Mike Marino became president and CEO of Senn Delaney effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Read our latest newsletter, at your best. It features our new interactive microsite to explore how culture drives performance, our latest article that examines leadership lessons from the Hamilton musical creator, and an interview with Cafe Rio's CHRO on how the restaurant change baked the best of its small business culture into a scalable model that is proving to be a winning ingredient for rapid growth.

A new report by Raconteur, The Future CEO Special Report, examines the changing role of the CEO. Dustin Seale, Senn Delaney Managing Partner EMEA, is among experts and CEOs weighing in on the importance of culture, Good company culture boosts business.

knowledge center

thought papers

Companies across most industries are adopting digital technology to boost performance, respond to changing customer needs and gain competitive advantage. But this opportunity has also accelerated the pace of change, disrupting business models. The cultures of many organizations aren’t prepared to change, or change fast enough, to seize the opportunities that digital affords.


This article examines why senior leaders will have greater success if they first create a cultural foundation of organizational agility and a growth mindset before embarking on transformative strategic changes tied to digital technologies. It describes the key principles that will enable the cultural shift needed, and examines the experiences of three companies in very different industries that have successfully enabled a digital strategy by creating cultural transformation around agility.

Most of us have fallen into the habit of not being truly present. We are often so caught up in thinking about the past or the future that we lose our ability to be present in the moment.  The consequences of this common behavior are very far-reaching: we are less creative, we don't listen well to others, meetings are less effective and decisions are not as creative. Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn shares a simple, yet powerful concept to increase personal effectiveness at business and in your personal life — Be Here Now.

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.

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.

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.

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