April 6, 2007
  Feature Story

Denison Chart
First Friday Update by President Scott Ransom

So what did the Denison Organizational Culture Survey tell us about ourselves?

In general, we believe that we have a shared vision of what our Health Science Center will be like in the future, and that our core values and work ethics are important. That’s an excellent foundation for progress. We also believe we have room for improvement when it comes to teamwork, training and adapting to change. That’s a call to action. I encourage you to read and consider an overview of the results that are posted on the Office of Strategy and Measurement Web site. Even if you’re not surprised by what you see, you might be surprised by what’s going to happen next.

It’s not uncommon for organizations to have an initial flurry of reaction to the results of a survey like the Denison. But then, they miss the critical step of follow-up with a solid plan for using the feedback. I want to make sure that doesn’t happen here at our Health Science Center.

Why? Ask any of our researchers, health care providers, managers or recruiters. Today’s competition for funding… for patients… for the best employees… for the best students… is intense.

How do we achieve a competitive edge? We must excel in all of the areas the Denison survey explored: adaptability, involvement, consistency and mission.  It is only through this exploration that we can achieve our goal of becoming a Top 10 Health Science Center.

Like the saying goes: If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you always got. I know, and you know, that’s not good enough these days.

I want to personally thank the more than 600 employees who took the time to answer the Denison survey’s 60 questions. Your feedback will help us take the first steps to improving effectiveness, performance and competitiveness throughout all levels of our workforce.

Such change won’t happen overnight. But one thing’s for sure… we must start now.

Here’s the plan.

  • First, now that my Executive Team and I have reviewed the survey results, I’m taking the data to about 50 employees from across the Health Science Center – a group I call my Leadership Team. These are your department heads and chairs… people who have direct responsibility for budgets and implementing our strategy map. I’ll ask them for their ideas on how to address the strengths and opportunities expressed in the survey results.
  • Next, I’ll take that team’s feedback to five other groups, our Strategic Thinking Councils. There’s one for each of our mission-centric areas: Administration, Education, Research, Clinical Care and Community Engagement. These groups include both managers and front-line workers – such as the nurses in our clinics. They’ve been working for several months now helping the leaders of the mission-centric areas implement our strategic plan. Their viewpoints will now help us better understand the causes and the possible solutions to the issues uncovered by the survey.
  • Thomas Fairchild, PhD, vice president of strategy and measurement, has already begun implementing the third part of the plan. He’s meeting with individual work units to discuss the survey results in terms that are most meaningful to that particular area’s employees. So far, he’s met with Information Technology Services and Community Engagement, and has Facilities Management next on his calendar. If you’d like Dr. Fairchild to visit with your group, just ask. E-mail tfairchi@hsc.unt.edu .

No, our Denison Organizational Survey results are not going to be printed, three-hole-punched and parked on a shelf somewhere. They’re going to help us hone our competitive edge and guide our journey to Top 10. Stay tuned for more.

Thanks again for the good work you do every day.

President Scott B. Ransom UNT HSC Logo  


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