Case Studies & White Papers

Case Studies

A shift to culture and leadership development solves engagement enigma

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory® and Leadership/Impact®

Overview

To increase and stabilize engagement, a high-profile, semi-autonomous unit of Advocate Health Care chose to focus on organizational culture change, recognizing an opportunity and need to strengthen relationships within the unit as members worked to achieve their strategic goals. Using a combination of organizational and leadership assessments, as well as individual and team coaching and retreats, the unit achieved an impressive turnaround in its culture.

Download Advocate Health Care case study

Caring for Results and People at the Same Time

Diagnostic Tools Life Styles Inventory™

Overview

Women in leadership positions face different challenges than their male counterparts. With a foreword from New York Times bestselling author Marshall Goldsmith, Taking the Stage: Breakthrough Stories from Women Leaders sheds light on issues that actual senior female leaders faced and how they addressed and overcame those challenges. This chapter, written by Will Linssen, CEO of Heartware/Human Synergistics South Korea, and Kris Park, CEO of Aon Hewitt’s Korean subsidiary, profiles Aon Hewitt’s culture change process. Directed by female leader Park, Aon Hewitt saw significant improvements in organizational culture and performance through behavioral coaching. The result is an organization with top-class leadership effectiveness results, employee engagement scores, and business performance.

Download Caring for Results and People at the Same Time

Measuring Group Styles to Improve Team Outcomes

Diagnostic Tools Group Styles Inventory™ and Team-Building Simulations

Overview

Today’s competitive economy presents unique challenges for organizations of all kinds. This is particularly true for organizations concerned with safety management: It has become even more critical that managers have the ability to manage for continual improvement. Companies are fairly proficient at the technical or “hard” side of training, but evaluating and teaching the soft skills required for effective team problem solving remains the holy grail of a learning organization.

Download Group Styles article

Pact Helps Change the World by First Changing its Own Organizational Culture

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory® and Organizational Effectiveness Inventory®

Overview

Mission-driven Pact is a nonprofit organization striving to eradicate poverty and strengthen local capacity in communities across the globe. Operating in 26 countries, Pact aims to give poor and marginalized individuals the tools and support they need to improve and take ownership of their futures. While Pact has always focused on empowering the people served, its own culture and the empowerment of employees took a back seat.

Download Pact case study

This case study was featured in the March-April 2014 issue of Nonprofit World, the publication of the Society for Nonprofits. 
 
Download the Nonprofit World article

Best Practice Case Study: Improving Leadership Performance at GE Financial

Diagnostic Tool Leadership/Impact®

Overview

Dr. Linda Sharkey, author and Executive Director of Executive Networks, Inc., was able to leverage her experience with HSI assessments when she was tasked with designing a new leadership development program for GE Financial’s top 600 executives worldwide. Using Leadership/Impact®, leaders at GE were able to see their values, the impact of their behaviors on people and the culture, and whether or not their leadership strategies were aligned with business results. The program, called a "best practice in leadership development" by GE CEO Jack Welch, allowed for improved leadership performance across the organization.

Download GE Financial case study

Innovative Use of Assessments and Simulations Helps MBA Candidates Become Effective Team Members and Group Leaders

Diagnostic Tools Life Styles Inventory™, Group Styles Inventory™, and Team-Building Simulations

Overview

Paula Caproni, Ph.D., Director of Executive Skills at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School, helps guide MBA candidates through the transition from individual contributor to team leader with a high-intensity class entitled “Creating and Developing High-Performance Teams.” Offered only two or three times per year to groups of about 40 students, the class gives Dr. Caproni an exceptionally keen insight into the learning process experienced by the candidates.

Download MBA Candidate case study

Employee Engagement: Is It Really "The Holy Grail" of HR?

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory® and Organizational Effectiveness Inventory®

Overview

As the economy slowly makes its way back in recovery mode, and more employees are concerned with issues beyond job security, we are beginning to see a return to a focus on “employee engagement” as the critical overriding factor within organizations that drives performance. But is that really all there is to it? Should companies focus exclusively on employee engagement as the key indicator of success or failure within their organization? Is high employee engagement some sort of management panacea that cures all ills?

