In this book from leadership and organizational health guru Patrick Lencioni, Lencioni lays out a model for understanding and achieving organizational health, starting at the top of the organization. The first principle is to ensure that there is a cohesive leadership team who are all dedicated to the overall success of the organization, rather than fighting one another to make their individual departments succeed at the expense of others. Another amazing book on this is written by a legendary basketball coach is Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization.
The second principle is to create clarity for the leadership team. Lencioni lays out six key questions every leadership team must answer and use to define their decision making on future topics:
With the answers to these questions defined, Lencioni says that it will be easier for the leadership team to come to agreement on future decisions as they consider everything through the lens of the organization's overall health.
The third principle is to over communicate clarity. Once the leadership has determined the direction to go, the organization needs to understand the decision and have a clear handle on exactly what is happening. In the absence of clear communication, much confusion arises, says Lencioni. According to the book Team of Teams this is of massive importance.
The final principle is to reinforce clarity, operationalizing the answers to the six questions specifically in recruiting and hiring decisions, performance management, rewards and real-time recognition. Knowing what the company is all about makes it much easier for everyone in the company to make decisions, contribute and more in sync with their team members as they all work together toward a common goal. Choosing core values can be a massive help to this end. For more on that and creating a Believership read the book Return On Courage or Flex, The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences.
Organizations will know they have reached a healthy state when they have good employees, low attrition, high engagement, and minimal confusion or political gamesmanship occurring. This is a direct result of a company whose culture, strategy, management and operations fit together seamlessly and make sense as a whole. The book GRIT outlines a great example of how management decisions can poison a work environment by explaining The Enron Ranking System.
With his easy-to-read style, practical advice and interesting anecdotes from his many years as a consultant, Patrick Lencioni provides an approachable picture of a healthy organization and what it takes to achieve such a result, along with practical advice that doesn't shirk from harsh realities.
For example, in order to achieve a fully aligned leadership team and work toward organizational health, some companies may need to make hard decisions about longtime employees who are not contributing to the desired cultural end-state of the company. If you read the book WHOthis is a major issue in many companies, but can also be solved.
Lencioni says any sacrifices or difficult conversations that need to happen, however, are all worthwhile in the end, because a healthy organization is one that will operate more effectively, productively and profitably for years to come. For more on running an effective, productive and profitable company read Traction, E-Myth or Built To Sell.