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Organizational Culture: The Foundation for Success By Dr. Kas Henry

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Organizational Culture: The Foundation for Success By Dr. Kas Henry


Organizational culture is the synthesis of values, beliefs, language, and norms that exists within an organization that ultimately shapes its thoughts as well as actions.  It is quite possible for sub cultures to exist within a larger organizational culture.

  • Culture is influenced by leadership and tone at the top to reflect on team dynamics
  • Culture informs and shapes the strategic thinking and frames the assumptions within an organization
  • Assumptions within the existing cultural framework drives organizational behavior
  • Behavior over time culminates in results and employee morale
  • Results and morale over time established performance standards and innovation
  • Performance over time yields organizational strategic direction and change

This clearly illustrates the permeating influence of culture on business strategy and business outcomes.



However, investing in building and harnessing an ethical organizational culture that is capable of delivering sustainable economic growth alongside building an authentic brand, market trust and employee loyalty is often overlooked because of its complex psychological component.  When building the right culture is ignored, growth, change, performance, innovation and execution all become casualties.




A recent 2-year longitudinal study conducted by Google on 180 teams demonstrated that there are 5 key elements that successfully develops high performance teams.  These 5 elements are:


1. Dependability


Team members get things done on time and meet expectations.
2. Structure & Clarity High performing teams have clear goals, plan and have well-defined roles within the group.


3. Meaning


The work has personal significance to each member.
4. Impact


The group believes their work is purposeful and positively impacts the greater good.


5. Psychological Safety


A situation in which everyone is safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and ask judgment-free questions. A culture where managers provide air cover and create safe zones where employees can let down their guard.



Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) is a process by with organizations buy and integrate other organizations.  Think of it as the Brady Bunch family integration for organizations where “His” and “Hers” brought together to create the new “Theirs”. This is a grave time of transformation for organizations and getting the new organizational culture just right is vital for the viability of the new entity.


During growth, steady or maturity stages of an organization this same organizational culture plays a vital role.  Employee morale, innovation, learning and growing are all positive aspects that can come about only in a safe zone culture.  These are not metrics measured in spreadsheets but built though deep understanding of human psychology.  Building an organization with a positive culture therefore requires the leadership to be decisive in eliminating toxic elements and personalities before the cancerous nature of their negative impacts take root to rot the organization from the inside out.

I invite you to join me on August 3rd to explore the various aspects of organizational culture through the use of specific examples with my guest William R. Stark, Practice Leader and M&A of Maverick LLC.  You will be sure to enjoy listening in on the conversation and use the experience based guidance to getting your own cultural change just right!

Harmonizing Work & Motherhood: Can We Afford Not To? By Dr. Kas Henry

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Harmonizing Work & Motherhood:  Can We Afford Not To? By Dr. Kas Henry

Harmonizing Work & Motherhood:  Can We Afford Not To?


Women are an integral part of the global work place.  They are parallel thinking multi-taskers alongside their sequential thinking male individual taskers. Men and women solve problems differently and women are more prone to natural collaboration and seeking assistance.  A good balance of both male and female perspectives to ideas and solutions are needed for business success and the brain function studies seem to affirm that much needed gender balance.


Research shows that

  • Fortune 500 Firms with women Board members outperform their peers by 53% greater ROE
  • Women make up half of the U.S. workforce and comprise $5 trillion in purchasing power
  • Women make up a majority of the single parent households with children in the US
  • 80% of all US healthcare decisions are made by women
  • 70% of all major financial decisions in the US households are made by women




Women are daughters, mothers and wives.  As such they are the care givers of their families. They are required to juggle work, family, social obligations and taking care of themselves.  Women are considered “stay at home” and “not working” when they are not employed for wages but expend energy working for the family from morning till night for no pay.  When women work for wages, they take on a second job, a job outside of the home.  This job may not pay equal wages for equal work when a male and a female perform that same job, even in developed first world nations like the US.  In a system like the US, women are actuarially valued to be higher risk for healthcare as those naturally endowed to give birth.  So, we create a perfect storm, placing women to juggle work, life, family while making lower wages and paying higher insurance alongside making majority of the financial decisions and carrying a greater financial burden.




Other nations like Canada places high value in motherhood and gives mothers time off to care for their new born and support the family.  Those countries value early mother-child bonding and strong family as a foundation for building a stronger society that is socially engineered for lasting and prospering.





Then there are other nations across the world, like India, that cannot even assure the safety of the woman in the workplace where women could be sexually assaulted by her co-workers.


