One Step Ahead


The Denison Model provides a comprehensive, yet easy to interpret guide for organizational change through two frameworks: The Organizational Culture Model and the Leadership Development Model. Built on the same foundation, both models describe the characteristics of high-performance business culture and leadership and measure four essential traits of all organizations.

The Denison Model is the basis for two diagnostic surveys, the Denison Organizational Culture Survey and the Denison Leadership Development 360.



“Do we know where we are going?”

High performing organizations have a mission that tells employees why they are doing the work they do, and how the work they do each day contributes to the why.

Strategic Direction & Intent: Strategic direction & intent typically refers to the multi–year strategies — high priorities established to ‘operationalize’ the vision.

Goals & Objectives: Goals & objectives are the short–term, specific goals established that help every employee see how his/her daily activities connect to the vision & the strategy.

Vision: Vision is the ultimate reason you are in business – your purpose – what you are ultimately trying to achieve.

“Does our system create leverage?”

Consistency provides a central source of integration, coordination and control, and helps organizations develop a set of systems that create an internal system of governance based on consensual support.

Core Values: High-performing organizations have a clear set of core values that help employees and leaders make consistent decisions and behave in a consistent manner.

Agreement: By engaging in dialogue and getting multiple perspectives on the table people can reach agreement when difficult issues and problems arise.

Coordination & Integration: Employees understand how the work that they do impacts others and how other’s work impacts them. They make sure that work is coordinated and integrated to serve the organization as a whole.

“Are our people aligned and engaged?”

Highly involved organizations create a sense of ownership and responsibility. Out of this sense of ownership grows a greater commitment to the organization and an increased capacity for autonomy.

Empowerment: They clarify those areas where employees can make decisions, have input, or those areas that are beyond an employee’s scope of responsibility. This promotes ‘informed’ empowerment.

Team Orientation: Teamwork is encouraged so that creative ideas are captured and employees support one another in accomplishing work goals.

Capability Development: Capability development is practiced in a variety of ways, including training, coaching, and giving employees exposure to new roles and responsibilities.

“Are we listening to the marketplace?”

High performing organizations have the ability to perceive and respond to the environment, customers, and restructure and re-institutionalize behaviors and processes that allow them to adapt.

Creating Change: High-performing organizations welcome new ideas, are willing to try new approaches to doing things, see creating change as an important part of the way they do business.

Customer Focus: Employees recognize the need to serve both internal & external customers and continually seek new and improved ways to meet customer expectations.

Organisational Learning: ‘Thoughtful’ risk taking is encouraged. Organizational learning means we gain knowledge from successes and failures. Our first reaction to reasonable mistakes is not ‘Who is to blame?’, but rather ‘What can we learn?’

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