woensdag 9 maart 2016

Four Disciplines of Organizational Health - Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni believes that the single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Unfortunately, most leaders tend to ignore health and focus on growth. In order for growth to occur, organizational health must be present.  

In his book, The Advantage, Lencioni says an organization is healthy when it has integrity-not in the ethical or moral sense, but when it is whole, consistent and complete.  

It is healthy when all its systems (management, operations, strategy, culture, etc.) are working together and make sense.  

Four Disciplines of Organizational Health 
Creating a healthy organization is a rigorous and disciplined endeavour.  Lencioni has created a simple and clear model of four disciplines:

Discipline 1: Build a cohesive leadership team
Discipline 2: Create clarity
Discipline 3: Overcommunicate clarity
Discipline 4: Reinforce clarity 

Discipline 1: Build a cohesive leadership team
The first discipline is to build a cohesive leadership team.  He defines a leadership team as, “a small group of people who are collectively responsible for achieving a common objective for their organization.  Five behaviors are needed for building a cohesive leadership team:

  • building trust
  • mastering conflict
  • achieving commitment
  • embracing accountability
  • focusing on results

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Discipline 2: Create clarity
Creating clarity is the second discipline of healthy organizations. Clarity is achieved when the leadership team is aligned and committed to the same answers to six simple 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?

Discipline 3: Overcommunicate clarity
The third discipline for creating organizational health is to over-communicate clarity.  Once the leadership team has built behavioural cohesion and created clarity around answers to those six questions, it must then clearly, repeatedly and enthusiastically communicate those answers to the rest of the organization.

Discipline 4: Reinforce clarity 
The fourth discipline for healthy organizations is to reinforce clarity through a few non-bureaucratic systems in every structure and process, including recruiting and hiring, interviewing, orientation, performance management, recognition and firing.

These four disciplines are simple principles, but initially require between one and six months to implement and gain momentum depending on the time and energy the leader allocates to the effort.  It will be an effort that you won’t regret.  The impact of organizational health reaches far beyond the company and into homes, lives and marriages. Lencioni concludes, “It sends people to work in the morning with clarity, hope and anticipation and brings them home at night with a greater sense of accomplishment, contribution and self-esteem.”