Therese Van Ryne and Jeff Schmitz from Zebra
By Therese Van Ryne | May 22, 2024

Ask the Expert: “Can a Good Company Culture Improve My Bottom Line, As Some People Claim?”

And what does a “good” company culture look like, anyway? 

You may have heard that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” But does it? 

I mean, there are plenty of multi-billion-dollar companies out there that don’t prioritize culture, and they seem to be doing okay. So, you may be wondering, “Do I really need to make the extra effort, or spend money, to try to improve my company’s culture?”

If you ask Zebra’s Chief People Officer, Jeff Schmitz, he’s going to give you a resounding, “Yes!” We recently had a 20-minute discussion about this very topic on the Your Edge podcast, and he laid out some very compelling arguments as to why culture does indeed impact business outcomes:

Personally, I think that the reason too few companies prioritize culture – and the ones that do really stand out – is because there’s a common misunderstanding about what “company culture” means. It’s not just the perks of the job…the flexible work arrangements or morale-building activities. 

“Culture” is simply an easy way of summing up how you get things done and treat your fellow employees, partners, customers and other stakeholders.   

Once you think of it that way, then I believe it’s clear why it’s so important to define your company culture and work to improve it as needed. Jeff did an excellent job of explaining:

  • How you can change your company culture (sharing what’s worked well at Zebra to give credibility to his suggestions). 

  • How you can determine what a “good” company culture might look like for you.

  • What happens when the way people must work and the way they want to work don’t quite jive.  

  • The one thing that makes people more receptive to changes within your organization. 

  • What happens when you prioritize culture as much as productivity targets. 

  • Just how much an organization’s culture impacts its success.

  • Why and how Zebra is working to strengthen its culture.  

  • How our new purpose statement and values are going to influence the way we work as a company and with our customers and partners – and why you may want to re-evaluate your purpose and values if they’ve been the same for a few years.

  • What you need to do to create a culture that attracts and retains top talent.

Tune in now or download to listen later: 

Does Culture Really Eat Strategy for Breakfast?

You can also read the transcript here.


More Insights from Jeff on this Topic:

How To Reinvigorate Company Culture Through Purpose and Values (

Podcast, Podcast, Inside Zebra Nation, New Ways of Working,
Therese Van Ryne
Therese Van Ryne

Therese Van Ryne is Senior Director of External Communications for Zebra Technologies. She joined Zebra as part of the acquisition of Motorola Solutions Enterprise business in October 2014. She and her team are laser focused on growing the company’s brand awareness globally aligned with business objectives. Her accomplishments include leading Zebra events with Harvard University and TED as well as the creation of the annual Intelligent Enterprise Index, resulting in positive media coverage, customer engagement and revenue growth.

Prior to Motorola Solutions, Van Ryne worked at SC Johnson where she led corporate communication strategies and drove PR and branding efforts for leading consumer products. One of her top achievements was leading the Windex® placement in the film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” resulting in a 25% sales increase for the brand.

One of PR News’ 2019 Top Women in PR and Crain's Chicago's 2021 Most Notable Executives in Marketing, Therese also has experience as a journalist, editor and producer, reporting nightly from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Van Ryne holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from Marquette University and an Executive Leadership Master’s Certificate from Cornell University.

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