Constructive Culture Blog

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.

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?

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.

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. 

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.

Founded by Matt MacInnis in 2009 as a way to make the world a smarter place, Inkling is on a mission to transform how field employees get work done. What follows is Matt’s story of breaking away from the Apple way of doing things in order to shape an authentic culture at Inkling.

“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.

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?

Perceptions of discrimination in the workplace have organization-wide repercussions as they can lead to variety of negative outcomes, such as lower levels of psychological well-being, decreased job satisfaction and commitment, reduced job performance and productivity, and increased turnover intention.

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.