Case Studies & White Papers

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How do you create a Constructive Culture—one that is proven to drive engagement, quality, profitability, and sustainability? This presentation from award-winning professor and executive Dr. Robert A. Cooke covers his widely cited model of "How Culture Works" as well as what you can do to create a Constructive culture and an effective talent management system. 

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.

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.

In 2004, IBM was facing an increasingly competitive marketplace with higher customer expectations. At the same time, employee engagement and morale were declining. Using the Organizational Culture Inventory® (OCI®), IBM transformed the organization's culture and experienced gains in productivity and significant cost reductions.

Dr. Linda Sharkey shares her experiences with and insights on quantifying culture and leadership. She highlights what you can do to get everyone moving in the right direction supporting your organization's values, vision and mission.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The subject of this case study is a highly respected United States-based multi-national company in the non-food segment of the FMCG industry. This company had been operating in Korea for 30 years, starting as a small representative sales office but transitioning into a medium-sized stand-alone subsidiary via organic growth and acquisition.

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.

Yarra Valley Water is a shining example of how companies can become more efficient, provide better customer service and enable staff to enjoy their work and achieve a better work-life balance.

Over just a four-year period, the results were impressive. The culture moved from primarily Passive/Defensive (emphasizing Avoidance) to Aggressive/Defensive (high in Competitive norms) and strongly toward the Constructive styles.

All logos, trademarks, and registered trademarks appearing on these pages (other than those trademarks and/or copyrights belonging to Human Synergistics International) are the property of their respective owners.