River Insights

Conquer Culture Change by Attacking This Challenge

Few things are more daunting than your strategy having ‘Culture Change’ among the priorities for the year.

From River Currents


How to Orchestrate a Successful Company Transformation

At some point in their careers, nearly all CEOs face the challenge of dramatically changing their businesses and organizations in order to sustain the success of their companies.

From River Currents


Achieving the Promise of Transformational M&A Integration

Merger and acquisition deals have slowed a bit lately, yet there are several impending deals in the news; Aetna’s acquisition of Humana, Danone and WhiteWave Foods, and Medivation opening its books to potential buyers.

From River Currents


Leading Through Rapid Growth

Rapid growth is a great problem to have?

A River viewpoint


We Need to Talk

Every year organizations invest thousands of man-hours in the annual performance review.

A River viewpoint


It’s All About Talent: Insights from Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For

Fortune’s most popular issue every year is the “The Best 100 Companies to Work For.”

From River Currents


Failed M&A Leadership

M&A activity is heating up, but are these deals also destined to fail?

A River viewpoint


The Secret to Unlocking Organizational Agility

The secret to unlocking organizational agility.

From River Currents


Changing Your Performance Management? – Tips for the CHRO

If you are not already doing it, you may be thinking about changing the performance management process in your organization.

From River Currents


Building a Sustainable Family Owned Business

Family businesses contribute an estimated 70% to global GDP but statistics show that 65% of family wealth is lost by the second generation and 90% by the third generation.

From River Currents

Other sources

Building An Innovation Culture (When You’re Stuck With A Lot Of Non-innovators On Payroll)
by Micah Solomon
December 20, 2016

Winning the Digital War for Talent
by Gerald C. Kane, Doug Palmer, Anh Nguyen Phillips, and David Kiron
Winter 2017
MITSloan Management Review

Meet The Woman Behind LinkedIn’s Thriving Company Culture
by Wes Gay
November 29, 2016

The Role of the Chief Transformation Officer
by Olivier Gorter, Richard Hudson, and Jesse Scott
November 2016

Reorganization Rules That Work
by Rose Beauchamp, Stephen Heidari-Robinson, and Suzanne Heywood
November 2016

HR Can’t Change Company Culture by Itself
by Rebecca Newton
November 2, 2016

Transformation with a Capital T
by Michael Bucy, Stephen Hall, and Doug Yakola
November 2016
McKinsey Quarterly

Transforming HR and culture: An interview with Banco de Crédito del Perú’s Bernardo Sambra
by Rodrigo Chaparro Gazzo, and Christian Johnson
November 2016

Successful Companies Don’t Adapt, They Prepare
by Greg Satell
October 18, 2016

Reorganization without Tears
by Rose Beauchamp, Stephen Heidari-Robinson, and Suzanne Heywood
October 2016
McKinsey Quarterly

How Large Companies Can Remain Nimble In The Age of Breakneck Speed
by Rajeev Peshawaria
October 3, 2016

The Performance Management Revolution
by Peter Cappelli and Anna Tavis
October 2016
Harvard Business Review

Organization Assessment

Like doctors, we believe that intervention without diagnosis is malpractice.

Why is something happening? What is the cause? Why is something else not happening? What is blocking it?

How long a diagnosis takes, and how extensive it is depends on the context. But, we know that visible symptoms indicating either pain or joy do not always represent the true underlying causes.

And before knowing what action to take, we need to know the true causes.

Diagnostics are an essential part of improving organizational effectiveness, especially in accelerating the implementation of a new strategy.

Organization Transformation

Leading a transformation is a specific leadership skill. We define it as:

The inspiring, energetic and collaborative pursuit of a strategy that requires a change in the fundamental nature of the business. It is relentlessly driven forward by leaders of integrity. They lead by example and a demonstrated commitment to the greater good of the company. They engender the trust and support necessary from those they lead.

By definition, a transformation, requires a major change effort. This is mostly the consequence of a change in strategy.

Once the strategic direction is defined, we support CEOs and senior leaders in architecting change.

Culture Alignment

Strategy is what is visible, on the surface. Culture is unseen. But in a battle between culture and strategy, culture always wins.

Redefining the strategy is much easier than reshaping the culture.

It can take years, and is a formidable challenge that should be owned and led by the CEO and the leadership group. Because culture is the result of what leaders do; how they behave.

M&A Integration

It’s exhilarating chasing the deal. It’s logical deciding which factories to close. It’s rational choosing which processes to merge.

But still most M&As fail.

They wouldn’t if the same discipline and diligence that is applied to the financials of closing the deal are also applied to leadership and cultural issues.

The River Strength Meter: Merger Integration

Hubris and Numbers Prevail Engineered: for Failure Engagement 101 Change Leadership Enlightened Integration Cracking the Code

Organization Design

Organizations are complex social systems. Redesign requires significant changes to structure, decision-making processes and senior roles.

But this work can get messy—fast. It needs to be rigorous and disciplined.

Who does a design? The CEO is responsible. But, with boundary conditions, you can minimize politics and reduce staff anxiety by involving senior leaders.

The River Strength Meter: Organization Design

Back of the Napkin Amateur Hour Engagement 101 Change Leadership Strategy Driven Design Strategy, Structure and Talent