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. Watch for part 2 of the post Feb. 25 at

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.

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.

our healthcare industry expertise

Senn Delaney positively impacts healthcare

Since 1978, more Fortune 500 CEOs have chosen Senn Delaney as their trusted partner to develop cultures that deliver better results. This is especially true for leaders navigating historic periods of industry transformation. The U.S. healthcare system is at a time of fundamental change affecting all stakeholders; providers, physicians, health plans and patients.

Faced with the imperative to deliver high-quality care at a lower price, healthcare leaders are focusing on strategies needed to succeed in a new environment. When implementing new strategies, leaders often find culture is a step or two behind. By aligning strategy, structure and culture, healthcare leaders have an opportunity to systematically develop an organization that can manage the challenge of change and achieve high levels of performance.

Senn Delaney's passion and singular focus on culture, combined with decades of hands-on experience, has resulted in a comprehensive and proven culture-shaping methodology that engages people and measurably impacts both the spirit and performance of organizations.

How culture can support your strategy
Our healthcare clients have engaged us to help them shape culture to improve results in several areas. The most common include:

Enable new business models

  • build the cultural foundation to develop and implement new models, including Accountable Care Organizations, medical homes and other alliances
  • implement shared services and maximize the effectiveness of service lines across multi-unit systems


Change the cultural DNA to maximize effectiveness of critical initiatives

  • gain commitment and cross-organizational synergies to improve accountability, quality, safety and efficiency
  • shift the way people work together to enable new strategies and organizational capabilities


Align leadership and effectively lead change

  • build trust and alignment with physicians and enable new physician practice models
  • maximize the effectiveness of new leaders and/or newly configured leadership teams quickly to lead change
  • build alignment across organizations: clinical, research, academic/faculty, administration, foundations


Ease mergers and acquisitions

  • avoid, smooth or prevent the culture clashes that often keep mergers and acquisitions from realizing full potential and synergy


Increase focus on patient and family-centered care

  • improve the patient care experience by getting people to work effectively together across disciplines
  • partnering with patients and families to include them as part of the team to improve the patient care experience


Our healthcare clients include:

  • Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Children's Hospital and Health System
  • Chilton Memorial Hospital
  • Henry Ford Health System
  • Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
  • Miami Children's Hospital
  • Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • St. Joseph Hospital
  • The Ohio State University Medical Center
  • WellPoint
  • UnitedHealth Group

View longer list of clients in health care | health care services


What healthcare clients say about working with us


Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare CEO Gary Shorb

Miami Children's Hospital CEO Dr. Narendra Kini

Nationwide Children's Hospital CEO Dr. Steve Allen

Nationwide Children's Hospital Research Institute President Dr. John Barnard


Health care articles and thought papers

Nationwide Children's Hospital: Connecting culture and care

View from the top: Miami Children's Hospital CEO Dr. Narendra Kini prepares the institution to embrace IT transformation

Prescription for a Cure: By Jim Hart, Senn Delaney President and CEO

WellPoint: Prescription for a healthy merger

Shaping the culture at The Ohio State University Medical Center

Videos on our SDTV thought leadership video channel that further describe our work


CEO Rich Cordova discusses leading culture transformation at Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Senn Delaney's 35-year history of exclusive focus on shaping cultures

Why organizational culture can and should be intentionally shaped

Why culture, strategy and structure must align

Avoiding cultural clash in mergers and acquisitions


Contact us for more information
To learn more about how we can partner with your organization to guide your culture-shaping initiative, please contact:
Holly McLeod, healthcare practice manager,