© 2017 Chris Joyner Advising, LLC

The late business guru Peter Drucker used to say: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That does not mean strategy is unimportant. What it does mean is that alignment around an average strategy is more profitable than misalignment “around" a perfect strategy.


The word “culture” is a buzzword in business today. Most executives would have a difficult time recalling the number of times they’ve been pitched the idea that they must work on their company culture in order to be successful. There is a plethora of available resources on the topic, from books and training documents to high-dollar consulting services. With all of the available resources, why do leaders still struggle to foster and grow a healthy culture?  Culture is a lot like trust—the more one focuses directly on it, the more elusive it becomes.


At Chris Joyner Advising, we believe culture is the result of functioning. How we navigate conflict, create clarity, make decisions and hold each other accountable is really what creates and sustains the culture—whether healthy or not. Culture is an outcome. If an organization functions in a healthy manner, they will build a thriving culture. If they do not, the culture will suffer. Just as there is no magic pill or silver bullet to build trust, there isn't one to create good culture. Healthy functioning is not flashy. It takes daily, intentional, and hard work.


So what is the key to creating high functioning teams and thriving culture? Alignment. The goal of executive advising is to help a leader align internally first, so he or she can then successfully promote and create alignment throughout the organization. Organizations that are aligned around their shared DNA, rules of engagement, values and purpose are strikingly more productive than those that aren't. When we use the term "values", most people think of the words stenciled on the office wall. You know: integrity, excellence, honesty, reliability, innovation…you get the point. Those are espoused values or, perhaps even, aspired values, but they are not always core values.


When a company lives aligned with its core values employees and customers notice. To be clear: your organization's culture is shaped by the way you function and live out your core values and mission--not by your espoused values.


Drucker's statement is provocative. He was clearly stating that strategy will never be as potent as culture. Our executive advising process is tailored to help leaders create alignment throughout their organization so that a healthy, high-functioning culture will drive and deliver business results. 

Elements of Executive Advising


All advising and consulting is tailored to move the leader and his/her team forward:

  • Half-day offsite with the client develops strategic goals for the ensuing 12-months.

  • Monthly in-person advising helps prepare for presentations and critical conversations. To help process challenges and opportunities in order to better understand and reframe them:

    • Peer to peer / Other Business Units

    • Supervisory and Direct Reports

  • 3 planned workshops for client and his/her team. To include topics such as:

    • Understanding Technical and Adaptive Leadership

    • Conflict Navigation

    • Strengths-Based Leadership

    • Elements of a High Performing Team

    • Value/Principle Articulation

    • Visioning/Strategic Planning

    • Strategies for Healthy Accountability

  • Travel with client to important engagements on the road to observe and provide feedback and strategies for greater effectiveness.

  • Half-day with the client to assess first 6 months, to celebrate wins and creatively address continuing challenges. Time will be spent resetting goals, if necessary, for ensuing 6 months.

Outcomes of Executive Advising


Executive advising results in a wide range of positive outcomes that include:

  • Greater self-awareness and internal alignment

  • Greater alignment within the senior leadership team

  • Becoming transformational leaders who lead with questions that spark creativity within their team members

  • Increased influence regardless of positional authority

  • Ability to reframe challenges for others

  • Frame message/communication that honors shared values and principles

  • Greater ability to help organization navigate the loss that is experienced from change/progress

  • Effective strategies to create a culture of healthy accountability

  • Quick recognition of one's own part in triangulation

  • Clarity on what type of lasting impact the client desires to have on the organization and the people around him/her (legacy conversation)

  • Healthier balance between personal and professional demands

Click here to contact Chris about Executive Advising