Do you want to build a healthy organisation?

Reading Time: 2 mins 20s

The pandemic has forced us to focus on our health.

Many of us are now exercising more, eating better, and reducing stress.

But what about our organisations? Are they healthier?

What are we doing to make them fitter, stronger, more able to weather future storms that lie ahead?

Four Disciplines

Building a healthy organisation (like our person) involves disciplines.

Four actually, and each one is essential.

Discipline 1: Build a cohesive team at the top.

To overcome dysfunction the Top Team must master a small set of behaviours.

Building Trust is key. So too is Mastering Conflict.

Achieving Commitment is also vital. That’s a commitment to One Plan for the business. To collective results that please customers, stimulate change and lead innovation.

And then Accountability.

Without accountability (for results and behaviours) you’re not yet serious about building a healthy organisation.

None of this is touchy-feely or theoretical.

It’s about doing what works and setting the standard for others to follow.

Discipline 2: Create clarity.

The Top Team must agree to the answers to a few simple questions.

We call them the 7 Essential Clarity Questions. They provide purpose and direction.

The questions start with why the business exists. And they range from how people should behave to what is most important in the short term.

Sadly most executives don’t possess the kind of clarity that organisational health demands.

Many can’t even precisely articulate the aim, scope, and advantage of their business.

If they can’t do so (in a simple statement), no one else should be expected to either.

Discipline 3: Over-communicate clarity.

Clarity must be shared.

Sharing is the keyword. Telling only takes you so far.

Asking and listening are essential tools in the hands of the leader.

Hence this discipline often involves talking less and listening more.

The payoff is massive.

Asking and listening builds confidence and morale.

It increases understanding and empathy. And it increases other people’s trust and confidence in you. Essential for your licence to lead.

Wise leaders also understand how important it is to communicate inspiration too.

  • They make it personal
  • They tell stories
  • They construct metaphors
  • They make themselves vulnerable.

These build the necessary emotional connections that a healthy organisation thrives on.

Discipline 4: Reinforce clarity

Finally, healthy organisations make sure their human systems reinforce what is most important.

This means how …

  • New hires are recruited and initiated into the culture of the business …
  • People are developed and grown in the company …
  • Performance is managed and rewarded.

This discipline is about embedding clarity deep into the fabric of the organisation.

Too often it is not.

There’s 1 more thing!

To be truly healthy an organisation must also get better at meetings.

Yes, meetings!

Read: Making Meetings Great Again.

Making these changes will ensure you maintain what you’ve worked so hard to build.

Finally …

Most organisations are not struggling because they lack good products, market opportunities, or bright people.

Rather they are struggling because they are unhealthy.

It’s up to leaders to fix this.

When you do, people will be released to work together. To solve problems, design products, and serve customers in ways that your competitors can only dream about.

That’s worth putting effort into … don’t you think?

What to do next?

Please comment below.

I’ll send you a copy of our Organisational Health Checklist and the 7 Essential Clarity Questions. Like everything we do – it’s always simple, clear, and actionable.

Or, to start a conversation, please contact me at

References and Credits: The Advantage – Patrick Lencioni

If you’d like to be in touch please call me on +27 82 894 4288 or mail me on


  1. Julie Hulme 29 June 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Great article built on a great book! May have to read it again!

    • Grant Ashfield 29 June 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks Julie – The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni is a must read leaders hand book for Organisational Health. Thank you for referencing the book. Grant

  2. Daniel Ntunja 1 July 2016 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Great article, I would like to know the book . Simple disciplines but need careful implementation.

Leave A Comment

The LeadershipWorks Blog

Do you want to build a healthy organisation? Do you want to make teamwork your ultimate source of competitive advantage?

Latest Posts