee Engagement and Commitment: A robust organisational culture fosters employees’ sense of belonging, motivation, and commitment. When employees feel connected to their workplace, they are more likely to be productive, creative, and dedicated, which drives business growth.
  2. Retention and Attraction of Talent: A positive and distinctive company culture can attract and retain top talent. Talented individuals are more likely to join and stay in a company with a vibrant culture that aligns with their values, further contributing to business growth.
  3. Adaptability and Resilience: A strong organisational culture can enhance a company’s ability to adapt to change and overcome challenges. Employees engaged and committed to the company’s culture are more likely to embrace new strategies, making it easier for the business to pivot and grow.
  4. Enhanced Reputation: Companies with strong cultures are often viewed as more reputable, which can attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones. A good reputation can be a decisive competitive advantage, increasing market share and growth.

Argument Against the Quote (Strategy Matters Equally, If Not More):

  1. Clear Direction: A well-defined strategy gives businesses a clear direction and a roadmap for growth. Without a solid plan, companies with strong cultures may still struggle to make decisions and prioritise initiatives, which could impede growth.
  2. Competitive Advantage: A strong business strategy can provide a company with a competitive advantage by identifying unique selling points, targeting the right market segments, and positioning the company for success. A good strategy can help businesses stand out in a crowded market, which is crucial for growth.
  3. Allocation of Resources: A well-thought-out strategy guides business owners in allocating resources effectively and efficiently. Knowing where to invest time, money, and effort is essential for achieving growth and maximising returns.
  4. Measurable Goals and Objectives: A sound strategy provides quantifiable goals and objectives that enable businesses to track progress and make data-driven decisions, thus, allowing companies to adjust their approach when needed and make informed choices that drive growth.


While Peter Drucker’s quote emphasises the importance of organisational culture, business owners must recognise that culture and strategy play vital roles in driving business growth. A strong corporate culture can create an environment where employees are motivated, committed, and adaptable. At the same time, a well-defined strategy can provide clear direction, a competitive advantage, and guide resource allocation. Therefore, to achieve sustainable growth, business owners should focus on cultivating a strong culture and devising effective strategies, as both elements work together to create a thriving, successful business.

Learn more about Peter Drucker Click Here