In business, growth rarely trends up in a neat straight line.

Like everything in life, be that relationships, health or career, there are purple patches and downturns; periods of strength, stagnation and decline.

To stay on track or get back on track, businesses may need to hit the reset button from time-to-time and invest in capability and capacity.

Often it takes time for the impact of that investment to be seen and move the bottom line.

Other times, the benefits are never realised.

This is usually due to cultural problems.

A good corporate culture has the ability to boost productivity, innovation and performance but a bad culture can derail even the most sound, well thought-out plans.

Hence the popular management slogan, culture eats strategy for breakfast.

Identifying and addressing deficiencies in a business’ capability and capacity are relatively easy.

Cultural issues are much harder to pinpoint, although the symptoms are usually obvious including poor office discipline, disengaged employees and prolonged underperformance.

For CEOs and Boards, addressing poor cultural health is difficult for opposing reasons.

CEOs and senior leaders are too close to the problems and largely responsible for setting corporate culture, therefore, often complicit or blind to issues.

On the other hand, Boards are not intimately involved in day-to-day operations.

They are responsible for a company’s strategic direction and governance, and oversee financial performance, but they rely heavily on CEOs for information. A Board’s ability to hire and fire CEOs almost guarantees they don’t get the full picture, if there are internal issues.