This is the spectrum of women in the workplace in our global economic environment.


No doubt, women have come a long way in the workplace, but there is more to be done and much continue to remain a conundrum. Women not staying in the workforce and leaving to raise families while be unemployed or under employed is not healthy for business or society.  Attracting, developing and retaining women in the workforce is important for the organizational succession plan.


How do we support women in the workplace?  How public policy, employers, co-workers, families and society as a whole come together to create harmony of work-life-family where women can bring their best to each situation is of utmost importance today, then ever.  Because, today we have a female workforce that is more educated than their male counterparts and we have more families with single mothers across the world.  How we support working women is the foundation for how we are preparing to groom our future generations being raised by these women.  


As the millennial generation and Gen Zs come of age, we are also seeing more men comfortable with the stay at home role as women with their better education become the primary bread winners.  The approach to dealing with the Women in the workplace will also need to be applied to the gender reversal we see emerging. Please join me and my guests, Allison Robinson and Christine Coyle of The Mom Project, to explore how best to harness the value of women and mothers in the workplace and continue to build that into the optimal approach for supporting families.

Unleashing the Feminine Energy to Shaping Our Tomorrows By Kas Henry

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Unleashing the Feminine Energy to Shaping Our Tomorrows By Kas Henry

Mother Earth.  Mother Nature. Mother Land. Mother Tongue.  All that nurtures and sustains our very existence as well as communication is referred to as ‘Mother” because as a human society, deep down at the core of our souls, we know that feminine power is undisputable.  Female power is necessary for shaping all that is around us.

  As a Hindu child, I was raised to believe that being a woman is powerful and comes with great responsibility.  Responsibility to nurture and support a family.  Be the energy and vitality that anchors both home and society.  For Hindus, God is part male and part female where the female aspect of God is called “Shakthi”, translated in English to mean Energy.  Therefore, the strength of a woman is expected.  The energy and strength of a woman brings each of us into this world. Without women, there is no life and most species will become extinct, including humans.  Given this undisputable fact, I continue to contemplate why women’s rights and women’s empowerment is something we have to take on as a cause?  Why is it looked upon differently than a Man’s given right?


I had the added advantage of being born and raised in Sri Lanka, a nation that gave to the world its very first female head of state from a modern democracy, Sirimavo Bandaranaake, in 1960.  Women were heads of households and women can be heads of states was my childhood reality.  However, as I grew older and travelled the world, I began to realize that was not the case everywhere.  I began to realize there were those who were into empowering everyone including women and then there were those who controlled everyone including women.  

That meant, I as a girl growing into a young woman, needed to learn how not to give over control of my very being and take charge of my journey in life.  A gift of life given to me by my God, who embodies the female energy, cannot be surrendered to insecure human beings who saw their path to success as controlling others.  Instead, I needed to seek the mentorship and support of enlightened human beings to help me fully reach my full potential.

Being an empowered woman means owning one’s journey and empowering others, both men and women, along life’s journey.  It is not about looking at anyone as the enemy but treating everyone as fellow travelers with a shared purpose of leaving this place, any place, better than we found it.  Empowered women ennoble others.  They bring out the noble qualities in everyone they touch.  Empowered women shape their path by continually transforming themselves and those around them.

Growing up in South Asia, it was engrained as part of our basic education that serving others in our free time is not optional or resume building but duty to society.  We were taught that our civic duty is what earned us rights in a democracy for self-determination.  This meant, I had the opportunity to engage in educating and empowering women as the pathway to empowering families and communities.

Basic literacy, finical literacy and other means of empowerment were activities I had the honor of participating in.  I must admit, those activities prepared me more for life than anything else because it gave me the opportunity to learn empathy, walk a mile in another person’s shoes and partner with them to strategize a better future.  I found my humanity and calling in that process.

With a young Dodderi Village girl during University Vacation where I spent the summer building a school and teching.  Dodderi village is located in the State of Karnataka, India.


The true wealth of a society is not measured in currency or material assets, but in how the women of that society are treated.  Be it education, healthcare, career choices, or life choices, when women are not free to make their own choices, the underlying society is not free and it is not truly capable of realizing its collective potential.  Should women get equal pay? Should women have the right to make their own choices with regards to their own bodies? Should women be punished when their bodies were violated? Should women’s reproductive health matter? Could women pursue any career they want without hazing or retribution? If these questions are asked in a society, it is an indication of that society not yet being free in the factual sense of the word.


