spotlight

Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn shares a simple, yet powerful concept to increase personal effectiveness. His article is part of the series, Leading Disruptive and Innovative Culture Change, with some of the top thinkers on culture change.

Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn is among the experts presenting at the 1st Annual Ultimate Culture Conference September 29 in Chicago. The conference will feature a series of engaging keynotes and TED-inspired talks from top thought leaders in organizational culture and change. Learn more about the conference or register.

The world is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. What does that mean for leaders? In this McKinsey interview, Heidrick & Struggles CEO Tracy Wolstencroft explains the importance of authentic leadership, listening, and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

How did reshaping the culture at an 8-hospital healthcare system help overcome many challenges and contribute to greatly improved financial performance, clinical quality, patient satisfaction and employee engagement? Several leaders, including the CEO, President/COO, senior vice president of human resources and children's hospital CEO share their insights in these video interviews.

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business results and culture are closely linked


Culture plays one of the biggest roles in the success or failure of all strategies and initiatives and in financial performance.

 

A dysfunctional culture is why most major system implementations are behind schedule, over budget and fall short of expectations. It is why new organizational structures don't fully deliver on the promise. It's why new CEOs often fail, and why safety and quality issues persist. It's why companies that don't have service cultures struggle to support growth.

 

The Jaws of Culture
 

Early on, we coined a phrase to describe this phenomenon. We called it the “Jaws of Culture.” All organizations, no matter how successful, have historic habits. While well intentioned, some of those habits get in the way, especially when strategy or operational structure changes or when stretch goals are needed. We call these cultural barriers the “Jaws of Culture.”

 

Dysfunctional organizational habits act like jaws in the culture that can chew up your strategies and initiatives. Some common examples:
 

  • Turf issues, trust issues or silos get in the way when changes require collaboration across the enterprise.
  • Passive-aggressive resistance shows up when major changes need to be implemented quickly.
  • People blame others or make excuses when results aren't where they should be.

 

Strategy, structure and culture
 

We also noted that cultural traits often got in the way when organizations wanted to implement a new strategy or change the structure, such as from a holding company to more of a shared business model. When the strategy of an organization changes, the culture is usually a step or two behind. This lag is like an anchor on a boat and slows progress.  

 

The Senn Delaney process removes the jaws eliminates the lag and creates the right behaviors to best support your business initiatives.

 

Watch video with Senn Delaney Partner and EVp Bill Parsons discussing why strategy, structure and culture must align