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Book Review - Fish Can't See Water: National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy, by Kai Hammerich and Richard D. Lewis

August 21, 2018

 

The title says it all. The realization that many of us live in both a national and a corporate culture often escapes us. In other words, we can’t see the forest for the trees.

 

Unfortunately, most of the leading corporate strategy books continue to ignore the role of culture in a company’s decisions and in its fate.  National and corporate cultures can both make and break companies.  And, the same culture that made a company a roaring success may well destroy it as it approaches maturity and its priorities and organizational needs evolve. 

 

According to Wilbert J.M. Buiter, former Chief HR Officer at Philips Communications, NCR and ING Group, “This great book is an invaluable resource and a superb toolkit for all Executives and HR professionals leading or supervising international businesses and teams.” He goes on to say that, “Culture matters more than ever and is a unique source of sustainable competitive differentiation. The book is a maverick piece of work from Hammerich and Lewis with absolute word-class insights.”

 

The book is easy to read and has eye-opening insights based on the most famous companies in the world. The authors provide a new conceptual framework with vital tools for analyzing corporate culture and diagnosing the dynamics that drive the success and failure of global companies.

 

Let’s remember this very accurate quote attributed to Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” 

 

Fish Can’t See Water has been recommended by The Economist, Financial Times and Forbes, and has been awarded Business Book of the Year in several countries.

 

 

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