How culture impacts perceptions of strategy

Strategy factors in competitive analysis, swot analysis, financials, capabilities and what have you.

Strategic planning rarely takes into account the way that culture impacts the strategizers themselves, and thus the very  act of strategizing.

So, as they say in Chatuchuk Market in my favourite city, “lookie lookie” at the following examples.

  • People who come from an “empire” assume that strategy is a tool by which they can control and shape the environment.
  • People who come from cultures with a “survivor mentality” may believe that strategy is  dangerous or futile, because is mitigates immediate threats.
  • Folks who come from merchant cultures may believe that strategies defocus opportunities.
  • Folks who come from cultures where discretion is preferred to openness may believe that an espoused and transparent strategy increases  vulnerability. “Muddy the water, and catch the fish”.
  • People who come from very conservative cultures may view any strategic exercise as “threatening”.

Next time you sit down to strategize with folks in a very global organizational configuration, you would be best to flush out some of these assumptions.

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