Download Employee Engagement white paper

Advocate Health Partners Cultural Transformation: Driving Positive Organizational Change

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory® and Life Styles Inventory™

Overview

Do we have what it takes to drive positive organizational change? OD practitioners frequently ask this question of themselves, and of the organizations they assist. The senior leaders at Advocate Health Partners (AHP), part of Advocate Health Care, came face to face with the challenge of driving a cultural transformation.

Download AHP case study

Financial Returns from Organizational Culture Improvement: Translating "Soft" Changes into "Hard" Dollars

Diagnostic Tool Organizational Culture Inventory®

Overview

Culture change initiatives can lead to real financial returns. This presentation summarizes the results of a series of studies that demonstrate the strong relationship between constructive organizational cultures and financial performance. First we review cross-sectional studies confirming that constructive cultures are related to financial outcomes across organizations within the same industry. Then the results of longitudinal case studies show how organizational development programs have produced measurable cultural changes that, in turn, have led to improvements in bottom-line financial performance.  

This paper was presented at the ASTD Expo in Orlando, Florida, on June 6, 2005.

Download Financial Returns from Organizational Culture Improvement

High Potential...To Do What?

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory®, Leadership/Impact®, and Management/Impact®

Overview

Most high potentials are selected on the basis of their technical talent and the extent to which their behaviors exemplify and promote their organizations’ operating cultures—the norms and expectations that represent how things are actually done—which often are quite different than their organizations’ highly touted visions and values. As a result, organizations have become very good at promoting a high potential for more of the same. This article highlights what talent managers need to look for and develop in their high potentials (and the commonly made mistakes that they should avoid) to move their organizations toward realizing their visions and goals.

This piece was published in Talent Management magazine (December 2010).

Download High Potential...To Do What?

Best Practice Case Study: Building a Constructive Culture at The Word Among Us

Diagnostic Tool Organizational Culture Inventory®

Overview

Catholic publishing company The Word Among Us (WAU) provides more than 500,000 readers throughout the world with daily meditations, devotionals, books, and other resources that encourage Catholics to connect more deeply with their faith and act in ways that mirror the values of the church. The organization itself, however, realized that it was not reaching its full potential and, in some ways, the management and staff at WAU weren't living and breathing the organization's own mission and values.

Download WAU case study

Culture Change at the Ohio State University Medical Center

Diagnostic Tool Organizational Culture Inventory®

Overview

Dr. Fred Sanfilippo was appointed Dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State University and CEO of the OSU Medical Center. The medical center had a three-part mission revolving around research, education, and patient care. Related to this mission was the goal of dealing effectively with the financial challenges facing academic medical centers in the United States. The senior leadership recognized that the key to reaching this goal and succeeding in their mission was first and foremost investing in their people.

Download OSU case study

Best Practices Case Study: Culture Change at Girl Scouts of the USA

Diagnostic Tool Organizational Culture Inventory®

Overview

The Girl Scouts of the USA shape the lives of more than 2 million young women across the globe every year, making it the “world’s pre-eminent organization dedicated solely to girls.” But a recent lesser known organizational change initiative may put them at the forefront of the entire nonprofit world, providing a model for how such organizations can better understand and make a positive impact on their corporate cultures.

Download Girl Scouts case study

Culture Makes the Difference in the Business Objects and Crystal Decisions Merger

Diagnostic Tool Organizational Culture Inventory®

Overview

In July of 2003, California-based software firm Business Objects completed a $1.3 billion merger with Canadian company Crystal Decisions. It was a cross-border merger of mid-sized international leaders in the fast-growing business intelligence software realm, requiring the integration of not only competing technologies but also vastly different cultures. Merging the two entities successfully would require a deliberate approach fueled by accurate insights about both companies and their people.

