Read Sherry's blog postings Follow Sherry on Twitter Email us Print this page
Lessons Learned

Three decades of helping people in organizations work with greater purpose and harmony has taught us a few things. Some of the principles that guide our work are:

  1. Successful organizations are led by people who consistently focus on their mission, then align programs, structures, and systems to achieve it.
  2. An organization's culture is one of the most important and least understood variables that determine success. Cultures can be made more connective and customer-oriented through culture change initiatives, producing positive results in every corner of the organization.
  3. High performing teams are more evidence-driven than anecdotally-based. They rigorously measure against benchmarks in order to improve performance and deliver on their commitments.
  4. Form must follow function. Every organization has Spirit—its purpose or function—and Order—its forms of delivery through programs, systems, and structures. Relevant, dynamic organizations are clear and firm about their Spirit, while remaining flexible about Order. All decisions about Order should be evaluated in terms of how well they advance the Spirit. Our Connective Change framework has demonstrated the power of having Spirit drive Order.
  5. Effective change initiatives take time, which requires a visible, consistent, and ongoing commitment from organizational leaders, who must model the behaviors they expect of others.
  6. Examine your assumptions. They are the Mother of Major Screw-Ups.
  7. In the end, everything is about relationships.