It's no secret we focus as much on culture as strategy when working with customers. The reason is quite simply that if you don't factor in the type of business culture you deal with, you have zero chance to deploy an innovation strategy that will take hold within the company and deliver the expected results. Said differently, whenever you have the choice between a sub-par strategy that perfectly fits a company's culture and an optimal strategy that would radically challenge the current company's culture, always go with the former.
Am I implying that changing a company's culture is too hard? You bet. It's doable, mind you, but it requires specific efforts and four to five years to get there. If you have to turn around your strategy to adapt to a sudden shift in the market (or create one), you won't have time. Change your culture or change your strategy–pick one.
Last November, I already unveiled a few elements on how to leverage different business cultures.
This July, I'll run a keynote session on this very subject for the startups of a French venture fund. Let me share a few new and very practical key points about how innovation strategy and business culture mix: