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Create sustainable, high-performance cultures and impact the world.

In today’s competitive business environment, executives are not interested in investing money in company culture unless they are able to see results in terms of tangible business value. Working in the field of transformational leadership and large-scale change, I see plenty of consultants who do magnificent work but struggle with connecting the dots between the work they do and the ultimate value they will add.

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People need to identify the gap between where they are and where they want to go. Defining that gap so others can clearly see it is the first step you need to take in consulting with them. Second, help them identify what they need to do to get to the other side of the gap. This can help them determine ways they can implement the change they desire.

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As the first culture-shaping consulting firm, Senn Delaney has quite literally made organizational culture its business. Larry Senn and his colleagues, including partner and executive vice president Bill Parsons, have brought their mission of “creating healthy, high-performance cultures” to more than 500 companies. Bill shared some of the knowledge they’ve gathered over their 38 years of experience at the 2nd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference—including the four principles that must be upheld to really shape culture and improve performance.

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The Missing Link in Culture Success

By Meghan Oliver

It’s been nearly three years since Merriam-Webster declared “culture” its 2014 Word of the Year, but it has yet to lose any momentum. Culture has become ubiquitous in the business world, with media giants from Forbes to CNN to Huffington Post regularly publishing articles on the topic. Numerous articles cite culture as a key contributor (if not the key contributor) to retaining top talent, and research shows an undeniable relationship between culture and financial performance.

But with the spotlight firmly placed on workplace culture, leaders and organizations often miss a crucial piece of the puzzle. Where are all the articles, posts, and interviews on climate?

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What do you think when you hear the words “culture change”? More important, what do your baseline employees—the women and men who get the essential and routine work done—think when they’re first introduced to organizational culture change? Here are seven factors that, when discussed openly and honestly, will help the average worker in your organization quickly adapt to, and become a champion of, culture change.

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Culture change is a human experience. It's not just a business imperative, as it has been viewed for decades. For culture change to have a chance of becoming contagious, leaders should more deeply understand how business needs and the human experience of change can work in concert. Together, these two can help navigate change pitfalls. 

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Do you fully understand your culture and how it’s impacting performance? Are you managing a clear journey to effectively evolve your culture with a direct and sustainable impact on performance? There aren’t many leaders that can confidently answer “yes” to these two questions. We see culture tips and advice at every turn that range from superficial to endlessly complicated. If you are like me, it’s hard to understand what to believe.

It’s very important for leaders and change agents to learn from the culture pioneers and experts in this evolving field. Human Synergistics, therefore, convenes an annual Ultimate Culture Conference to bring visibility to important insights from culture trailblazers and progressive leaders.

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“Experience” and “learning” are two powerful words that shape and strengthen personal and professional accountability, effectiveness, and success. These two words are close to my heart and mind. I firmly believe that they are of utmost importance in today’s VUCA world.1 The more we can experience and learn, the better we can adapt and explore current and future situations.

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Establishing and maintaining a strong workplace culture is a major undertaking for any organization. But when your organization grows 300 percent in the space of a year, holding onto the culture and values that led to such success becomes an uphill battle. That’s the challenge that Ron Storn, VP of People at Lyft, took to task when he joined the company—how do you keep values alive while your organization grows at a dizzying rate?

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As Culture Evangelist at Zappos Insights, Jon Wolske is tasked with “taking the culture show on the road.” He brought his one-man show to the 2nd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference, going beyond the standard Zappos culture fare to take a deep dive into what makes the company a thought leader in culture.

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Clarifying the Elusive Concepts of Culture and Climate

By Tim Kuppler and Robert Cooke, Ph.D.

Culture experts and enthusiasts recently gathered in San Francisco for the 2nd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference. A theme of the day was that most leaders recognize culture as a critical factor for success, but it remains an elusive concept and has become an overused word. To kick off the conference, Tim Kuppler interviewed Rob Cooke, CEO of Human Synergistics, to explore culture along with some related constructs (like climate) that are sometimes confused or used interchangeably with it.  Some of Rob’s answers to Tim’s questions are summarized here.

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Culture Diagnosis by Pulse or MRI?

By Louisa Robb

Last month I had the privilege of attending the 2nd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference in San Francisco, hosted by Human Synergistics. One of many reasons for me to take the 12-hour flight from Switzerland was to be in the company of thought leaders in workplace culture, such as Dr. Edgar Schein. Among the many insights he shared, one in particular struck a chord with me: the different methods of surveying for culture data. Dr. Schein described two-dimensional (2D), 3D and 4D views one can take when trying to understand a company’s culture. My experience is similar, and it prompted me to draw out the following analogy.

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The Culture Case for Empathy

By Cynthia Kivland

In an uncertain economy, and in VUCA times, empathy may seem like a “nice-to-have” leadership skill or culture asset. Instead, I propose that it is empathy that often serves as a catalyst for a Constructive culture.

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