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Read our new issue of At Your Best newsletter featuring our latest case studies from The Corporate Lab, a leadership podcast on divesity ad inclusion, and leadership lessons from Shakepeare's plays.

How to change hearts and minds: Examining four key protagonists of Shakespeare's plays can yield timeless insights about how to manage culture change in an organization.

Listen to the 7th episode of The Heidrick & Struggles Leadership Podcast - “Beyond diversity to inclusion” – an interview with David Casey, vice president of workforce strategies and chief diversity officer at CVS Health.

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Align senior team

aligning the executive team is a critical first step

Leading the culture is as important as leading the strategy and structure


Culture shaping is a leader-led process. Research shows that starting at the top is critical because organizations tend to become Shadows of their Leaders. A deliberate process to create a mutually supportive, high-performance team at the top may be an obvious priority when a new CEO comes into an organization, when the executive leadership of two merging companies are brought together or during an executive-level restructuring. But the need for alignment may not be as clear in other situations even though even minor dysfunctions at the top may be obvious to the organization and mirrored down below.

 

Because leading the culture from the top is so important, we have developed special expertise in working with CEOs and their senior teams to help take them to a higher level of performance and effectiveness. We have done this with CEOs and senior teams of nearly 100 Fortune 500 companies and dozens of teams at the top of Global 1000 companies.

 

Most senior teams have highly qualified and successful individual contributors but many are not as effective as a team as they could be.

 

In our most successful culture-shaping engagements, CEOs and their senior teams

  • understand the connection between culture, strategy and business success
  • role model the healthy, high-performance behaviors they want in their organization
  • learn what it takes to shape a culture, and their role in it
  • are seen by the organization as aligned on decisions and mutually supportive
  • make decisions for the greater good not in self interest

This creates the foundation for the work needed under the senior team to create a healthy, high-performance culture from top to bottom. (See Engage full organization)

Culture Drives Performance Image