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? Gary Shorb, CEO of Method Le Bonheur Healthcare, shares the inside story in our spring newsletter, at your best

Belgacom CEO Dominique Leroy is leading a culture transformation at the Belgian telecommunications giant that is restoring growth after a decade of decline. Watch the video and read the full interview and case study.

In this first of a two-part post, Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn discusses the cultural challenges of mergers and offers several insights on how you can navigate them with a healthy state of mind.

In this second part of a two-part post by Senn Delaney Chairman Larry Senn, he provides a set of guidelines for successful culture integration and shares the notable example of the successful WellPoint-Anthem mega-merger.

knowledge center

thought papers

Because culture can directly affect performance and business results, understanding how the organization manages and measures culture should be part of the board mandate.  This point of view is explored by Heidrick & Struggles Regional Managing Partner David Boehmer and Senn Delaney Partner Mike Marino in one of the topics in our 2014 compilation of Heidrick & Struggles Governance Letters. Topics in the report ranging from how board governance and company culture intersect and assessing the merits of an activist investor’s point of view.

  Culture-shaping firm Senn Delaney, a Heidrick & Struggles company, is pleased to share findings from a two-year study of several Fortune 1000 companies to examine the impact of an entire organization’s mindset.


In partnership with Senn Delaney, the research was completed by Stanford Psychology Professor Carol Dweck, an expert on mindset, and her colleagues, Mary Murphy, Jennifer Chatman and Laura Kray.


The root of this new study is about how a growth mindset, which the research team calls a 'culture of development', versus a fixed mindset, which it calls a 'culture of genius', affects such cultural characteristics in organizations as collaboration, innovation, creativity, risk taking and ethical behaviors. Findings point to the importance of cultivating a growth mindset culture of development as key factor in creating greater agility and innovation and developing an engaged, collaborative, highly committed and trusting workforce. 

Through a collaborative, groundbreaking study with three prominent U.S. business schools, Senn Delaney has discovered that people who operate from a unique set of three core principles consistently perform at the top 10 percent of performance ratings.

The joint study and subsequent research and surveys led to creation of our new, evidence-based, practical performance model that can be taught, practiced, reinforced, applied and measured.

Senn Delaney President and CEO Jim Hart and Managing Director EMEA Dustin Seale describe how these three principles can be mastered to lead individuals, teams and organizations to healthier, higher levels of performance.

 As the healthcare system shifts focus to outcomes rather than products and services, pharmaceutical companies are feeling their way toward a new business model: patient-centricity. Continuing pressure on the old model and the business benefits of adopting the new model will accelerate the drive toward patient-centricity, but new strategies and new organizational structures will not be enough.

Top leaders will not only have to develop innovative patient-centered models, they will also need to achieve enterprise-wide change in strategy, structure and culture as well as introduce the new leadership competencies that patient-centricity requires.

Heidrick & Struggles Partner Robert J. Atkins, Principal Lars Ronn, and Nitsa Lallas, Senn Delaney partner and healthcare practice leader, examine this shift and what it will take to make a radically new business model work in this thought paper.

A highly satisfactory customer experience has never been more critical to businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Senn Delaney Partner and Executive Vice President Bill Parsons examines that state of customer service and satisfaction in America and helps leaders consider whether their company's culture is really as customer-centric as it should be. He provides best practices for methodically shaping a customer-centric culture as well as examples of recognized leaders in customer service, and how they created a sustainable competitive advantage.

Manufacturing and engineering companies have a strong history of driving innovation and productivity through process improvement and a rigorous focus on quality, cost and delivery. Dustin Seale, Senn Delaney partner and managing director, EMEA, and Ian Johnston, senior vice president, examine the kind of culture and mindset needed for manufacturing companies to enable process improvement and enhance spirit, performance and competitiveness.

The banking industry that historically has changed at a conservative pace now is trying to address massive changes that require agility and innovation. Many big banks, including Deutsche Bank, Citi, Barclays and Lloyds, are responding to calls for reform with sweeping culture change strategies to restore trust, accountability and put customers at the forefront. Facing narrow margins, tighter regulation, a digital and data revolution and wary customers, big banks are forging new business models, transforming operational processes and re-orienting around service.

