A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 18, 2014
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

"Culture east strategy for breakfast/lunch” is a saying that is frequently credited to management author Peter Drucker (1909-2005), but it’s not known when he used the expression. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” and “culture eats strategy for lunch every time” were both cited in print in 2002. Mark Shields, of the Ford Motor Company, posted the saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” on a wall in 2006. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too” is sometimes said to be the full saying.

The expression means that corporate culture is very important. Unless there is a culture of success, any strategy will fail.

OCLC WorldCat record
Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch Every Time
Publisher: [Pitman, N.J.] : Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc., [c1983-
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Nursing economic$. 20, Part 6 (2002): 257
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Culture eats strategy for breakfast!
Author: Sheila Teasdale
Publisher: Radcliffe Medical Press
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Informatics in Primary Care, 10, no. 4 (2002): 195-196
Database: ArticleFirst

Google Books
What Sticks:
Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds

By Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart
Chicago, IL: Kaplan Pub.
Pg. 25:
The chairman of Insight Express, Bill Lipner, is fond of saying, “In a business competition, culture will eat strategy for lunch. If you have a great strategy but a bad culture, you’ll lose.”

Google News Archive
25 January 2006, The Argus-Press (Owosso, MI), ‘Ford takes on ‘change or die’ philosophy” (editorial), pg. 4, col. 1:
It was reported that Fields (Ford Motor Company president of Americas operations Mark Fields—ed.) likes slogans and one of his favorites on his wall says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Google Books
Freedom, Inc.:
Free Your Employees and Let Them Lead Your Business to Higher Productivity, Profits, and Growth

By Brian M. Carney and Isaac Getz
New York, NY: Crown Business
Pg. 38:
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”: so said a banner hanging in Ford Motor Company’s “war room,” from which the company was plotting an ambitious change strategy to save it from nearbankruptcy in 2005.

Fast Company
January 24, 2012 | 12:15 AM
Culture, like brand, is misunderstood and often discounted as a touchy-feely component of business that belongs to HR. It’s not intangible or fluffy, it’s not a vibe or the office décor. It’s one of the most important drivers that has to be set or adjusted to push long-term, sustainable success. It’s not good enough just to have an amazing product and a healthy bank balance. Long-term success is dependent on a culture that is nurtured and alive. Culture is the environment in which your strategy and your brand thrives or dies a slow death.

12 Reasons Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch
by Joe Tye, CEO and Head Coach at Values Coach Inc.
on Sep 07, 2013
Twelve reasons why the saying that “culture eats strategy for lunch” originally attributed to Peter Drucker is valid, each illustrated with a real world example and a question for your organization.

Corporate Culture Pros
Mythbusting: DOES Culture Eat Strategy for Lunch?
by Lisa Jackson on November 21, 2013
You’ve heard the phrase: Culture eats strategy for lunch (or breakfast). (most often attributed to Peter Drucker).  This famous quote is usually evoked when a leader or executive realizes the environment is essential to successfully implementing a change or new strategy.

I’d like to challenge the use of this popular phrase.

Maybe you’ve followed Ford’s latest brilliant ad campaign (bed OR breakfast? hide OR seek?  health OR fitness?).  “Strategy Eats Culture” connotes culture is more important than strategy (as if one could exist without the other).  I am sure Drucker’s original meaning did not intend for that interpretation.

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast
Posted Apr 12, 2014 by Bill Aulet (@BillAulet)
As we talk about in our classes (and credit to Peter Drucker who had the original quote which we have modified), “culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.” Why? Because company culture, a concept pioneered by Edgar Schein, is the operationalizing of an organization’s values. Culture guides employee decisions about both technical business decisions and how they interact with others. Good culture creates an internal coherence in actions taken by a very diverse group of employees.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, June 18, 2014 • Permalink