Begin 2018 with a review of our most popular organizational culture posts from last year.

The new year is always an excellent time, not to just think about our goals for the future, but to reflect on the successes of the past year. We decided to do this by taking a moment to share our most popular blog posts from the last year with our readers. Maybe you missed these when they were first published, or maybe you’d like to take a moment to refresh your memory. Either way, we hope you enjoy this selection and that it can help bring some inspiration for 2018.

1. Organizational Culture in the Gig Economy

2017 was a big year for understanding the gig economy. As the trend toward remote office and mobile careers continues, more and more organizations are looking for ways to build a strong culture across a transient workforce. Fortunately, our experience working with the University of Michigan provided some insight into how organizations with a short-term workforce (such as universities with a specific program cycle) can create a culture that can be successfully transmitted to subsequent generations.

2. The Denison Model: Diagnosing and Building Cultural Alignment

Many corporations want to build a stronger organizational culture. The trouble is knowing where to start. It this post, we discuss the Denison Model as a tool to measure cultural performance across multiple variables and how organizations can apply these results to their own culture.

3. How Organization Culture Fits into the Mergers and Acquisition Process

Mergers are never simple. When two organizations come together, they don’t just join their financial, human, and physical resources. They also bring together a series of habits and routines, a “way of doing things” that is sometimes explicit, but just as often unspoken. However, by approaching the M&A process with a series of honest conversations designed to facilitate understanding, organizations stand a much stronger chance of successfully weathering the new merger.

4. Are You Focused on Organizational Culture or Climate?

Culture and climate are related cultural ideas. However, understanding the difference between the two can help solve any number of culture-related conundrums. Organizational climate can be more changeable, like the weather. A culture hoping to foster open sharing of ideas can be temporarily thwarted by a supervisor who may ask for feedback, but never seems to be in the mood to hear it. Read our article for more about the nuances behind this discussion.

5. National Culture vs. Organizational Culture: Which One Wins?

We all understand the concept of a “culture clash” between individuals from two different countries. But what happens when national cultures collide within an organization? For multinational organizations, understanding when organizational culture needs to accommodate national culture—or vice versa—might be key to global success.

What culture challenges does your organization face?

Is your organization hiring members of the gig economy? Are you thinking of acquiring a new partner? Do your international branches struggle to communicate with each other? We’ve worked with many businesses to help them discover, discuss, and overcome these challenges. Contact us if you would like to learn more about our consulting services.

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Creating one culture out of many.
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 effective culture in all of your portfolio firms. Our assessment tools enable you to capture a clear picture of your current state. Our consulting expertise supports you in making the changes necessary to achieve superior financial performance. It’s about how you work as a team, how your policies meet practice within the culture of the organization, how performance aligns with your investment criteria.
  • Delivers a consistent assessment of your portfolio companies
  • Gives you an unambiguous picture of the culture
  • Provides a disciplined process and measureable action plan for
  • Offers hands-on strategic consulting to address gaps and affirm best
practices currently being used by your portfolio companies
Our approach:
Financial Services
In the financial sector, you are active in a wide variety of client environments that need to support accountability and the highest ethical standards. The trust that your customer places in your organization is dependent upon the culture that your employees exhibit every day.

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

Through our consultancy services, we work with a broad cross-section of your technical and operational staff to align around the goal of producing the highest quality products in the world--on time and on budget.
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 best-in-class patient outcomes. Denison works with you to achieve these outcomes by building a culture that is tuned 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. Against four core drivers of cultural high performance, the assessment identifies what is going well and clarifies challenges you may be facing. 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.
At Denison, student outcomes are well understood as the goal of every educational organization. Our consulting expertise and diagnostic tools allow your team to more fully 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.
As a retailer, you know that culture drives the customer experience of your organization. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by your staff all make the difference in each interaction with a consumer. It's that experience that really drives what your behavior should be.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization can support the customer experience. We provide you data that helps you understand your organization all the way through checkout. And we provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address the challenges you face to attract and retain loyal brand customers and to ensure superior financial performance.
Smart restaurant owners know that the patron experience is driven by the culture of their organization. The hospitality, support, and follow-up lived out by your culinary and waitstaff all make the difference in each dish you serve. You know that it is the patron’s needs and expectations that really drive what your team’s behavior should be on the floor.

Denison allows you to understand how your organization is positioned to support the patron experience. We provide you benchmarked data from across the food industry that helps you understand your organization right to the final after-dinner mint. And we provide sustainable support programs that enable you to address the challenges you face to attract and retain loyal brand customers and to ensure superior financial performance.
To achieve high performance in a government initiative requires a different understanding of metrics of success. Typical financial results of business, like sales growth or ROI, are not the KPIs measured here. Rather it is advancement of the mission.

For example, Denison supports military men and women in action through our work with the Defense Logistics Agency (DOA). We provide core culture assessment and an improvement program that helps this department maintain a strong culture to fulfill their mission--addressing everything needed to support fighting 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.
Because of the ever-increasing pace in the introduction of new technology and shortening of technology life-cycle, having a culture fluent in adaptability is critical. These factors all drive the need to recoup costs and show profit more and more quickly. 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 will help you build a culture that knows who it is and who best will fit your organization. With this alignment, you gain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining the engineers, researchers and innovators you need to lead in introducing market-changing innovation.
Whether you deal with business travelers, tourists, or products in the supply chain, safety and schedule reliability are two of the key deliverables. For decades, Denison has worked with leaders in the transportation industry, helping transform organizations in the face of changing markets and technologies, to ensure consumer safety and satisfaction, as well as 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. We put your organization on the path to high performance, with measurable benefits to your bottom line.