Culture might eat strategy, but UX eats culture


Whether or not Peter Drucker actually said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” as is widely attested, it’s regularly proven to be true. Often, a company’s months-in-the-making strategy for boosting productivity is quietly shelved after a few weeks because it just isn’t working out. Those best laid plans might make complete sense, but when subjected to a dysfunctional corporate culture that wasn’t prepared for new processes, procedures and policies, they simply wither away like a plant without water.

Today, another factor even more powerful than a dysfunctional culture can derail those plans. When it comes to boosting output, the value of a positive user experience outweighs both culture and strategy.  Poor experience is one of the quickest ways to move from employees to ex-employees, and from fans to ex-customers.  Culture might eat strategy, but user experience eats culture.

Whether you use Net Promoter Score, which is used to gauge the loyalty of client relationships, or employee satisfaction surveys, an enjoyable experience is one of the biggest factors in employee or customer sentiment. Get it right, and the results will be tangible.

Consider apps released by companies you patronize. A positive user experience increases customer loyalty by delivering more value and convenience and raising the cost of change. A poor user experience will send you looking for alternatives for that product or service.

Productivity can also be profoundly influenced by the degree to which the user experience aligns with expectation. When organizations extend the life of assets like computers and phones beyond their useful lifespan, employees are stuck using ancient devices running old, vulnerable operating systems.

Digital leaders make continuing investments in technology with modern capabilities and applications and a user-centric experience. That gives digital leaders a crucial advantage in areas like recruiting and employee retention. Morale is higher in organizations that deliver a better user experience because employees are free to focus more on outcomes than overcoming the limitations of the devices they’re obliged to use.

A positive user experience is a sign that a company wants to offer a positive work environment which, in turn, fosters a more positive culture. And that improves the chances that new productivity-boosting strategies will be readily accepted rather than D.O.A.

Marc WilkinsonMarc Wilkinson was DXC Technology’s chief technology officer for Workplace & Mobility. He left DXC in October 2019.

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