Supporting women, empowering women and celebrating women is not solely dependent on the men in a society. Good and strong men already do this because they know that they need a strong woman by their side to face their own challenges. Alongside these good men, we women should stand shoulder-to-shoulder and pull each other up.  We can never forget that we hold our destinies in the palm of our own hands.  This week, my guest will be Traci Campbell, the Founder of BIBO, an organization focused on recognizing empowered women, celebrating their positive social impact and laying the foundation for a collaborative effort to magnify the goodness to make it contagious. Please join me on the show and call in with questions.  This is our world and it is our lives that we are transforming.  Let’s get engaged!

Financial Freedom through Responsible Capitalism By Kas Henry

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Financial Freedom through Responsible Capitalism By Kas Henry

When Adam Smith prescribed a modern economic framework to free the world of the oppression of Colonial Economy, he saw Capitalism as a process of wealth building for individual nations. He saw Labor as the true wealth creator and Capital as the seed money that was necessary in the process of converting raw material into finished products to drive the economic engine.  Regulation was seen as the referee to insure neither those investing the capital nor the ones expending labor had the upper hand, so as to maintain the required equilibrium for building the “Wealth of Nations”.  Responsible capitalism understands the need for equilibrium.  It uses regulations sensibly, to effectively utilize labor and capital in the pursuit of wealth creation.


  In our modern global economy, capital ought to be understood in its totality if we are to successfully seek our individual and collective economic empowerment.  Capital is not just money. Capital is assets that enable all economic activity.  Manufactured capital, financial capital, social capital, human capital and natural capital are all to be understood and synchronized in mindful economic pursuit. On our first show we talked about the importance of focusing on the Triple Bottom Line (TBL), Profit, People and Planet.  The successful pursuit of TBL requires the comprehension of capital in its entirety as illustrated here.


Educating members of society on how the economy works and how one could actively engage in the economy to shape their own economic wellbeing should not be optional.  Societies that value its citizenry view such an education as basic investment.  Home, school, and self-learning all have a role in laying the foundation for such an impactful knowledge pursuit.  This is the kind of knowledge that prepares a society for life, innovation and self-determination.


One does not need to start with financial capital to attain financial freedom.  I say this based on my personal experience.  I came to the US in 1995, as a working adult professional to earn my MBA.  I had accumulated 3-months of paid time off and withdrew my Provident Fund (Retirement Fund) to start a new chapter.  My employer, Standard Charted Bank, gave me the option, in writing, to come back if things did not work out or once I finished my MBA.  That was my social capital at work by an employer who valued its human capital.  When I converted my Sri Lankan Rupees to US Dollars, at the rate of more than 100:1, I knew how far my financial capital could go.  Not far enough for a full semester and not far enough in most American communities where education was 1/3 the cost while cost of living was 2/3.  I researched and found a University with the highest MBA accreditation but with one of the lowest cost of living in the US.


I chose Indiana State University at Terre Haute, Indiana, and started my graduate program in the shorter Summer Semester.  I put my financial asset to its optimal use. Then I demonstrated the value of my human capital to the Department of Continuing Education and negotiated a Graduate Assistantship in automating and managing the university Summer Session and Annual Continuing Education Program Budgets. That paid for my MBA and gave me a cost of living allowance.  When I graduated, AT&A hired me and moved me to the Chicago Market.  I relocated to Chicago in the car of my best friend, taking with me all my worldly possessions.  My books, a $9 used mattress I had purchased from a Chinese student and 2 plastic chairs I purchased from Dollar General for $10.  My real wealth was my knowledge, my social capital comprising of my lasting relationships and my deep appreciation for the collective human capital.  In the 20-years I have lived and worked in Chicago, I have been able to seek my own economic empowerment but it was not accomplished alone.  Countless relationships have helped me get here and I have kept the Triple Bottom Line and shared prosperity in perspective in building win-win partnerships.


Today, I educate others as a professor, consult for business as a practitioner, and volunteer through organizations as a responsible citizen to share my experience to help others seek their own economic freedom.  Our modern global economy is market driven.  That market has 75 – 100 Million of the world’s population at the top of the Economic Pyramid making over US $20,000 in a year; Over 4 Billion people are at the bottom of the pyramid making US $1,500 or less.  This tells us that the businesses that have a sustained economic value creation capability, over the long haul, are those that serve the 4 Billion at the bottom of the pyramid through responsible capitalism to give these people dignity and choice by delivering high quality, low cost goods and services in small quantities accessible through local markets.  This is a strategy formulated by Dr. C. K. Prahalad, taught in Business Schools and put into practice by global corporations like Unilever.  




