Volume 4, Issue 3, 2009
The Denison model is one of the few models that provides a common framework and language for organizational culture and leadership development.
Culture & Leadership Development: Aligning Strategy & People
Do troubled times mean organizations automatically forgo their organizational and leadership development plans? Often training and development programsare the first on the chopping block when organizations face financial belt tightening. A Midwest based global manufacturer met this challenge head on: taking a different approach to developing their organization and their leaders for the future. The economic challenges and business conditions that dominated the early 2000’s had this $7 Billion company firmly entrenched in short-term thinking.However, top leaders realized such thinking had unintended consequences and decided it was important to align leadership development with organizational strategies to get everyone moving in the same direction. With the planning process for the coming fiscal year fast approaching, they wanted to devise a development program that would inform the coming year’s strategic objectives and build goal settingand accountability into the process. With support from the Executive Committee, the Chief Operating Officer partnered with the HR team to develop a program that would not only provide professional development but do so in a way that would align the development activities with the longterm strategic direction of the organization. The focus on finding a solution with a strong link to businessmetrics and a solid foundation in research led the organization to Denison Consulting. The HR team, in conjunction with the COO, designed a two-pronged approach to their development efforts. First, they used the Denison Organizational Culture Survey to assess the organization through the eyes of the top 180 leaders. Next, they used the Denison Leadership Development Survey with the same leaders forindividualized development. The timing
for this initiative tied directly into the yearly planning cycle for the organization, allowing them to connect their organizational and individual development initiatives to the overall strategic plans. This proved to be critical to the success of the program. The Denison Organizational Culture Survey The culture survey was administered in a phased approach.The Executive Committee completed a pilot of the Denison Organizational Culture Survey first. The goal of the pilot was to provide these top managers with a clear understanding of the benefits of the Denison model and gain buy-in from everyone on the team. A Senior Denison Consultant conducted a workshop for the Executive Committee to familiarize them with the Denison model and to debrief theteam’s results. With that process completed, the survey was then rolled out through the officer level of the organization. Through the discussions that ensued, these top leaders recognized some key challenges: first, they were losing sight of the market place and second, some real work was needed to develop their top employees. Therefore, Customer Focus and Capability Development were identified askey areas of focus for the coming year.
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The Denison Model: Aligning Culture and Leadership The Denison Culture Model
The Denison model is one of the only models that aligns leadership behavior with a high performing culture that improves performancein organizations. The Denison model provides a common framework and language for organizational culture and leadership development.
Beliefs and Assumptions
The Denison Leadership Model
Our leadership surveys measure an individual’s leadership skills and practices as they relate to the key traits of Mission, Adaptability, Involvement...
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