The Cultural North Star is a framework that unites all of DGSOM – faculty, staff and trainees – in our shared mission. It sets high standards and clear expectations for our actions and interactions. We have chosen to call it North Star because it articulates our aspiration and guides us in the decisions we make, the goals we set and the work we do.
Cultural North Star programs will drive our goals of creating an inclusive culture that supports diversity in all forms, energizes our community around the work we do, enhances our reputation as a place to work and focuses our energy on the positive.
The best thing you can do to help support this process is to promote and practice the Cultural North Star in your workplace.
After 18 months of research and development, the Cultural North Star launched in May 2019. Since then, the Dean’s Office has been working with staff, faculty, students and trainees from across our academic and medical enterprise to develop and pilot a range of Cultural North Star programs and practices that – over time – will be embedded in the fabric of our organization.
Research & Development
Internal awareness + programming
Scale + iterate
Continuous improvement + external campaign
The overarching goals of the Cultural North Star are very broad and relate to each pillar of the DGSOM’s mission. Over the long term, success will be reflected in increased employee engagement (measured by a Employee Net Promoter Score), decreased turnover and an increase in collaboration and collegiality across the board. These metrics, as well as Cultural North Star awareness and engagement, will be measured quarterly through a pulse survey. Longitudinal data from the quarterly survey will allow us to assess change over time and pivot Cultural North Star programming in response to trends. As the Cultural North Star gains awareness and traction, we expect these – and other mission-related metrics – to improve.
To review results from our first survey (July 2019), click here.
To review results from our second survey (November 2019), click here.
To review results from our third survey (October 2020), click here.
Full adoption of the Cultural North Star will take time. We don’t expect full adoption right away, but we do hope that through the support of leadership and ongoing communications to faculty, staff and trainees, that the entire DGSOM community will be familiar with the Cultural North Star by the end of 2019.
Over the course of a year, from October 2017 to November 2018, leadership of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA engaged in a thoughtful process of discovery and exploration to understand the culture of the DGSOM in both its current and aspirational states. Through a DGSOM-wide survey, focus groups, leadership summit and individual in-depth interviews, we listened to more than 1,000 voices from our community and analyzed the data for key themes.
The Cultural North Star emerged from these key themes and was designed with the intention of distinguishing us from our peers.
Many of our colleagues, partners and leaders across campus are working tirelessly to help UCLA and DGSOM meet our noble mission through cultural initiatives.