It doesn’t matter how good your strategy is. If you don’t have good culture, you’re screwed.

Strategy meets culture: why your business needs both.

A well-thought-out strategy is crucial in the competitive landscape of accounting and financial planning. However, it's important to remember that your strategy is only as good as those executing it. And those people are only as good as the culture that nurtures them. Here's why. 


The Importance of Culture 

Culture isn't just a buzzword; it's your organisation's unseen yet always present backbone. It sets the tone for everything - how your team collaborates, communicates, and commits to your collective goals. Let's look at some data. 


Quantifying Culture's Impact

  • Mental Health and Productivity: Workplace culture is critical to mental health and productivity. Beyond Blue reports that adequate mental health strategies in the workplace can deliver an average return of $2.30 for every dollar spent. This is not only a measure of improved employee wellbeing but also a boost to the company's financial health. With over $10 billion lost annually to mental health issues in Australian businesses, the message is clear: a positive culture isn't just a moral imperative; it's a financial one. 
  • Retention: According to a study by the Australian HR Institute, 23% of Australians leave their job due to poor organisational culture. High turnover doesn't just incur recruitment costs; it also drains the intellectual capital crucial for executing your strategy. 
  • Financial Performance: In a survey by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, 60% of directors indicated that their board focuses on culture to drive financial performance and ensure long-term sustainability. 


A Real-world Example 

Imagine a mid-sized accounting firm meticulously crafted a strategy aimed at revenue and EBIT growth. On paper, the plan promises high ROI and a secure path to an increase in higher paying, more ideal clients. However, for some time, a lack of top-down communication has negatively impacted the firm's internal culture, having detrimental effects: 

  • Low Morale: Employees feel unappreciated, frustrated, and confused about their roles and responsibilities. Clear communication is necessary to maintain trust and respect for leadership, affecting overall motivation and engagement. 
  • Missed Performance Goals: Due to the communication gap, employees are not fully aware of the expectations and objectives of their work. They miss important feedback or guidance from their leaders, hindering performance and productivity. 


The Intangibles: Trust and Collaboration 

Numbers aside, culture also affects the less quantifiable aspects of your organisation, like trust and collaboration. In a Deloitte survey, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is essential to business success. Furthermore, organisations with a high trust level experience 2.5x the level of innovation compared to companies where trust is lacking.

By fostering a culture that encourages teamwork, open communication, and shared values, you're not just making your workplace a more pleasant environment but actively contributing to its success and driving your strategy forward. 


Attracting the Right Talent

In today's competitive job market, having a strong culture isn't just a perk—it's a necessity. Talented individuals are drawn to organisations where they feel they can grow professionally and personally. A robust culture becomes a magnet for such talent, making your staffing efforts significantly more effective. 


Employee Value Proposition 

Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) naturally strengthens when you offer a healthy workplace culture. Your EVP makes your firm attractive to potential employees, encompassing everything from compensation and non-monetary benefits to professional development opportunities. A positive culture amplifies all these elements, making your firm a desirable workplace. 


Retention: The Long-term Benefit 

But attracting talent is only half the battle. Retaining them is the other, and that's where a strong culture shines. Employees are far more likely to stay with a company where they feel valued, understood, and aligned with its mission. This reduces turnover costs and contributes to a more experienced and cohesive team, which is invaluable for executing any strategy. 


The Slipstream Approach to Balancing Strategy and Culture 

At Slipstream Group, we embrace a hybrid coaching model that addresses your strategic goals and your firm's culture. We help you identify key team issues and align them with your strategic objectives, providing actionable steps and a wealth of supporting content. 


Key Takeaways 

  1. Culture Isn't Secondary: It's a 'must-have' for attracting and retaining talent. 
  1. Alignment is Crucial: Your strategy and culture should sync to achieve optimal results. 
  1. Actionable Steps: Identifying cultural problems is the first step; taking action to solve them is the next. 


Strategy and culture are two sides of the same coin, and both are essential for the long-term success of your firm. If you’re interested in getting Slipstream to support you on your journey, book a 15-minute call below.

Take your business to the next level

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, book a 15-minute chat or a complimentary 90-minute business review with one of our consultants.

Nina Forbes, Business Coach

With over 30 years of invaluable industry experience, including successfully establishing her own financial services business, Strategic Outsource Solutions (SOS) and a prior role as Head of Financial Planning for Crowe Horwath Qld, Nina brings a wealth of expertise to the Slipstream Group team. 

Are you ready to plan for your best?

Over two days of hands-on coaching with our expert team, you’ll walk away with an airtight business plan that will guide and motivate you to achieve more than you thought possible in your business and personal life.

Melbourne: 30 - 31 May

Brisbane: 6 - 7 June