Why Culture & Leadership Matter: Proving the People – Performance Connection

Of course organisational culture and leadership matter. This promotional catalogue of research undertaken by Human Synergistics researchers parades a regiment of graphs to make the case for their particular approach improving organisational performance.

The book is designed, according to the company's Chairman Shaun McCarthy, to look into the specific changes in individual thinking, behaviours, strategies, approaches and organisational practices of Human Synergistics' “integrated model for individual, group and organisational development”.

The booklet uses data collected in Australia and New Zealand over the past three years to illustrate:

  • personal thinking styles related to satisfaction with work, life and personal effectiveness
  • behavioural styles linked to effectiveness in managerial and leadership roles
  • the impact certain approaches to leadership have on how people behave (culture) and the leader's effectiveness
  • the impact some approaches to management have on how people behave and therefore a manager's effectiveness
  • the relationship between certain managerial skills and effectiveness in the role
  • the impact of organisational practices on culture and the impact of culture on individual engagement , group effectiveness and external adaptability
  • the impact of organisational behaviours on customer service. 

The case is presented in seven chapters. The first of which, Personal Thinking – The Life Styles Inventory – Self Description, claims that research shows that our successes and failures in life are closely related to how we learn to view ourselves and our relationships with others.

The next chapter on behavioural styles is about how others describe their leaders and managers and their consequent effectiveness in these two roles.

Two chapters record the impact leaders and managers have on organisational culture and performance. There are, it seems, 10 essential leadership strategies that seriously impact culture and effectiveness. A manager's impact on culture and personal effectiveness on the other hand, is dependent on how he or she approaches 15 critical management activities. Supervisory management skills are linked to a supervisor's ability to perform 14 key managerial skills.

The book is rounded out with chapters on organisational culture, customer service styles and some industry profiles. Hardly entertaining but a nicely presented grab bag of graphs and interpretations, the relevance of which readers must decide for themselves.


  • Reviewed by Reg Birchfield; writer on management, leadership and governance. [email protected]
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