Download Business Objects/Crystal Decisions case study

Creating a Customer-Driven Culture Using Project Teams in the Insurance Industry

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory® and Life Styles Inventory™

Overview

A large multi-national insurance organization identified the need to move into the expanding retirement savings market. This decision was forced by the presence of a mature and declining share in the bonds and premium sector, introduction of government charges, and entry of new competitors. The challenge was to initiate and create the shift towards a more customer-focused and quality driven culture that rewards quality, innovation, and continuous improvement in a motivating environment.

Download Insurance Industry case study

Moving Toward Franchising in the Retail Industry: Building a Strong Sales Culture

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory® and Life Styles Inventory™

Overview

The organization wanted to transform its retail division into a highly-responsive and customer-driven operation and at the same time achieve stretch sales goals. Figure 1 shows a strong Conventional and Perfectionistic “bow tie.” This combination is quite common in retail organizations. Staff are expected to follow the rules and policies of the organization perfectly. Such strong extensions create poor customer satisfaction because staff are expected to obsessively follow the rules of the organization rather than achieve an outcome for the client.

Download Retail Industry case study

Culture Change Results in Dramatic Improvement for Local Government Entity

Diagnostic Tool Organizational Culture Inventory®

Overview

The organization was in a state of flux due to a number of changes, including CCT (Compulsory Tendering) and the challenge of moving from a public service approach to a more commercially-oriented and customer service focus. Large-scale redundancies were also causing stress and tension in the workforce and workplace.

Download Government case study

Developing a Sales Culture in Retail Banking

Diagnostic Tool Organizational Culture Inventory®

Overview

Few industries have experienced the rapidity of change as that imposed upon the Retail Banking Industry in the 1990s. With economic conditions putting severe pressure on interest margins, banks have had to look for a totally different way of running their businesses. This comes at a time of increasing costs, and in a market where the consumer has become much more aware of the products, costs, and values being provided.

Download Retail Banking case study

Finance Industry—Leadership Development

Diagnostic Tool Life Styles Inventory™

Overview

The commercial property bust of the 1990s sent shock waves through many industries and, in particular, the finance industry. One of its victims is the focus of this case study. The following outlines the interventions taken by one of Australia’s oldest finance companies to “turn around” its worst financial result in its history. The measures taken by this organization to pull itself back from the brink of financial disaster to being today in a solid financial position posting record profits are presented. This case study will particularly focus on the behavioral interventions taken to renew this organization’s culture, including the use of the Life Styles Inventory™ in leadership development.

Download Finance Industry case study

Olympic Gold—Achievement or Competitive?

Diagnostic Tool Life Styles Inventory™

Overview

Australian Olympic gold medallist swimmer John Konrads believes the difference between a gold and bronze medal is all in the way you think. Rome Olympics, 1960.

Download Olympic case study

A Cross Cultural Perspective

Diagnostic Tool Life Styles Inventory™

Overview

Since 1994, the client company, a government-owned telecommunications entity in East Africa, has been pursuing a Telecommunications Rehabilitation Program (TRP). The process was two-fold; it included both leadership development as well as strategies focused on improving infrastructure, systems, and HR practices. This application of LSI is a testament to the survey’s cross-cultural validity, as managers in East Africa created LSI Ideal profiles similar to those created by managers in Anglo countries. Moreover, as the managers' current profiles moved towards their ideals, positive outcomes related to enhanced performance and reduced customer complaints resulted.

Download Cross Cultural case study

How Organizations Work: Improving Customer Service by Changing Culture

Diagnostic Tools Organizational Culture Inventory® and Customer ServiceStyles

Overview

The impact of culture on customer service is demonstrated by this case study, which focuses on the Production Engineering department of one of the world’s largest technological organizations. Specifically, it illustrates how the Organizational Culture Inventory® (OCI®) and Customer ServiceStyles™ (CSS) can be used to motivate, guide, and monitor change. It also demonstrates how the causal factors in the “How Culture Works” model can be used to change culture and the quality of customer service. Lastly, the study highlights some key issues that managers, consultants, and other change agents should consider when planning a culture or customer service assessment.

Download Customer Service case study