Sketchnote: The Culture Imperative for Executives 

Sketchnote on the Culture Imperative for Executives


This sketchnote depicts key points from the article The culture imperative for executives; by Alex Brueckmann at Brueckmann Executive Consulting.


Culture is everywhere. Every organization, department or team has one. They either consciously created it, honed it over time into what some organizations call their ‘secret sauce’, as in ‘not copyable by the competition’. Or they have a culture that just appeared, accidentally, whatever it might be. Trust me, you don’t want an accidental culture. I’ve been there, I have seen what these cultures can look like and what they do to people. In accidental cultures, there are hardly any boundaries, the doors are open to all kinds of behaviours, even toxic ones like lying, cynicism, gossip and avoidance of accountability. As a result, people will burn out and leave. This is true for all kinds of organizations whether non-profit or for-profit.

Wait a second. I’m a strategy guy. I help leaders to consciously build a legacy, something larger than themselves by designing and executing purpose-driven strategies. Why would I write about a seemingly fuzzy topic like corporate culture that can sometimes feel like trying to nail jelly to a wall? Because consciously created cultures are superchargers for performance and are closely linked to strategy. Without this context, what would culture be all about anyway? If you think of culture as the fun and games side of an organization – like table football in the lobby, family events, or free fruit for everyone – think again. If you think culture is all about corporate values, codes of conduct, and how they shape collaboration, decision-making, and communication, then yes, that’s certainly part of the picture.

To me, culture is more than that: it is the way an organization performs , how the job gets done, how people take individual accountability for results. Culture means performance culture. What people do or not do when no-one is watching. The process of designing and implementing strategy can shape culture like no dedicated ‘culture project’. Let me provide three reasons why this is the case: