What’s for Breakfast?

Posted in Dharma’s Culture, Social Responsibility.

Image of our founder, Jeff Marcous

What’s for Breakfast?

My bad. For years now, I have been attributing the expression “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” to the now deceased author and business expert, Peter Drucker. Turns out he never said that. Never wrote that either. I’m not the only one doing the misquoting, though, as I continue to see it being connected to him in various writings and speeches. It just occurred to me while writing this newsletter to search the original quote for context, so imagine my surprise!​ And here we are, a decent quote without an author. ​Someone must have heard something similar: culture beats strategy​, culture trumps strategy, etc., and thought that​ it sounded like something Drucker might have said, perhaps to add legitimacy to make a point. ​No matter​ … we can just chalk it up to urban legend and get on with the relevancy of it.

From my perspective, culture is the most useful asset that a company can possess. Culture can be deliberately cultivated, inadvertently and ignorantly projected, or as a byproduct of management’s lack of understanding of its value. Business has a history of companies that fostered a culture of aggrandizing its own self worth​, status and interests. Think Enron, Madoff Investments, Tyco, DeLorean, and of course, Charles Ponzi, all of which ended in financial disaster. I think that culture is more of a feeling that one senses from how a company is “being” in the world. ​Though it is somewhat intangible, it can be discerned ​by an inquiring knowledge of its people, intentions, and commitment to serving others. Ever been to a company’s “about us” website page, only to discover there is nothing at all of value there other than platitudes, fluff about being the “leading” whatever, and how great they are? Wouldn’t you want to get a snapshot of the principals’ philosophy,​ interests, and whether they are contributing to a more socially just and fair world? I want to patronize business like that and my guess is that you might want to as well.​ Whenever Dharma purchases goods or services for the company, we make the effort to support mission-driven companies that are making a difference. Culture ­– it’s what’s for breakfast!​

Please note: while Dharma was a Registered B Corp at the time of this posting, it no longer is.