Recently, I was in Chicago for a series of meetings and had the opportunity to hear Patrick Lencioni, who is one of my favorite authors, speak. Pat has most recently written, The Advantage. I have read all of his books from The Five Temptations of a CEO to The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. His books deal with leadership and management. They are always well written, very readable and, if appropriately applied, can have a profound effect on an organization.
His focus for the presentation was The Advantage and from it organizational health and its four components. The four components included: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team; Create Clarity; Over Communicate Clarity and Reinforce Clarity. Organizational health starts with the leadership team asking six questions: why do we exist; how do we behave; what do we do; how will we succeed; what is most important right now and who must do what.
All of the above can be found in an organization's mission, its vision statement, its core values, the strategic plan and things like service excellence standards. But, we have to provide a level of clarity for our employees around these questions as we embark on achieving organizational health. Pat admits that most of what he writes is common sense, but it is amazing as to how many of us don't apply the four components or do we ask the six questions. If we did, each would have a profound impact on our people and the organization.
In these challenging economic times, especially in health care, we should be focusing on reducing confusion in our organizations, over communicating, reducing turnover, increasing morale and encouraging greater productivity; all of which can be achieved by focusing on the health of one's organization.