Why ‘Culture Eats Strategy’ is the Ultimate Business Mantra

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Franchise Leaders Share the Role of Culture in Their Brands

There is a famous quote from legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker that says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” My take on this is no matter how well thought out and effective your strategy is, success all comes down to the culture within your company and how your team members embrace it. Do you agree?

These days, many organizations do agree and are putting a priority on corporate culture — and it’s a smart move. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find tons of surveys that show how a positive culture drives employee and customer satisfaction and retention. Conversely, a bad culture can negatively affect your teams and your customers. It makes sense. After all, why would you want to work for or patronize a company that doesn’t put people first?  

According to Gallup, employees who feel strongly connected to their company’s culture are 2.7 times as likely to strongly agree they feel responsibility for the quality of products or services and 4.9 times as likely to strongly agree they have the speed and agility to meet customer and marketplace change. Clearly, happy employees make better businesses.

Company Culture Matters

Company culture was often overlooked in the past, but nowadays, it plays a crucial role in deciding to join a company, whether you’re considering a job, as a customer, or even as a potential franchise owner. Gen Z and millennials are driving the move toward cultural awareness. They don’t want to spend their precious time working toward something they don’t believe in. According to the Pew Research Center, these generations value work-life balance, inclusion, empowerment and diversity. They also happen to be the future of franchising. If company culture is lacking and/or negative, this entrepreneurial generation will look elsewhere for franchise opportunities or employment.

How to Foster a Great Company Culture

So how do you foster a great company culture? Forbes advises investing in people by prioritizing employee satisfaction, customer service, and building a quality brand reputation.

We asked leading franchisors to weigh in, and they had similar suggestions. They all believe a positive culture is essential in any franchise organization. It can help retain employees, attract great franchisees, keep customers happy, and boost sales. A bad culture, on the other hand, can wreak havoc. Here’s what they have to say:

Cameron Wears, O2E Brands

Cameron Wears, O2E Brands

“Culture is certainly top of mind for most organizations these days, especially given the rapidly changing working environment. A strong corporate culture is much more than hosting a fun holiday party or recognizing employee achievements. It’s about true alignment of values. What do you stand for? What does exceptional look like? How do you communicate these values to every new person who joins the organization? And, most importantly, how do these values shape who you hire?”  

Ron Bender, Threshold Brands                    

Rob Bender, Threshold Brands

“The home services industry is so competitive and customer-experience focused that franchisee community culture is even more critical than in most industries, and corporate culture must set the pace for that. Cornerstones of this culture are a positive attitude, responsiveness (answer the phone!), a heightened sense of urgency (their home is SO IMPORTANT to the client) and ‘keep having fun!’ on all levels. This increases loyalty, retention and referrals in both customers and team members, and what could be more critical in today’s economy?”            

Paula Pizarro, PrideStaff                              

Paula Pizaro, PrideStaff

“PrideStaff embraced the importance of culture many years ago when we came together with our franchisees and mutually decided that instead of referring to each other as franchisee and franchisor, we are “strategic partners.” This commitment drives how we do business, how we treat one another, our clients, and the associates that we place on jobs, as we live our mission statement, to “Consistently provide client experiences based on what they value most.” 

Alberto Ortiz, ATAX

Alberto Ortiz, ATAX

“Culture in franchising is the beating heart that fuels success and drives unity. At ATAX franchise, it means fostering a supportive community where every franchisee thrives, a shared commitment to being fanatical about growth, and a passion for empowering others to reach their full potential. Together, we create a vibrant tapestry of growth, integrity, and unwavering dedication to creating fanatical fans in the tax industry.”       

Jesse Johnstone, Fibrenew                       

Jesse Johnstone, Fibrenew

“We are so proud of our unique culture at Fibrenew – a culture that fosters an entrepreneurial spirit among its franchise owners, encouraging collaboration, environmental consciousness, and a family-oriented culture.”  

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 25 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. As the editorial director of IFPG, she serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill helps franchisors spread the word about their brands and reports on the latest franchise news and trends. A skilled storyteller, Jill communicates franchisor’s messages through feature articles and franchisee interviews.

Jill is an accomplished writer, editor and graphic designer. Her extensive experience includes key roles with major consumer publications, including Boating, Popular Photography, and Design NJ magazines. As founding editor-in-chief of Franchise Dictionary magazine, Jill developed her passion and fascination for franchising which continues to grow in her role at IFPG.
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