The focus on building a high performance culture is increasing at many organizations, and rightly so. But the need for building trust is equally important. This is not solely an ethical issue, isolated from productivity. Trust is a driver of high performance.

What’s so important about trust?

Trust enables commitments to be undertaken in high-risk situations. Trust enables coordination without coercion or competition. Trust reduces stress. Trust leads to creativity in problem-solving.

Trust and leadership are intrinsically linked. If we don’t trust in leadership, we simply will not commit ourselves. Three leadership traits needed to build solid credibility and trust are unified commitment, transparency of intent, and affection and respect.

1. Building Trust through Unified Commitment

A critical trait required for collective leadership to build trust is unified commitment. This means that individual team members forego personal motivations, intentions, and objectives in favor of the goals and common interests of the team. No matter how tense and controversial the leadership meeting was, once the leadership team leaves the room, it speaks with a unified voice. Of course, leadership team disagreements and their consequences have to be discussed and handled, but within the leadership team, not in the public space. Collective leadership that actively builds trust will create much more impact than any individual leader can achieve alone.

2. Building Trust through Transparency about Intent

Observers can’t see inside our heads, they only see our behavior. So, they make assumptions about our intent—often wrong assumptions. It’s important to declare what one is all about, how one prefers to operate, and what one expects to achieve. To be effective, declared intentions must be genuine and must be rooted in a clearly defined mutual benefit. In his research for The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey found that declaring intent reduces resistance while enhancing commitment—especially in situations where there are new leaders in charge, massive change is under way, or in which employees assume that leaders’ motives are mixed.

3. Building Trust through Affection and Respect

When trust exists, respect and affection are the foundations of interactions. These traits are often neglected or ignored, especially in male-dominated environments. The meaning of affection is often misunderstood and, therefore, seldom tended to with purpose. What does “affection” mean in this context? “Does it mean hugging?” one leader asked me in horror. No. It means consistently demonstrating the genuine desire to be part of and to work with an individual, a team, or an organisation.

Wanting to be part of a team, to drive collective achievement for the greater good of the company, appreciating diversity of thought and diversity in the team set-up, recognizing and acknowledging knowledge and wisdom of others—these are all factors that engender respect and affection. This type of environment creates trust, not as an exceptional state, but as the normal way to work together.

Trust is a Business Driver

Multiple studies show that high-trust companies outperform low-­trust companies. In other words, trust is a business driver! Taking the time for your organization to give real attention to consciously building trust into your relationships and operations will pay significant dividends. In fact, it’s a prerequisite to high performance!

For more insights on building trust in your organization, see Karl-Heinz Oehler’s TRANSFORM article, “Trust and Leadership.”

 

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high-performance
Private Equity
As a CEO of a private equity firm, you know that firms with a strong, vibrant culture perform better in a highly competitive marketplace. Denison can work with you to build an effective culture in all of your portfolio firms. Our assessment tools enable you to capture a clear picture of the current cultural state of your organization. Our consulting expertise supports you in making the changes necessary to achieve superior financial performance. It is about how you work as a team, how your policies meet practice within the culture of the organization, and even how performance aligns with your investment criteria.
  • Deliver a consistent assessment of your portfolio companies
  • Give you an unambiguous picture of the culture of your organization
  • Provides a disciplined process and measureable action plan for
  • Offers hands-on strategic consulting to address gaps and affirm best
practices currently being employed by your portfolio companies
improvement
Our approach:
Financial Services
In the financial sector, you are active in a wide variety of client environments that need to support both accountability and the highest ethical standards. The trust that your customers place in your organization is dependent upon the culture that your employees exhibit every day.

You need to have a clear understanding of how your culture and the people in your organization function amidst the complexities of the current financial institutional marketplace. The Denison Model can provide you with that clarity. From brokerage firms to retail banking to institutional banking to insurance, Denison has specific, measurable benchmarks that identify both the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. With this baseline diagnostic, our consulting team can support you to put into place action plans that help sustain your high standards and see improvement in your financial performance.
Manufacturing
The manufacturing environment is constantly being tasked with improvements in both quality and delivery while also having to maintain the highest levels of safety. The Denison Model equips you with the tools to reach anyone, from the senior leadership team to the shop floor, in a globally networked manufacturing environment to build a culture oriented towards continuous improvement in these critical mission areas.

