Culture eats strategy for for breakfast

Culture eats strategy for breakfast – and disruption for lunch

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

This quote from Peter Drucker summarizes it in a nutshell: The best innovation strategy is of little use if it is not backed by an innovation culture in which goals are implemented with commitment and without compromise. In the age of digitalization and digital disruption the citation can be extended: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast. And disruption for lunch.”

But which culture is necessary to successfully implement continuous improvement and business innovation? And which culture do organizations need for digital innovation and the development of digital business models? In this article, you will learn what the quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is all about and why corporate culture is crucial, especially when it comes to innovation.

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Culture eats strategy for breakfast – what does that mean?

Peter Drucker’s quote is often misinterpreted. Strategy – especially in the area of innovation – is important. But when a company’s culture stands in the way of strategy, implementation becomes difficult to impossible. Then the strategy is literally ” cut off ” from the culture. Strategy, culture and projects are in a triangular relationship to each other. The strategy sets the direction, but projects cannot be implemented without the right culture. On the other hand, innovation projects influence culture and even strategy: if projects develop in unexpected directions, the strategy is sometimes changed. This is what Peter Drucker means when he says: Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

An example: Continuous improvement. In order to improve the existing situation, many companies have established an idea management and a continuous improvement process. For processes to be managed efficiently and for the company to achieve its key performance indicators, a culture of improvement is needed around the processes.

  • Systematically question individual processes,
  • Identify weaknesses in processes,
  • continuously searching for waste of time and resources.

But this culture alone is not enough for companies to manage disruptive innovation and digital disruption in addition to continuous improvement. This is because the culture of continuous improvement is aimed at preserving and optimizing what already exists.


A company’s strategy, culture and projects influence each other

A culture of innovation is the engine of digital change

Digitalization is demanding and complex. It affects every department in the company. Processes must be digitized and in some cases completely rethought. Digital services and digital business models must be developed. Without a culture of innovation that stimulates digital transformation in the company, this change is difficult to manage. Companies need employees who continuously question what already exists, generate new ideas, test them and implement them step by step. Using methods such as Open Innovation and Customer Co-creation, customers and external parties can be involved in this process. The Innolytics® innovation management software supports teams and departments in successfully implementing digital innovation.


Culture eats strategy for breakfast and disruption for lunch – Why?

There are different types and degrees of innovation cultures and innovation capabilities of companies. A culture that promotes the optimization of the existing is not necessarily suitable for radically questioning the existing. Incremental innovation and disruptive innovation need different framework conditions. In science this is called the principle of ambidexterity. Companies must at the same time be able to optimize what already exists and develop new ideas.

While the optimization of existing structures can often take place within existing structures, disruptive – or radical innovation – rather needs a network structure. The Innolytics® innovation management software enables companies to run both in parallel: The conventional continuous improvement process or idea management to optimize what already exists, innovation management to further develop existing products as well as interdisciplinary teams and expert networks to develop digital business models.

This enables companies to implement both improvement and optimization strategies, as well as to develop the new.


Different types of an innovation culture

How Innolytics® supports the development of different innovation cultures


With the Innolytics Innovation Management Software you can manage all your innovation activities on a single platform. The improvement of the existing, the optimization of products and offers, the establishment of new business areas and the operation of innovation labs only needs one tool.

The Innolytics® software supports you in efficiently driving innovation projects forward – no matter whether it is a matter of so-called incremental innovation or rather radical innovation. This makes the Innolytics® software the most flexible instrument for your idea and innovation management. It ensures that you can develop the right innovation cultures for your challenges. So that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” does not stand in the way of you and your innovation activities.


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