What is the Health of Your Culture?

What is the Health of Your Culture?

The title question is a big fuzzy question, but one that should be important to you, as a manager, as an employee, and as a leader. Not much conversation in the ski industry about organizational culture, although I imagine it is thought about in Broomfield, CO. If you think about what many managers and leaders focus on, it is often on the smart side of the operation not on the health of the operation. Think about where most of the attention is put:

  • Smart Side
  • Healthy Side
  • Mountain Ops
  • Minimum or no politics
  • Lifts
  • Minimal confusion
  • Grooming
  • High levels of moral
  • Snowmaking
  • Productivity
  • Finance
  • Low turnover
  • Marketing


It is said that most CEO’s agree that focusing on the Healthy Side is important, but they get distracted and go to the Smart Side so that almost 95% of their time is spent on the Smart Side. In the ski industry a very solid case could be made that the largest differentiator between resorts is the culture within the resort such that it can be the biggest competitive advantage that a resort can have. With more time spent on on the Healthy Side the financial success of a ski area can be significantly improved. Think about it. How much time is invested on the Healthy Side? The good news is it doesn’t require significant or even moderate investment, just commitment and time. If you think I am full of it, here is my favorite management guru, Patrick Lencioni, in a short video explaining what I have tried to impress upon you. It makes so much common sense.


Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


Please click on the images to learn more

Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

Please click on the images to learn more.

Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

Please click on the images to learn more.


The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

Please click on the images to learn more.


  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.