Culture Drives Performance

Times have changed. When we first began working on culture with clients decades ago, we spent a lot of time educating skeptical leaders about what culture is, how it affects the organization for better or worse and how it can be shaped to improve spirit and performance. There has been a significant evolution. The soft stuff has become the hard stuff. CEOs know that culture has a big impact in enabling business strategy to succeed. Some even say that it is not just a differentiator, but THE differentiator.

Why Culture Matters

The impact of culture on performance can be measured and is significant. Many global studies have proven the culture and performance link. Harvard business professors John Kotter and John Heskett wrote the book on culture and performance. They found that firms with a strong culture built on a foundation of shared values outperformed other firms by a large margin on several key indicators, including revenue growth, employment growth, stock price growth, and jobs growth.

A vision of what‘s possible

When you walk into an organization with a healthy culture, you feel the difference - in the way people work and what they achieve together. But the proof is in the results. Here are a few examples of the business results our clients have experienced after shaping their culture.

Client Successes: the payoff can be substantial

Here are just a few statistics to consider: Why culture should be a top priority

A Human Capital Trends 2016 survey
found 82% of survey respondents
believe that culture is a potential
competitive advantage.

A 2015 culture survey of global C-level leaders
found that driving culture change ranks among
the top three global leadership development
priorities of C-level leaders.

Among the benefits of a high-performance culture

  • better execution of strategies
  • added operational efficiency and excellence
  • more successful mergers and acquisitions
  • more satisfied customers
  • more engaged employees
  • ability to attract the best talent

Results matter: A few words from our clients

Gary Shorb, CEO,
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
“We have seen improvement on every front. We are now in the top five percent in the nation on associate satisfaction. In clinical quality, almost every one of our quality scores is in the top quartile. We have gone from a BBB bond rating to a A+ bond rating with Standard & Poors and Moody‘s. Our customer satisfaction - our patient satisfaction scores - also are achieving top quartile.”
Basil Sarsella, CEO,
UK Power Networks
“The best thing we have seen is a significant improvement in performance in just about every area. Engagement from the employees between 2011 and 2012 for example has improved by something like 25 percent. The reliability of the network has improved by 40 percent. Safety has improved. Ultimately, getting judged to be Utility of the Year, I think is a reflection of everything we‘ve done, and importantly the commitment that the management team and the employees have put in.”
Tom Voss, former CEO,
“If you look at the way our culture is today, it‘s significantly different than it was six or seven years ago. It‘s been a real turnaround financially. In fact, our financial performance is probably the best it‘s ever been compared to our peers, probably at least in the last 20 years. Embracing those concepts and seeing my team aligned and working together for one set of results and having a will to win, of succeeding and not just settling for good enough, but always going for excellence, has been terrific and very rewarding.”
Thomas E. Skains, Chairman, President and CEO,
Piedmont Natural Gas
‘We have increased by 100% the value of our market capitalization, the total value of the equity investors in our company, and we‘ve delivered total shareholder returns over that nine-year period of 161% compared to 147% for the median of our peer group and about 69% for the S&P 500. You can‘t get those kinds of financial results without the teammates across the company pulling together in a healthy way that‘s focused on high performance.’

Learn more about why culture shift is needed and how culture should align with business strategy.