spotlight

Dr. Larry Senn, founder and chairman of culture-shaping firm Senn Delaney, a Heidrick & Struggles company, will provide a presentation, Winning Cultures and Exceptional Customer Experience, followed by a ‘fireside chat' with Arby's new CEO Paul Brown on revitalizing a strong culture at the Global Retail Marketing Association (GRMA) 9th Annual Executive Leadership Forum May 15-17 in St. Pete Beach, Fl.

Enjoy the latest insights, videos and articles from Senn Delaney leaders on why culture matters in our latest newsletter, including a new video with Children's Hospital Los Angeles CEO Rich Cordova on leading culture change at the pediatric academic medical center.

Jim Hart, president and CEO of Senn Delaney, a Heidrick & Struggles company, recently hosted a roundtable for chief executive officers at Chief Executive Group's CEO2CEO Leadership Summit at the New York Stock Exchange to examine key elements of business leadership and performance-driven power of purpose. Read the article that appears in the current issue of Chief Executive Magazine where CEOs who attended the roundtable, shared their insights, progress and challenges. Read the full article.

Dustin Seale, Senn Delaney partner and managing director, EMEA, and Ian Johnston, senior vice president, explore the challenges leaders in manufacturing organizations face and examine the kind of culture and mindset needed for manufacturing companies to enable process improvement and enhance spirit, performance and competitiveness in this new thought paper.

execute strategy

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