But when it comes to making culture change actually happen, big banks run into some disconcerting challenges. Cultures typically resist making the changes they most need. Resistance can be particularly hard to overcome in financial services organizations, many of which have default cultures that are decades old. To help financial services leaders understand what it takes to successfully shift a culture in the wake of broad calls for banking reform, this thought paper examines these unique industry challenges in detail and provides a framework for successful, sustainable culture change.

Despite remarkable achievements and breakthroughs, the biopharmaceutical industry is confronting massive upheaval and transformation. Culture change is one of the biggest and most important issues in the industry as traditional ways of doing things must give way to innovative new approaches, technologies and processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Co-authors Heidrick & Struggles Life Sciences Partner Robert J. Atkins, Life Sciences Practice Principal Niren Thanky and Senn Delaney Partner and Managing Director EMEA Dustin Seale examine how biopharmaceutical leaders need to drive decisive R&D culture change across complex organizations in an attempt to remain relevant and competitive. This thought paper delves into the answers to critical questions including:
  • What principles should guide organizations in their efforts to shape cultural change?
  • What types of capabilities must leaders possess to bring cultural change to R&D organizations?
  • How can organizations bridge the gap between the skills their leaders possess today and the skills they will need going forward?

A sound, strategic communication and engagement plan, led from the top and guided by a Communications Culture Action Team, can greatly influence behaviors and drive successful culture change. Conversely, ineffective, inadequate, poorly conceived and poorly timed communications can actually create resistance to change.


This article provides Senn Delaney’s best practices in guiding organizations to create communications action teams and a strategic plan for communicating culture change that engages employees at all levels of the organization.  

CEOs and their senior leadership of most major corporations are usually highly proficient individuals who run their business units or functions efficiently but they may not work as well together to guide the overall firm. This article by Senn Delaney Founder Dr. Larry Senn and CEO and President Jim Hart will help leaders consider your senior team and how members might more effectively meet eight requirements of a healthy, high-performance enterprise leadership team.

Merger and acquisition activity has heated up significantly in this surging economy as companies seek to drive revenue growth and bottom-line performance. Senn Delaney President and CEO Jim Hart reminds CEOs and senior executives involved in or considering M&A activity of importance of integrating cultures and warns of the pitfalls of failing to address the cultural challenges common to every deal.

To the casual observer, aircraft manufacturer Airbus UK and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) wouldn't appear to share a lot of common ground. Some would say that the worlds of building airplanes and producing the next blockbuster wonder-drug are light years apart.

A closer look shows that these two organizations are more similar than one might initially think. Both shared a common goal of driving out costs while not sacrificing quality. As a means to achieve that goal, they initially implemented lean-manufacturing processes. However, they became increasingly frustrated when sustainable results were slow to develop.

The inescapable conclusion was that a component was missing, one that addressed the human element of the equation.

President and CEO Jim Hart shares surprising results of our new Thriving Global Leadership Study™ of thousands of leaders across 60 industries and 50 countries. We discovered a dramatic difference between those who are facing these times of crisis with what is defined as a high-thriving state of mind and those with a lower-thriving state of mind. The survey data shows that high-thriving leaders have the exact characteristics needed for success in the times we are in. The article also gives CEOs and top leaders an opportunity to quickly evaluate the thriving state of mind of their leaders and managers to evaluate their organization's ability to survive and thrive during the economic crisis and beyond.

Successful health care leaders are treating ailing systems with a healthy dose of innovative solutions. Senn Delaney CEO and President Jim Hart discusses key issues facing health care leaders today, innovative solutions for dealing with them, and provides a series of thought-provoking questions to help you gauge the health of your organization's culture.

Mergers and acquisitions are a fact of life in today's highly competitive global business environment. Unfortunately, up to one third of mergers fail within five years, and as many as 80 percent never live up to their full potential.

A great deal of evidence indicates that the ultimate success of mergers and the amount of time it takes to get them on track is determined by how well the cultural aspects of the transition are managed. Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn shares insights on how to systematically and consciously avoid cultural clash to gain the most synergy from any merger or acquisition.