The power of culture

A global peer study on investment culture, leadership and diversity

A global peer study on investment culture, leadership and diversity

A global peer study on investment culture, leadership and diversity 20190924T000000Z 1

The Thinking Ahead Institute was formed in 2015 to address the main investment industry issues, including culture and leadership and one of our first research papers was about culture in institutional investment. Since then our members have used the research to measure and manage their cultures. Specifically, one of our members – Willis Towers Watson – has used the research to develop its manager research culture assessment framework, designed to assess and select asset managers based on how they deliver value to their employees and clients and how their leadership provide cultural guidance and oversight.

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. This will be achieved as aggregated results and data sheds new light on the power of culture to support greater purpose and mission in the investment industry, while highlighting diversity and inclusion as a cultural-edge opportunity.

By participating, we believe organisations will:
• Improve their vocabulary and narrative on culture, including access to the latest Institute research
• Have their culture measured and be empowered to manage it using proprietary Institute tools
• Make the link between strategy and culture more tangible and achievable through dialogue with the Institute team
• Explore how greater organisational purpose can be part of the culture and vision conversation
• Discover opportunities for culture innovation, particularly around diversity and inclusion.

The study’s findings will explore individual organisation’s beliefs using our confidential proprietary survey to engage senior leadership and derive their beliefs about culture, including their own organisation’s position, cross-referencing with sample views across all organisations. With this data we will produce a customised culture dashboard report and use it to give 1-2-1 feedback that helps explore the organisation’s cultural state and aspirations, and will be captured in a white paper comprising feedback data, analysis and narrative on the state of culture in the investment industry and its influences, opportunities and challenges. This will be presented at The power of culture summit, to bring participating organisations together to develop further industry-wide insights and to unveil an investment industry culture peer benchmark.

The Thinking Ahead Institute is a not-for-profit research and innovation member group and we are requesting study subscriptions of US$20,000 (to cover our costs): invoicing you US$10,000 on sign up and US$10,000 on publication of the white paper. Subscriptions for members of the Institute will be waived. For more information please enquire here, or call Paul Deane-Williams (+447734342139) or read our  FAQs.

The power of culture summit

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Study participants only

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Members only

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Members only


 Further reading  

  Culture value creation and purpose

Value creation and purpose

A further dimension to our sustainability research – as recognition of the need for organisations to better understand the value they create for stakeholders. Understanding what stakeholders value is a critical input into determining an organisation’s vision, strategy and culture. Further reading: Missions Critical: understanding value creation.

  Culture - multi factor diversity

Multi-factor diversity

Organisations need to be wary of this and employ deeper thinking on diversity, in all of its forms, whilst employing a sustained and systematic commitment to diversity and its inclusion in all aspects of their business models. Further reading: Multi-factor diversity.

  Culture - better decision making

Better decision making

Collective decision-making is a skill that can be more easily nurtured in an organisation with a strong and collaborative culture. Further reading: Better decision -making: a toolkit, contains a list of tools, including how to improve group dynamics for key decision-making meetings.

Related content:

Content hub: Culture, leadership and diversity 

Article: What have we learnt about effective culture at investment organisations?

Article: Raising our game: from gender diversity to embracing whole identity  

Podcast: Culture in the investment industry

Article: The asset owner of tomorrow

Article: Culture can be a measurable edge for investment organisations

Article: Create psychological safe zones to improve collective decision-making

Research paper: Culture as a measurable edge

Speech: Culture and leadership