"Corporate culture determines if your strategies, initiatives and mergers will succeed or fail. All organizations have cultures. The only question is, does it shape you or do you shape it?"

meet Larry

Larry E. Senn


Dr. Larry Senn is a pioneer in the field of corporate culture. He founded Senn Delaney (originally called Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group) as a culture-shaping firm in 1978. It was a spinoff of Senn Delaney Management Consultants, a business process consulting firm. The challenge of implementing change in organizations led to Larry's interest in the power of the personality or habits of organizations to support or defeat initiatives. His vision from the beginning was to create a transformational process to assist CEOs and their own change leaders in creating healthy, high-performing cultures. Today, Senn Delaney is the oldest, most experienced organizational culture-shaping firm in the world.

Watch video: Larry discusses his passion for helping people be at their best


Larry's 1970 doctoral dissertation, Organizational Character as a Tool in the Analysis of Business Organizations, played a key role in Larry's journey. It was the first field study of corporate culture in America. Based on his principal finding that “organizations become shadows of their leaders,” Larry created Senn Delaney - the culture-shaping firm - to work with CEO teams and organizations from top to bottom to create the behaviors needed to support strategies and enhance business results.

Larry's vision and leadership for more than 30 years has helped Senn Delaney become an international firm that is widely recognized as the leading authority and practitioner in the field of culture shaping. Based on his early work, Larry was recently named “The father of corporate culture” by CEO Forum magazine.

In addition to his role as chairman, Larry actively works with clients on culture-shaping initiatives. He also guides Senn Delaney's product development team to continually improve offerings and services to enhance all aspects of the Senn Delaney culture-shaping methodology.

Larry has led culture-shaping engagements for the leaders of numerous organizations, including dozens of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, state governors, members of two U.S. president's cabinets, deans of business schools and the presidents of major universities. He has extensive experience working with top leaders in a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, retailing, insurance, financial services, consumer products, energy and health care. Larry is an accomplished consultant, business advisor, group facilitator, author and CEO coach.

Prior to founding Senn Delaney, Larry ran his own retail business in college, was a senior engineer in the aerospace industry and a faculty member at University of Southern California and University of California Los Angeles where he taught leadership. He was also an assistant coach of UCLA's championship gymnastics team.

Larry was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year in Southern California. He and his wife Bernadette are active joggers and fitness enthusiasts and Larry is a triathlete. They have five children, three grown, one in the business school at USC and one still at home. Born and raised in the midwest, he now resides in Sunset Beach, California.


University of California, Los Angeles | Bachelor of Science, Engineering | Master of Business Administration, Management

University of Southern California | Doctorate in Management, Organizational Behavior 

Thought Leadership: Presentations, speaking engagements

As one of the world’s foremost experts on culture transformation, Dr. Larry Senn is often invited to give keynote presentations and lead panel discussions and roundtables on culture to CEOs and other C-level executives.


He is a member of the faculty of CultureUniversity.com and provides regular articles for the site on his insights from the field.


Larry’s presentations are engaging, thought provoking and geared to the top leaders in companies. His talks focus is on why culture matters, culture as a key competitive advantage, cultural agility, and culture and the role that purpose can play in organizational success. Often, he co-presents with a client leader to provide a compelling case study on culture transformation in action.


Recent presentations:


The Power of Purpose: The Center for Higher Ambition Leadership at Harvard University


Pentair Global Leadership Meeting


Conference Board Council on Corporate Communications Strategy annual meeting


Northern Trust Management Association 2014 Trust & Wealth Executive Seminar presentation Leveraging Culture: Defining Corporate Values


2014 Global Retail Marketing Association Executive Leadership Forum: Winning Cultures and Exceptional Customer Experience



Up the Mood Elevator – Living Life At Your Best: 2013

Winning Teams – Winning Cultures: 2nd edition 2010

The Human Operating System – An Owners Manual, 5th edition: 2010

The Secret of a Winning Culture: 1999

In The Eye of the Storm – Reengineering Corporate Culture: 1996

21st Century Leadership – Dialogues with 100 Top Leaders: 1993

Thought papers and articles

Why Culture Matters: Lessons From An EEI Panel Discussion Of Energy Executives

Creating a One-Company Culture For Greater Success

CEOs Should Focus On Three Key Areas To Create A Customer-Centric Culture

The Team At The Top: Is It Really A Team?

Cultural Clash In Mergers And Acquisitions

The Last Frontier: Maximizing Organizational Synergies

Now Is The Time For Leaders To Check The Shadows They Cast

The CEO's Most Important Job: Aligning Strategy, Structure And Culture

The CEO as Chief Culture Officer

Lessons from a Thriving CEO

4 Keys To Successfully Leading And Sustaining Culture Transformation


The first principle of successful culture shaping – The Shadow of the Leader


There’s no ‘butts’ about it, purpose-driven companies have much to teach the world


The four reasons culture initiatives fail


Cultural transformation only comes with personal transformation


Creating an agile culture to help companies succeed during a turnaround

Why Senn Delaney is THE culture-shaping firm

Yum! Brands CEO David Novak shares insights on creating an iconic recognition culture that drives global performance and growth; Larry Senn shares insights on Novak's leadership

Senn Delaney's 35-year history of exclusive focus on shaping cultures

The Mood Elevator: How to live life at your best

Avoiding culture clash in mergers and acquisitions

Four keys to successfully shift a culture

Larry Senn discusses his passion for helping people be at their best

Culture Drives Performance Image