Dr. Shanequa Fleming, CEO, Culture AcceleratorsDr. Shanequa Fleming, CEO
Culture Accelerators is not a consulting company, but rather a leadership catalyst for innovation with over two decades of accelerating enterprise performance and building capacity in leaders to create the future. Whether you’re a new executive, entrepreneur scaling your company, proven expert distinguishing yourself as an industry leader, seasoned CEO addressing gaps in your leadership pipeline, or managing the dynamics of a corporate culture that have become counterproductive to your brand, this Florida-based company helps you make critical shifts in your organizational culture to respond to market demands and lead industry innovation.

In an interview with Manage HR magazine, Dr. Shanequa Fleming, CEO of Culture Accelerators, talks about how her company is “breaking the box” of traditional leadership development and igniting creative genius in leaders, making seemingly impossible culture shifts, to lead innovation, and create the future. She also sheds light on the company’s client engagement model and success stories across various industries.

Can you give us a brief overview of Culture Accelerators and its genesis?

Organizations are constantly experiencing the need to change the way they perform business operations. Culture Accelerators is bringing a never-before-seen approach to helping executives build organizational leadership capacity and infrastructure to be responsive to shifting business landscapes and creating cultures of intentional, scalable, and sustainable innovation. For us, it’s all about going beyond old paradigms to create new value and activate high-impact ventures and initiatives.

Culture is what brings your strategy to life. It is your company/organization’s DNA. It’s what makes your company unique. Leadership must be embedded in every strand of a company’s/organization’s DNA. It’s the spark that ignites engagement, innovation, and growth. Together, leadership and culture accelerate growth, improve engagement, reduce risk, and build your brand. When there is misalignment of your culture, there is disengagement, disconnect, and performance gaps. As your company/organization grows, shifts, and evolves, your culture needs to evolve with it. We create experiences that support a growth mindset and facilitate transformation. We help you understand the culture you have, define the one you want and make your organizational identity a competitive advantage. This increases productivity and helps you better navigate uncertainty and the complexity of change. Our genius lies in leveraging disruption and harnessing existing strengths to shape the future.

As someone who became a n executive at a really young age, I spent many years wondering if I really had what it took to be successful or if I even belonged in the space. I embraced the discomfort of everything that made me different from the typical profile of an executive and told myself I would be the new face of leadership. I made a commitment to use my platform, expertise, and experiences to create the blueprint for other emerging executives to unleash their transformative power and discover their path to greater impact, especially, for people of color.

What sets Culture Accelerators apart from your competitors in the market?

Cross-industry expertise, inspired Innovation and mindset before skillset. We bring it all together to deliver radical results at record speed for our clients. We’re not a coaching or consulting company. Instead, we’re a leadership catalyst for innovation. We believe leadership is the catalyst for culture, and culture is the catalyst for innovation.
  • We believe leadership is the catalyst for culture, and culture is the catalyst for innovation

Picture three overlapping circles in a vin diagram with our three biggest competitive advantages:

Number 1, We’re visionary thinkers and we shape strategy.

Number 2, We have complex high-level pattern recognition. We connect the dots in real time.

Number 3, We bring challenge with compassion.

The glue that holds these three circles together is trust. This ignites change in the hearts of leaders and inspires them to envision unfavorable realities as untapped opportunities to fast-track paths to the future with peak performance and high-impact results.

In light of your experience, how is Culture Accelerators helping its clients alleviate their challenges?

Companies and organizations come across challenges that can be classified into what we call the 5D’s: disruption of business models, digital disruption, driving growth, diverse talent attraction and retention, and disconnect with stakeholders. These challenges all create urgency for future-ready leaders who can facilitate exceptional performance, with empathy, compassion and understanding. We partner with companies to co-create solutions to meet immediate needs and develop leadership bench strength at every level of your organization— redesigning organizational structure, optimizing your strengths; developing leadership pipelines; re-skilling workforce; strengthening human resilience.

Can you shed some light on Culture Accelerators’ portfolio of offerings?

We offer bespoke services and offerings for both executives and the companies/organizations they lead. This includes Leader S.H.I.F.T. Accelerators, executive coaching, and off-site planning and goal settings sessions, focusing on succession planning, leadership pipeline development, high impact performance culture, ideation, innovation & leadership impact mapping, and organizational design. We also offer Performance Management Quick Start Labs for mid-level & first-time leaders, as well as emotional intelligence and other C.O.R.E. Leadership Development workshops for all leaders.

Leadership must be embedded in every strand of a company’s/ organization’s DNA. It’s the spark that ignites engagement, innovation, and growth

Can you elaborate on the process that you follow to drive clients’ cultural values and impacts?

Our proprietary Culture Acceleration Framework has four phases: envision, align, design, and catalyze. Our client engagements begin with creating a clear picture of the desired future, focusing on possibilities of growth rather than settling with present limitations. Next, we inventory strengths and evaluate alignment with commitments and actions. Then, we create a strategic roadmap to reach desired outcomes without losing momentum or focus. Finally, we develop an action plan to execute with structure and a cadence that accelerates change, while prioritizing wellbeing.

Please cite some of your customer success stories.

Culture Accelerators has clients in healthcare, education, consumer brands, financial services, tech-driven corporations, and the public sector, helping to shift their leadership focus from transactional processes to transformational practices. One example of how we’ve done this is helping a large, safety net healthcare system to reduce organizational turnover by 53.3%. We designed and implemented an onboarding process aligned with the organization’s vision and culture. This resulted in a 1.5-million-dollar savings. We also designed a leadership pipeline development strategy for a 13,000-employee company, translating untapped leadership strengths to new capabilities that produced ready-now talent and reduced time to fill for critical leadership positions by 75%. As a result, this world-class, competency-driven performance management approach led to top-tier industry rankings.

Using our proprietary framework, we helped another company develop leadership capabilities and infrastructure to redesign its core business model for greater operational agility and strategic impact. This resulted in five consecutive years of record-breaking financial results, equating to a 504% increase.

From ideation, to execution, we have worked with executives and their teams to design forward-looking leadership capacity and cultivate inclusive, sustainable, thriving cultures.