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Culture is the foundation of intrinsic beliefs that bind and inspire the behaviors of people and communities to pursue a mission and vision with unity and purpose.”

-Dr. Daniel K. Zismer, Ph.D and Ben Utecht, Super Bowl XLI Champion

Who We Are & What We Do

Keystone Culture Group is Dr. Daniel K. Zismer, a 30-year veteran in healthcare leadership, and Ben Utecht, a former NFL player and Super Bowl champion.  While they come from very different fields, together they’ve discovered that all successful organizations have at least one thing in common: a championship culture.

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What We Believe

Culture Can Be:


Leaders choose the culture of their organizations by intent or default. The decision of culture is the Keystone of the humanity of an organization. It is that humanity that determines the success of an organization.

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The journey of culture begins with a plan. That plan is built upon two basic understandings of leadership; 1] the expectations that people hold for the culture of their organization are intrinsic; they go to the basic needs of the human condition and 2] the people of the organization will need to see, touch and feel the results of culture intrinsically; success with culture must minister to the whole of the needs of the people who are the organization. The design begins with an evaluation of the current state; the opportunity for the people of the organization to revel the true culture to the leaders.

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The culture becomes real with the actions of deployment. The basics of deployment include; 1] the leaders’ declarations of the foundations of culture; “what culture means to us here”, provided in the form of a written compact with the people of the organization, 2] the leaders’ declarations of the aspirations of culture for the organization; the meeting of the intrinsic needs of the people, 3] the leaders’ commitments to how they will serve the promise of the culture compact and 4] the expectations for how the fulfillment of the goals of the culture will serve the mission of the organization. Effective deployment does not come “from the top”. It it is the work of the leaders closest to the people; typically a committed middle management team inspired and prepared to roll-up their sleeves and integrate the work of culture as their foundation for leadership.

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Direction of the ongoing plan of culture development and performance is the work of senior leaders; the ongoing work of continuous evaluation of the performance of culture and it’s connection to the mission and mission performance of the organization. Senior leadership is the nexus between culture performance and governance of the organization. Governance holds the final accountability for the state of the culture of the organization and, in turn, holds senior leaders accountable for effectiveness of execution on the plan.

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Trusted By:

A selection of clients that have put their trust in either Dr. Daniel Zismer or Ben Utecht

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