The Advantage provides insight into powerful ways to make an organization healthy. Organizational health, as espoused by Lencioni, should be the most important goal of any company, and it can be achieved using specific strategies.
The health of an organization provides the context for strategy, finance, marketing, technology, and everything else that happens within it, which is why it is the single greatest factor determining an organization’s success. More than talent. More than knowledge. More than innovation.
At every step in the process, the leader must be out front, not as a cheerleader or a figurehead, but as an active, tenacious driver.
Almost no employees willingly leave an organization where they are getting the levels of gratitude and appreciation that they deserve just to make a little more money, unless, of course, they are so grossly underpaid that they can’t justify staying in the job for the sake of their livelihood.
At its core, accountability is about having the courage to confront someone about their deficiencies and then to stand in the moment and deal with their reaction.
An organization’s core purpose—why it exists—has to be completely idealistic.
Most organizations I’ve worked with have too many top priorities to achieve the level of focus they need to succeed. Wanting to cover all their bases, they establish a long list of disparate objectives and spread their scarce time, energy, and resources across them all. The result is almost always a lot of initiatives being done in a mediocre way and a failure to accomplish what matters most. This phenomenon is best captured in that wonderful adage, “If everything is important, nothing is.”
In a cohesive team, leaders are not there simply to represent the departments that they lead and manage but rather to solve problems that stand in the way of achieving success for the whole organization.
The fact is, every organization of any size needs some division of labor, and that begins at the very top. Without clarity around that division of labor, the potential for politics and infighting, even among well-intentioned people, is great.
Great organizations, unlike countries, are never run like a democracy.
The best approach to hiring is to put just enough structure in place to ensure a measure of consistency and adherence to core values—and no more.