Chatham House Roundtable: Culture over strategy in the British army

In conversation with General Sir Patrick Sanders.

Research event, Roundtable
20 June 2023 — 8:45AM TO 10:30AM
Chatham House

Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In other words, regardless of the strategy, if it is not supported by an appropriate culture, it will be ineffective.  

Despite technological innovations and investment in advanced equipment, the British army’s most valuable capability remains its people. How serving personnel are treated and how they treat each other can determine how they respond to pressure and challenges of the day.

Fostering a culture that translates into effective operational behaviour has key strategic implications. As the security architecture of Europe changes and new security threats emerge, does the British army have the culture it needs to meet these challenges?

At this roundtable, General Sir Patrick Sanders provides remarks on the connections that link organizational culture to strategy including what this means for the army’s operational success and capability to meet emerging challenges and how cultural change will have strategic implications in the next decade.   

The discussion aims to tackle some of the following questions: 

  • Does the current culture within the British army optimize performance?  
  • Why does organizational culture deteriorate and how can this be prevented?  
  • How to nurture the links between culture and operational success?  
  • What is the impact of culture on the British army’s operating concept?  
  • What are the emerging strategic challenges and is the army prepared to face them?  
  • What changes does the army need to make to meet the new strategic challenges?

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