"Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch"

A couple of weeks ago I saw an amazing presentation by the CIO of Caterpillar, who keynoted at IBM’s Impact event. His presentation was riveting because you could see glimpses into the company’s manufacturing-focused, earth moving/engineering, “git ’er done” culture.

He also talked about business and IT transformation, and the depth of Caterpillar’s partnership with IBM. When he finished, I thought, wow, customers like that are worth their weight in gold.

But the most striking thing I heard is that one Caterpillar exec has a framed copy of this sign in his office: Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch.

Wow! This truism grabbed my attention because Claire Schooley and I have just completed a signature research report on business change management, titled “Effective Business Change Management Requires More Than A Wait-And-See Attitude,” to be published next month. We will also present this topic at Forrester’s IT Forum 2011. The full title of our presentation is “Cut Through The BS To Tackle Change Management For Customer-Centric BPM,” and we are currently planning a business change management keynote panel for Forrester’s Business Process Forum 2011 in Boston on September 22 and 23. I guess this means we are really taking business change management seriously!

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