The Crucial Role of Culture in Strategy: Why Moral Compass Matters

In the realm of business and innovation, the adage “culture eats strategy for breakfast” stands as a powerful reminder of the profound influence organizational culture wields over strategic initiatives. Yet, beyond the confines of corporate boardrooms, this concept permeates into broader societal contexts, underscoring the intrinsic link between cultural values and the success of any endeavour. In a society devoid of a clear moral compass, even the most brilliant ideas and meticulously crafted strategies are bound to flounder.


At the heart of this assertion lies a fundamental truth: human endeavors are inherently shaped by the prevailing cultural milieu. Whether it be in business, politics, or social activism, the values, norms, and ethical standards upheld by a society profoundly influence the outcomes of collective endeavors. A society that lacks a coherent understanding of what is right and what is wrong creates an environment fraught with ambiguity, where the pursuit of individual interests often trumps the common good.


Consider, for instance, the dynamics within a business setting. A company may devise the most innovative strategies, backed by cutting-edge technology and unparalleled market insights. However, if the organizational culture is marred by greed, dishonesty, or a lack of integrity, these strategies are destined to falter. The absence of a moral compass not only erodes trust among team members but also undermines the organization’s reputation and credibility in the eyes of stakeholders.


Moreover, a deficient moral framework within a society fosters a climate of ethical relativism, where actions are justified solely based on their perceived utility or expedience. In such an environment, the pursuit of short-term gains often takes precedence over long-term sustainability and ethical considerations. This myopic approach not only hampers the potential for meaningful progress but also engenders systemic issues that perpetuate social inequality and injustice.


The implications extend far beyond the confines of corporate endeavors. In the realm of governance, for instance, the absence of a shared moral foundation can lead to political polarization, institutional dysfunction, and a breakdown of trust between citizens and their leaders. Similarly, in social movements and advocacy efforts, a lack of ethical clarity can dilute the efficacy of noble causes, as competing interests and ideological divisions overshadow the pursuit of justice and equity.


In light of these considerations, it becomes evident that cultivating a robust moral compass is indispensable for the flourishing of any society. Nurturing a culture that upholds principles of integrity, empathy, and accountability provides the essential framework within which strategies can be effectively implemented and sustainable progress achieved. Moreover, such a culture fosters cohesion, resilience, and a shared sense of purpose, enabling individuals and organizations to navigate challenges with integrity and dignity.


As individuals, leaders, and members of broader communities, we bear a collective responsibility to foster a culture that prioritizes ethical considerations and upholds universal principles of justice and compassion. By instilling values of integrity, empathy, and responsibility in our interactions and endeavors, we not only enrich our organizational cultures but also contribute to the creation of a more just, equitable, and sustainable society.


In conclusion, while strategy undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in driving success, it is culture that ultimately determines the trajectory of human endeavors. In a society where moral ambiguity reigns, even the most brilliant ideas and meticulously crafted strategies are bound to falter. Thus, let us heed the wisdom that “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and strive to cultivate a moral compass that guides our collective journey towards a brighter and more prosperous future.


Igbaroola Olakunle, Co-founder/CEO, Westpay Global Resources writes from Lagos, Nigeria.