Leadership: Culture Blinds Great Opportunities | #Innovation

Culture doesn’t just eat strategy for breakfast, culture blinds you and your teams to great opportunities. Culture, as a synthesis of norms, beliefs, and customs, stops you from seeing ideas that are outside of or in contradiction to that culture. Can conscious choice overcome that blindness?



Culture Blinds: Image is a tunnel with sides blinded.

Culture Blinds Great Opportunities. Image by Jon Aslund via Flickr.

Image by Jon Aslund via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Culture Blinds You to Great Opportunities

Culture blinds you to great opportunities because you see through only the one cultural lens. <

Recent Example

PepsiCo, parent company to Frito-Lay, announced they might make “Lady Doritos” chips that wouldn’t crunch or leave a stain on your fingers. The outcry from women was strong. Some sat on the Capitol steps and crunched chips in protest. Women railed against the idea that they must live an old stereotype and that a major marketing campaign would reinforce that ridiculous bias.

In the case of PepsiCo, they started with a cultural female stereotype and then created an idea. That’s a trap. That’s why culture blinds. Had they taken a step away from that skew, they could have seen a possible opportunity and a humorous marketing campaign.

Think Broadly & Have Fun Otherwise Culture Blinds

How about calling them Quiet Doritos instead of Lady Doritos? The marketing possibilities are limitless! Eat them at the movies without others sushing you. Chomp them in secret and have more for yourself! Kids would go wild for these secret moments. I can see the TV and online ads right now. In fact if the quiet Doritos are as delish as the current ones, PepsiCo could create and corner the quiet chip market.

Marketing, even in niche markets, is supposed to drive maximum sales. Culture blinds and blocks you from this ultimate goal unless you consciously choose to challenge yourselves.

Ask yourselves:

  • Who or what are we excluding?

  • What great ideas are hiding within our idea?

  • What are we assuming?

  • How can we prove our assumptions wrong?

  • What cultural norms are we following & why do we like them?



The last bullet point uncovers why culture blinds you. Even in business, you and your teams perpetuate cultural norms for personal reasons. Bring those reasons into the light of day. They lose their power to blind you and you innovate with conscious choice.



How have you overcome cultural blindness for success in business?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

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©2018 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


Stay tuned for my upcoming book Leading Morale! For advance notice on its publication, please leave a comment in the field below.

2 Responses to “Leadership: Culture Blinds Great Opportunities | #Innovation”

  1. Farrukh says:

    Great to know about your new book. Waiting with high morale.

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