Culture versus Strategy: Which Is Which and Why Does It Matter?

2020 Annual Conference & Exposition

Many believe that a change in strategy is a change in culture. Using the word “culture,” interchangeably with “strategy,” has created confusion about how you differentiate the two: strategy and culture. Since corporate culture is the foundation for the employee experience (EX) and, in turn, employee engagement (EE), the need to correctly identify what culture is and what is strategy. You can find articles and books that say they have identified the definitive characteristics of a robust, meaningful culture. They also say or imply that their definition is the real foundation for a “good culture.” Can there be a simple formula for defining a universally “good corporate culture”? This session provides a perspective on the answer to why a great place to work for one person might not be an excellent place for a second person. This session draws on different corporate cases to exemplify the point that culture is not an allusive or aspirational ideal but a tangible reality, a reality that will impact retention, discretionary effort and productivity.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 11:40am to 11:58am

David S. Cohen

David S.

Dr. David S Cohen, Ed. D. has a vision: organizations that thrive by living their values in good times and especially VUCA times. David's first career was in elementary and high school education, where he built a reputation for building school communities based on purpose and social responsibility. Thirty-three years ago, David transitioned to corporate consulting. As a consultant, David earned a reputation as a contrarian consultant because he does not always follow what is popular in his chosen field. David works with

leaders helping them understand what is and what is not necessary to build an active and positive organization. He helps leaders' step into life's challenges, inspiring them to create a sustained approach through a values-based focus, resulting in better business results. David has had the privilege of partnering with firms across five continents and all business sectors. Additionally, he has worked with governments, from the local to the federal levels, and not-for-profits.

He has taught at Queens University School of Labour Relations and the executive education program at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Currently, he teaches organizational development at Durham College. David earned his doctorate from Boston University in Humanistic and Behavioural Studies. During that time, he also completed independent studies at the Harvard School of Education, where he was a teaching assistant.

David is a keynote speaker, educator, disruptor, facilitator, team builder, and executive coach. He has authored two books and numerous articles in professional journals.

  • The Talent Edge: A Behavioral Approach to Hiring, Developing, and Keeping Top Performers (John Wiley and Sons, August 2001)
  • Inside the Box: Leading With Corporate Values to Drive Sustained Business Success (Jossey-Bass September 2006)

When David is not travelling, he is hanging out with his five grandchildren, when possible, attending Toronto Raptor's games, or relaxing with family and friends.

Session Type: 
Smart Stage
Global & Cultural Effectiveness
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