The Case for Organizational Health

The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to anyone who wants it.

– Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage

With that bold statement, Patrick Lencioni delivers perhaps his finest work to date – no mean feat considering that his eight business fables remain required reading for leaders in any organization – especially ChurchWorld.

Instead of trying to become smarter, Lencioni asserts that leaders and organizations need to shift their focus to becoming healthier, allowing them to tap into the more-than-sufficient intelligence and expertise they  already have.

What’s the secret to discovering organizational health? Or to put it more bluntly, why do leaders struggle to embrace it?

According to Lencioni, it’s because too many leaders quietly believe they are too sophisticated, too busy, or too analytical to bother with it. In other words, they think it’s beneath them. Before leaders can tap into the power of organizational health, they must humble themselves enough to overcome the three biases that prevent them from embracing it:

  • The Sophistication Bias: organization health is so simple and accessible that many leaders have a hard time seeing it as a real opportunity for meaningful advantage. It doesn’t require great intelligence or sophistication – just uncommon levels of discipline, courage, persistence, and common sense.
  • The Adrenaline Bias: becoming a healthy organization takes a little time; unfortunately, too many leaders suffer from adrenaline addiction, hooked on the daily rush of activity and firefighting within their own organizations.
  • The Quantification Bias: the benefits of becoming a healthy organization are difficult to accurately quantify. It requires a level of conviction and intuition that many overly analytical leaders have a hard time accepting.

To close this post, possibly one of the boldest, most audacious quotes you will ever hear or read:

Once organizational health is properly understood and placed into the right context, it will surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage. Really.

Tomorrow: Would you rather be smart or healthy?

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2 thoughts on “The Case for Organizational Health

  1. Pingback: Four Disciplines of Organizational Health « 27gen

  2. Pingback: 12 Best Books of 2012 « 27gen

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