What’s the CEO’s No.1 job? Culture, strategy or capabilities?

18 June 2024, Tuesday








‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’ – Peter Drucker.  

Where did Steinhoff, Zuma and Sutherland get it all wrong ?

Most business gurus agree that Strategy, Capability and Culture must go hand in hand, but judging by recent times, Peter Drucker’s quote is proving to be be spot on.

In business,Markus Jooste took Brand Steinhoff close to its knees by breeding an unsustainable‘horse racing like ‘culture.

In politics, Jacob Zuma took Brand South Africa close to its knees by creating an unsustainable culture of ‘entitlement‘.

In Sport, Cricket Australia’s CEO James Sutherland took the Australian cricket brand close to its knees by fostering an unsustainable culture of ‘win at all cost‘.

There are many more recent examples of CEOs paying lip service to culture resulting in millions of Rands of stakeholder investment being destroyed – and brand equity near irreparably damaged.

Culture is closely linked with organizational purpose.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast but culture gets its appetite from purpose  – John O.Brien. Head of purpose at PR agency Porter Novelli

Personally, I love Disney’s simple and focused purpose:

To make children smile

When you get your purpose statement spot on like Disney – your culture will fall into place.

Placing culture at the top of the pile can help to avoid expensive mistakes.

If not, more unsustainable dominos are likely to fall.

Key Insight

Playing the game right (your culture) has now become more important than doing the right things (your strategy) – or doing things right. (your capabilities)


Wanting to take your team to the next level of performance, growth and contribution?

Rob’s breakfast talk – POWER UP YOUR GAME –  shares 11 potent GAME CHANGERS from inside the game plans of the greats of business and sport.

It’s all part and parcel of Rob’s inspirational 2018 campaign :

to inspire and help ‘GROW SOUTH AFRICANS GREAT’

Book ROB to chat with your team .

Rob Opie is Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author, Performance Coach to corporate teams and Life Coach to individuals. For more insights and inspiration, visit www.thegameplan.co.za-  where you can also book Rob to talk to your team on his recently published book: THE GAME CHANGERS – how to achieve your greatest potential.

GET IN TOUCH :robopie@thegameplan.co.za