Institutions like Grameen Bank, started by MBA students in Bangladesh, have given the world access to Micro Credit.  Practices such as these are enabling economic empowerment and social entrepreneurs across developing nations in Asia and Africa to make financial freedom possible to countless communities.  This model for developing nations can find application in various under developed communities of developed nations.   This model can be utilized by any community, to transform their economic status, through collaborative partnerships with businesses, local governments, non-profit organizations and motivated social entrepreneurs.




Financial freedom through economic empowerment is possible, with the shared transformational journey in one community at a time.  For communities to seek this economic empowerment successfully, the women and men in the communities should be equally empowered.  This week, I will engage Jonathan Gripe, Financial Advisor from Edward Jones, in a conversation of how individuals and families can build their way to financial freedom.  Financial freedom has to start with being open to learn, grow, pay ourselves before paying others and re-thinking the definition of capital and market in our modern global economy.  Individual and community transformation is needed for this journey, with an approach of all hands on deck.  The good news is, together we can do it!  Please join me in exploring how we can take the necessary steps towards this financial freedom!

More Here!

Are You Ready? The Information Economy IS Here! By Dr. Kas Henry

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Are You Ready? The Information Economy IS Here! By Dr. Kas Henry

Last week we explored the role of education in shaping the transformational journey needed to compete successfully as a knowledge worker in today’s information economy.  This week, we will delve into what it takes to plan ahead to succeed in careers given the information economy. As the global economy evolves, we need to continue our own evolution to remain relevant if we seek economic empowerment.  Therefore, to sustain ourselves, change is inevitable.  The ability to change and deal with that change is the underpinning of transformation. You may have noticed that this show deals with empowerment as a continued journey of transformation.  Nowhere is this more aptly captured than in the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.


  I can speak from personal experience that change is scary, especially change that grabs you and thrusts you into a totally unplanned and unexpected situation where there is no easy way out.  Such unexpected change showed-up in my life by way of a civil war shattering my expectation of home, family and all that is seen to be save and comforting….  Through no choice of mine, I became a refugee child in my own island nation, Sri Lanka, at the time I was in 8th grade.  I had to work through finishing up my O/Ls (10th Grade in the British system of Education) in my mother-tongue, Tamil, before leaving home, family and country to continue my education in India.


My whole world had changed, including the language I spoke.  I was in Bangalore, India, with no friends, family or anything familiar.  Just like the caterpillar, I had a task ahead…. A task of planning and executing my personal transformation so that when I emerged as a butterfly, at the end of that metamorphosis, I was ready to take flight.  So, I sat in my classes, took notes fanatically in my mother-tongue; using the dictionary and glossary of technical terms translated into English class notes. My daily learning was not limited to the subjects covered in class but the need to think, understand, write and communicate in English after doing all that in a different language up until then.  Was it scary? Certainly!  Did I have a choice? No!

I made strategic choices in my selection of specialization and elected to pursue a triple concentration in Computer Science, Math and Physics because they were subjects that used numbers and logic giving me freedom from language limitations.  This triple major also helped me plan my career options suited for the information economy from the very city that planned to become the seat of global technology, Bangalore. While in Bangalore, I developed the art of building lasting relationships, worked together with my peers for a successful shared journey and built a support system rooted in human kindness.  Bangalore is the city that helped me become the “butterfly” I am today.  To this day, I cherish my friends, extended family and countless caring human beings from various walks of life made my todays possible.

Change is not a threat but an opportunity to seek new possibilities.   Preparing for the information economy jobs in most parts of the world is not as traumatic as mine was but it can be challenging.

Just because the old era jobs no longer exist does not have to stop us from seeking new skills.  We are only limited by our own lack of imagination and tenacity.  Technology is disrupting every industry including Healthcare, Accounting, Finance, Retail, Business, Manufacturing, Communication and even human relationships.  Robotics and Bots are part of our lives and it is time we understood them.  Approaching technology as the enemy is not the prudent way to become empowered.  Embracing it and evolving to effectively utilize it is the pathway to success.




This week, we will engage in an exciting discussion with young professionals who have taken different routes to get to their current role as knowledge workers in the information economy.  Their diverse backgrounds and insights will help the listeners of “Unleash Your Inner Goldilocks: How to Get It Just Right” glean pointers in shaping their own transformational journey.  You will be surprised at the different ways one can pursue career success as long as the passion for pursuing success is alive.  Come join our conversation this Thursday and be a part of embracing the information economy for our shared success!

