Competing Through People  | February 2014 Edition
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MAC 2011Organization Culture and Business Performance


Why Does Our Culture Suck and What Can We Do About It?

Leaders and employees know when the organization's culture is out-of-whack.  "That's our culture" or "That's the way we do things around here" are common refrains when I talk with leaders about the causes for less than stellar business results.  There seems to be an intuitive understanding that an organization's culture can directly impact performance.
Organization Culture is often thought of as some ethereal and immeasurable unknown.  Thanks to research that has been conducted since the late 1990's, we now know that organization culture is a very distinct set of factors that can be measured and improved.  These factors have been shown to have a direct impact on growth, return, employee satisfaction, quality, and customer satisfaction.  In other words, the culture factors are descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive.
The best research on culture was conducted by Dan Denison and his colleagues at the University of Michigan.  Their multi-year and continuing research has clearly defined what constitutes culture and how it is a leading indicator of business performance.  In addition, they have amassed a number of case studies that show how organizations have changed their culture to make a difference.
How does an organization's culture get out-of-whack?  Mostly because culture is allowed to evolve by chance rather than by addressing it as a capability that must be created and continuously improved.  Habits and behaviors accrue overtime.  Some are effective and should be retained.  Others are ineffective and need to be eliminated or significantly changed.  High-performing organizations often measure culture as part of their strategic or annual business planning and create focused initiatives to continuously improve culture.
Work has now started on linking culture to innovation and safety.  If your organization is interested in participating in pilot studies in these areas, please let me know. In addition, I would be glad to do a no-obligation, no cost presentation to your leadership team on Organization Culture - what it is, how it impacts performance, and how it can be improved.

LEADERSHIP ARCHITECT® 101 Certification:

Understanding, Building and Assessing Competencies


Using the LEADERSHIP ARCHITECT® to build and implement competency-based talent systems


March 24 and 25

Pittsburgh PA


Here is a unique opportunity to attend Leadership Architect 101 Certification in the Pittsburgh area with Lominger/Korn Ferry Master Associate, Jane Schenck.


This two-day workshop will provide a detailed review of the Leadership Architect® system, a comprehensive, integrated set of competency-based tools that give you the ability to put leadership and organizational development best practices into action.  Leadership Architect 101 is the prerequisite for all other Lominger KornFerry workshops and tools.


Armed with the LEADERSHIP ARCHITECT®, you will be able to implement an array of competency-based HR tools efficiently, effectively, and with confidence.  The Leadership Architect® Suite is recognized internationally and can be customized to fit any organization's culture or operating style.


The Certification Workshop is seldom offered in the Pittsburgh region and saves you the travel cost to attend other public Certification Workshops.


 Click Here For More Information and to Register  


What Are You Up To?


Recent Projects:


Challenge:  A human services non-profit had completed a major re-organization.  It's Senior leadership team now had to work on building their capacity as leaders and as a team.
What We Did: Worked with the Senior Leaders to define a new Leadership Competency model that addressed the new challenges facing the organization.  We then implemented a Development Process for the Senior Leaders that focused on improving the leadership capabilities that would drive results.
Challenge:  An regional education institution wanted to create  disciplined, strategic leaders - a core component of their Strategic Plan
What We Did:  Worked with leadership to assess the overall capability of the leadership talent and to identify the high-impact leverage points to increase capability.  We then defined competency models for three levels of leadership and designed a process to accelerate the development of key talent within those talent pools.
On The Road:
For those of you located in Ohio, I hope to see you at the Annual Northern Ohio HR Conference.  The theme of this year's conference is Navigating the Future. I will be presenting a session on Living Your Mission Vision and Values:  HR's Role in Strategy Execution.  Can't make the conference?  Check out my free whitepaper on the topic.
In This Edition
Organization Culture and Business Performance
Leadership Architect Workshop
What Are You Up To?
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"Building Strategy-Capable Organizations"