Organizational Health

organizational health

Organizational health often gets neglected. Too many companies suffer from too much politics, mass confusion, low morale and high turnover. Leaders make the mistake of focusing only on aspects they can measure. These tend to be in the areas of finance, marketing and technology. They forget to look inward to understand the health of the company. They don’t ask the important question, do people enjoy working here?

Business management author Patrick Lencioni addresses this problem in his book “The Advantage”. He emphasizes that companies need to be both smart and healthy. Lencioni states that healthy companies have minimal politics, minimal confusion, high morale, high productivity, and low turnover (Lencioni, 2012).

Organizations need to be fit for the future but also fit for human beings. The 20th century style of management is no longer enough for today’s organizations. Today, organizations need to be adaptive, innovative and inspiring. They need to keep up with the unprecedented changes that are happening in the world (Hamel, 2011).

This post will describe the four disciplines Lencioni outlines for organizational health.

Build a Cohesive Leadership Team

A cohesive leadership team is the foundation for a healthy organization. To do this, teams must 1) Build trust, 2) Master Conflict, 3) Achieve Commitment, 4) Embrace Accountability, and 5) Focus on Results.

Create Clarity

Creating Clarity is about achieving alignment. Leadership teams do this by answering the following six questions: Why do we exist? How do we behave? What do we do? How will we succeed? What is most important, right now? Who must do what? (Lencioni, 2012)

Over communicate Clarity

Under communication is a common problem in organizations. Once you are clear on the mission and goals, bombard the company with communication. This can happen through regular emails, town hauls, symbols..etc. Get creative with communication but make sure it happens often. Everyone in the organization needs to be in alignment.

Reinforce Clarity

After creating and over communicating clarity, don’t let it fade.  “The way to do that is to make sure that every human system-every process that involves people-from hiring and people management to training and compensation , is designed to reinforce the answers to those questions” (Lencioni, 2012).

Summary

Organizations need to be healthy if they want to be successful. People are the most valuable assets within organizations.  This means that leadership teams need to take the time to work on the four disciplines outlined by Patrick Lencioni.

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References

Lencioni, P. (2012) The Advantage, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Hamel, G. (2011). Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment. Retrieved from managementexchange.com