Want to Transform Your Future? Lay the Foundation of Knowledge Today By Kas Henry

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Want to Transform Your Future? Lay the Foundation of Knowledge Today By Kas Henry

I hail from a society that believes “knowledge is food for the soul”.  The knowledge which sustains and shapes the soul transcends a life-time and continues on with the soul beyond the lifespan of the body itself.  Knowledge with that kind of staying power is not merely transactional but deeply transformational.  Knowledge transforms all souls engage in the process of pursuing it, embracing it and applying it. Just as much a body needs nutrients to sustain wellbeing, the soul needs its learning to sustain its transformational journey.


Knowledge and learning can come from various sources. It is factual. Formal education is the process of learning how to seek knowledge and continue a journey of life long transformation. Somewhere along the way, some societies have switched from teaching the art of learning to teaching for the test.  Life is not about having answers because there are no answers.  Life is about choices and consequences that come with the choices made. Why then did we get off track and start teaching to tests?  Why have we created the false expectation that there are right and wrong answers for all things in life, work, government and societies?  President Randy J. Dunn of Southern Illinois University System will engage with me in a discussion on how we have arrived at a time and place where education and pursuit of knowledge have ceased to be about transformation and become merely transactional. We will also explore how to get back on track towards the intended purpose of education.


Most societies view students as raw material and work in progress, being transformed through the process of learning into knowledge workers suited for the information economy.  Such transformed workers are an asset to the society that invested in the learning and therefore benefit from the social investment.  Treating learners as customers and treating education as transactional exchange based on tuition and fees undermines the opportunity for transformation.


Today, the global economy faces the real challenge where, western societies like the US having paved the way for the Information Economy have failed to transform all its workers from the industrial age to the information age, resulting in a tumultuous civil society. At the same time, developing nations like India have jumped-passed the industrial age, by design, to invest in transforming its population into knowledge workers capable of competing effectively in the information economy.


Pitting prepared knowledge workers of one society against others who missed the opportunity of such a transformational journey does not solve the fundamental issues at hand.  It just escalates conflict.  Instead, how do we explore opportunities to take the industrial age workers through their own transformational journey to be prepared for the jobs of our modern economy is the problem required solving. How can we accomplish this knowledge reset to continue the enduring human journey is the educational public policy challenge of the day!


Please come join President Randy J. Dunn and I to be part of this conversation by tuning into the upcoming episode of “Unleash Your Inner Goldilocks: How to Get It Just Right” to be a part of the conversation.  Then join our shared pursuit of translating that conversation into tangible action.

More Here!

Know your Self Interest, Then Shape Your World By Dr. Kas Henry

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Know your Self Interest, Then Shape Your World By Dr. Kas Henry

The life we sustain by our choices are our own. This is nowhere truer than in a capitalist democracy where our choices drive the market and our civil society through our vote and subsequent participation in the democratic process.  A functional democracy that intends to be sustainable cannot be treated as a spectator sport by the citizens.  It is very much a contact sport that requires educated and fact based active participation if it is to benefit the voting citizens. At the core of that participatory democracy is an empowered citizen population that understand their own self-interest.

Each persona’s self-interest is not one-dimensional because it needs to address the interest of a person in the four functional roles, namely
• Worker
• Consumer
• Investor
• Citizen
If we want high pay as workers, we need to understand that we cannot have all our goods and services free or cheap.  If we want high return on investment form our 401K or Pension, regardless of the morality of the organizations delivering those high returns, as citizens and consumers are we willing to accept the cost of profit making by way of pollution in our water supply or the sub-prime crisis that leads to our job loss and home foreclosure?

It is true we come into every situation for a purpose, but just like Goldilocks realized, we need to exclude the extreme choices of “Too Hot” and “Too Cold” to find what is “just right” and then pursue it while balancing our self-interest.  Such is the case when shaping public policy.  Stakeholders start in extreme positions and with dialogue, facts and consensus building a workable balance could be established for progress to happen.

Please join My Guest Bukola Bello of Vision Mai LLC and me to engage in this very important conversation so we get it just right. We need to harmonize our multifaceted self-interest to build a solid foundation for a sustainable democracy which is the underpinning of our empowered lives.  The rules of engagement for our lives are shaped by the public policies in play. Let’s make sure we lay down these policies just right so we can build on it!


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