spotlight

Senn Delaney President and CEO Jim Hart discusses the importance of cultural agility in a HubCulture interview at World Economic Forum in Davos.

Enjoy our latest at your best newsletter. It features our new CEO view from the top video on leading culture with Belgacom CEO Dominique Leroy. Also in this issue, findings of our new study on organizational mindset, and a new CEO report from a year-long global research partnership between Saïd Business School, Oxford, and Heidrick & Struggles.

How do CEOs develop the skills they need to lead in an ever- changing world? To answer that question, Senn Delaney's parent company, Heidrick & Struggles, partnered with the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford to conduct in-depth interviews with more than 150 CEOs representing a wide range of sectors around the world. Findings are published in The CEO Report, one of the most comprehensive, in-depth studies of CEO leadership capabilities.

The longest-serving CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Les Wexner, CEO of L Brands, was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award by Chief Executive Group. Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn examines the leadership traits that Wexner demonstrates, including passion, growth mindset, a benevolent leadership shadow, humility and a higher purpose of doing good while doing well that have contributed to making him one of the best CEOs of the century. Senn also shares Les's insights on leading, winning together, and shaping the L Brands' culture.

To help you, your team and your organization thrive this year, we are pleased to share the best of our 2014 thought leadership and interviews by CEOs on leading culture transformation. Please do share them with your colleagues. Warmest wishes for 2015!

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questions about culture shaping
What is culture shaping?What is organizational culture?Why does culture matter?What does Jaws of Culture mean?What is insight-based learning?What are some benefits of culture shaping?
General questions
What is the transfer of competence process?How do I apply for a job at Senn Delaney?
questions about culture shaping
Q: What is culture shaping?
A: Culture shaping is a methodical, comprehensive and integrated approach to shifting a company's culture from the top to the bottom. You can't build a healthy, high-performance culture without changing the behaviors of the individuals and teams that make up the organization. Cultural transformation requires personal transformation as its foundation.
Q: What is organizational culture?
A: Every company has its own unique culture. Simply stated, the culture is a collective set of values and habits that condition the actions of people within the organization. It is essentially the unwritten and written rules of how people work with each other, customers and other stakeholders. Cultures become ingrained over time as a response to the style and actions of an influential leader. An organization's culture is the main reason why strategies or implementation of new processes will either fail or succeed.
Q: Why does culture matter?
A: Business results and culture are closely linked. Most strategies and initiatives fall short of potential because of cultural issues. Leaders who have worked with us to systematically shape their cultures have a strong understanding of the impact culture has on whether strategies succeed or fail.
Q: What does Jaws of Culture mean?
A: Culture can be the biggest barrier to the success of any new strategy or process. We created the phrase Jaws of Culture to describe this phenomenon. When you change your strategy and shift processes, the culture lags behind. You need to systematically create some new thinking and behaviors or the old habits will be like an anchor that continually inhibits the expected performance. Our process can systematically transition your initiatives from the jaws of culture to a much smoother implementation.
Q: What is insight-based learning?
A: Most processes point people toward what “to do” and make them more aware of their behaviors. While awareness of what a person needs to work on is useful, it alone is not sufficient to ensure behavior change. By the time we become adults, we have some ingrained habits that are not easy to change.

We use an insight-based model that helps unfreeze old habits. Our approach is designed to promote self-discovery and to allow people to make choices about behaviors based on those insights. Our principles and concepts are not presented in a lecture format, but in an experiential, dynamic environment through activities.

We know that people benefit most from experience and are more willing to make behavior changes if they gain insights from that experience. Personal change is more sustainable when it occurs from the inside out. People are more committed to change when they make their own deeper personal commitment to change.
Q: What are some benefits of culture shaping?
A: The culture-shaping process impacts three levels: the individual, the team and the organization. We see the three as interdependent. Based on what other clients have experienced, you can expect the following benefits at each level.

For individuals:
 

  • aligned to a common set of values and behaviors
  • better able to see the big picture and be more of a team player
  • more flexible and open to change
  • more aware of the leadership shadow they cast and the impact they have on those around them
  • more accountable for the organization, not just their own piece
  • enhanced influencing skills to lead their own team
  • greater individual leadership effectiveness

For senior teams:

  • living the values and casting a positive shadow on the organization
  • more collaborative and willing to make decisions for the greater good of the organization
  • increased levels of openness and trust
  • ability to create and operate a culture across geographies
  • more of a team together/team apart; members support decisions made in and out of the room
  • an understanding of how to infuse the qualities of a high-performance teams and culture
  • greater alignment around the strategies and key initiatives
General questions
Q: What is the transfer of competence process?
A: The Transfer of Competence process is designed to transfer not only the facilitation skills but the capabilities for long-term reinforcement and application of your company's culture-shaping process to internal facilitators who become certified in the Senn Delaney process. This cost-effective model enables companies with thousands of employees to reach a critical mass of people to ensure that the desired culture and those behaviors that will support the culture, structure and strategies become a way of life.
Q: How do I apply for a job at Senn Delaney?
A: View our careers page. If you see a position that interests you and matches your skills and qualifications, you can send your resume with a cover letter to humanresources@senndelaney.com. If you receive a confirmation message, you can be sure that we received your resume. You will be contacted if your skills and qualifications match for the position for which you are applying.