Through our consultancy services, we work with a broad cross-section of your technical and operational staff to align them around the goal of producing the highest quality products in the world—both on time and on budget.
Healthcare
Within the healthcare market, high performance is measured primarily in patient outcomes. The marriage of the institution with doctors, support staff, and operational teams is key to achieving the best patient outcomes. Denison works with you to achieve these outcomes by building a culture that is attuned to the unique ecosystem of support that patients require.

Our organizational culture assessment based on the Denison Model is a proven approach that has supported healthcare providers with actionable feedback for decades. The assessment identifies successes and clarifies challenges that you may be facing by comparing your data against the four core drivers of cultural high performance. Then, our consulting team is able to support you in addressing these challenges with action plans tailored to your inclusive and diverse environment.
Case Study
The management of culture in an organization whose members are always on the move.
Education
At Denison, we understand that student success is the goal of every educational organization. Our consulting expertise and diagnostic tools will allow your team to better understand, articulate, and implement your mission.

You will gain a collective understanding of your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and challenges benchmarked against other peer institutions, all targeted toward providing students with the best learning environment. Then, through Action Planning, we will work with you to improve your academic and operational excellence to support the diverse student learning environment of higher education, K-12 schools, and related associations.
Retail
As a retailer, you know that culture drives the customer experience of your organization. The hospitality, support, and the follow-up lived out by your staff help make the difference in each consumer interaction. It is that experience that really drives what your organizational behavior should be.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization can support each customer's experiences. We provide you with data that helps you understand your organization right from each customer’s entry all the way to checkout. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Restaurants
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Government
To achieve high performance in a government initiative, one requires a different understanding of the metrics of success. Therefore, the advancement of the mission is measured instead of the typical KPIs or financial results of a business, such as sales growth or ROI.

For example, Denison supports both military men and women in action through our work with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). We provide a core culture assessment and an improvement program that helps this department maintain a strong culture to fulfill their mission, addressing everything needed to support men and women in combat through readiness preparation.
Case Study
A transformation that didn’t require thousands of dollars, but a new way of interacting.
Technology
Because of the ever-changing pace of the introduction of new technologies and the shortening of the technology life-cycle, exhibiting adaptability in your organization’s culture is critical. These factors drive both the need to recoup costs and the need to show profit more quickly. Therefore, being able to seamlessly change business models to drive market expansion, product acceptance, and superior performance is absolutely critical in this high-potential return but volatile market. Talent is also at a premium.

Based on diagnostics structured through the Denison Model, our consultancy team can help you build a culture in which all stakeholders understand who the organization is and who will fit the organization the best. With this alignment, you can gain a competitive edge in both attracting and retaining the engineers, researchers, and innovators needed to lead any market-changing innovation.
Transportation
Whether you deal with business travelers, tourists, or products in the supply chain, safety and schedule reliability are two of the key deliverables in this industry. For decades, Denison has worked with leaders from the transportation industry, helping to transform organizations in the face of changing markets and technologies to ensure consumer safety, satisfaction, and bottom-line business success.

When you bring Denison on board, our experienced consultants help you make decisions and plans based on data benchmarked against the global industry. As a result, we put your organization on the path to high performance, with measurable benefits right to your bottom line.
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Builds Team Orientation
Self-Directed Learning:
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The individual manager places value on employees working cooperatively toward common goals and often relies on team effort to get work done. S/he helps establish a sense of mutual accountability for the accomplishment of goals.

Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:
Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint.j;jwoeifjwoe woifj woefij wpoiefj woepfij wpoeifjw epofi opwiejf wopei wpoiejf wopeifj pwoiejf woefij woefij wopeifj
Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint.
Walking the Walk: 3 Ways to Ensure a Team-Oriented Business Culture Test Link: Google Test Link: Google
Defines Strategic Direction & Intent
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Defines Goals & Objectives
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Defines Core Values
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Works to Reach Agreement
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Manages Coordination & Integration
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Empowers People
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Develops Organizational Capability
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Creates Change
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Emphasizes Customer Focus
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Promotes Organizational Learning
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.
Creates Shared Vision
Smart restaurant owners know that their patrons’ experiences are driven by the culture of their organizations. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by their culinary and wait staff help make the difference in each dish that is served. They know that it is each patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what what a team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support each patron’s experience. We provide you with benchmarked data from across the food industry to help you understand your organization right from each patron’s entry to the final after-dinner mint. We also provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address your challenges, allowing you to attract new customers, retain loyal brand customers, and ensure superior financial performance.