Ben Utecht Dan Zismer Keystone Culture Group
“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.”
Ben Utecht Dr. Daniel Zismer Keystone Culture Group

Who We Are and What We Do

Keystone believes culture is the key to a successful organization, and it starts with having the right champions to lead you to the finish line. Dr. Daniel K. Zismer is a 30-year veteran in healthcare leadership with a passion for patient care excellence. Ben Utecht is a former NFL player and Super Bowl champion dedicated to accountable commitment to meeting the needs for long-term success.  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.

Championship professional sports teams and high-performing teams composed of medical professionals:

  • Are elite, highly-trained and practiced professionals.
  • Work in high-tempo environments requiring precision performance with high reliability.
  • Need to be effective and accountable for teamwork.
  • Are accountable for results.
  • Are in ultra-competitive, high-pressure environments.

What We at Keystone Believe:

  • Culture is the leader’s choice
  • Culture happens; by design or default
  • Culture drives performance
  • Culture is a leader’s most effective use of time

What We Know for Sure About the Culture of High-Performing Professionals on Teams:

  • Culture alignment improves teamwork and performance.
  • Culture can be practiced by members of teams.
  • Culture can be Decided, Designed, Deployed, and Directed by leaders:


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.


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.


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.


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.

What We Offer

Keystone Culture Group has transformed the fundamentals of a winning, high-performing organizational culture into a curriculum of evaluation tools, training, and techniques for leaders in healthcare organizations.