Thinking Ahead Institute research and publications on the importance of culture & leadership, and diversity & inclusion in investment organisations 

Individuals are at the heart of the change needed to respond to many of the new challenges all organisations face today. To maximise the differentiating impact people can deliver, leadership need to create an inclusive, supportive and strong culture where colleagues can thrive. Teams are considered the prime unit of value creation for an organisation, and organisational culture increasingly the differentiating factor or edge investment organisations try to achieve. In 2022, our research in this space will focus on decision making and Superteams, as part of our Power of Teams (TPOT) research project. It follows our Power of Culture (TPOC) study and will incorporate the leadership models covered in that research, as well as key culture aspects such as: diversity, equity and inclusion; identity and belonging; and T-shaped people and teams. The TPOT research project will explore and develop the concepts and practice of Superteams, as well as the application of tools, while also delving into the new world of work. We will also build on our Wider Perspectives work as we move into Acts IV and V of the Covid-19 ‘tragedy’.

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Culture and Superteams

Research to date

In 2015, we started exploring leadership, decision making and culture’s contribution to the performance of asset managers and owners. At the time, not a topic that was widely regarded. But we persisted, steadfast in our believe that people and ultimately a good culture are the ‘secret sauce’ that differentiate organisations and their ability to respond to a VUCA world. We developed a culture framework and model, formalised in The impact of culture on institutional investors paper, which was implemented in asset manager selection exercises by some of our members, including WTW. In 2019, we launched the Power of Culture industry study, conducted over three years, to include 28 investment organisations and 550 business leaders and produced two white papers, including: Culture – the organisational superpower.

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Culture and Climate Change



Our industry has developed a dependency on teams’ collective intelligence. However, there needs to be more focus on the important dynamics of teamwork and team thought to develop Superteams that can deliver exceptional accomplishments and outcomes. Learn how strong culture and governance can turn your good teams into Superteams here.

Our industry has developed a dependency on teams

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Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

Leadership and decision making

Creating safe zones for team decisions

10 tips for more inclusive meetings

Better decision –making toolkit

Collective decision making in action

Asset owner peer study smart leadership

Podcast: The different leadership types and their role during a crisis

Podcast and deck: The scaffolding and the bricks

Related Events

Power of culture summit 2020

Culture summit 2021

Climb the new view – virtual webinar

Research and further content

The Power of Culture whitepaper (members only)

This whitepaper builds on the The power of culture study, which involved 15 asset managers and asset owners. These leader organisations joined the study in various ways to better understand their own cultural signature and leadership, where they sit on a spectrum and how they could sharpen their own competitive edge.

The impact of culture on institutional investors

Culture is a unique ingredient in the struggle for competitive advantage among institutional investment organisations. There are ways for culture to be managed and developed over time but it will take focus, patience, leadership and process.

The power of culture study

Following more in-depth research into effective culture in investment organisations we are now launching a global peer study of asset managers and asset owners keen to understand their own cultural signature and leadership footprints, where they sit on a spectrum and how they could sharpen their edge. In addition to developing their own better cultural outcomes, participants will be signing up to support more wide-spread positive cultural change.

10 tips for running more inclusive meetings

Due to the nature of meetings, some colleagues will melt into the background while others may take control over the majority of the conversation, and the decisions made. This can mean that not only do some team members feel unheard and undervalued, but strong ideas are lost. Find 10 tips we feel can help make your meetings not only more effective, but more inclusive.

Better decision-making: a toolkit

Despite the central role that decision-making plays in the institutional investment process, most investment professionals would, if pushed, express at least some dissatisfaction with both the process and the outcome of key decisions. We describe a range of possible responses to the challenge – these responses can be thought of as a toolkit. While this is not the most original analogy, it is probably the most apt.

Collective decision-making in action (members only)

Strong decision-making emerges when the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The central focus of the case study is how a group can effectively integrate individual thought processes, relationships, communication patterns and other aspects of interaction into superior collective judgement.