It is to create an environment of success.

We call this organisational health and the benefits to your organisation are so great that mastering it should neither be delayed nor delegated.

There are four steps to getting your organisation healthy. We call them disciplines because although common sense, they don’t come naturally. To implement these disciplines requires courage, patience and perseverance.

4 Disciplines

The 4 Disciplines of Organisational Health

DISCIPLINE 1 | Build a Cohesive Leadership Team

Your first step is to get your leaders, starting with the top team, to behave in a functional, cohesive way. If your leaders are behaving in dysfunctional ways that dysfunction will cascade into your organisation and prevent organisational health.

At the heart of building the team are five behaviours to master … trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results. If the team at the top sets the example in these five behaviours you will set a new standard of behaviour for the entire business.

DISCIPLINE 2 | Create Organisational Clarity

The second step is to ensure your leaders are aligned on the direction and purpose of your organisation as a whole. At a minimum, there are six simple but deceptively difficult questions that you and the top team need to answer. These range from why the organisation exists (beyond making money), to how it will succeed, to what is most important right now.

In working with Executive Teams I am always surprised at how much confusion there is around the answers to these questions. Far too often people are not on the same page around what is most important. This confusion and ambiguity at the top creates problems elsewhere in the organisation about what to focus on and prioritise.

DISCIPLINE 3 | Over-Communicate Clarity

Once the clarity is in place the next step is to ensure that everyone in the  organisation understands the direction and what they need to do to contribute. The key word here is over-communicate. This means that as a leader you are patiently and constantly repeating yourself about what is true and important. Even when you are tired of hearing your own voice it’s only the beginning.

People need time to discuss, absorb and translate the clarity into what it means for them. The wise leader always errs on the side of saying too much rather than too little.  People also need to know that you are serious and really believe in what you are communicating. Sadly, from past experience many have become jaundiced from flavour of the month campaigns or toothless strategies that lack execution and accountability.

Watch Patrick Lencioni discuss the 4 Disciplines of a Healthy Organisation

DISCIPLINE 4 | Reinforce Clarity

Finally, leaders must ensure that any process in your organisation that involves people, from hiring and firing to performance management and decision-making, is designed in a custom way to intentionally support and emphasise the uniqueness of the organisation.

Organisations often stumble at the final discipline. Who and how people get hired, how they are onboarded, made to feel welcome and developed and who and what is rewarded is very often out of step with what the organisation proclaims to be important. This difference between what an organisation says it values and what it does in practice opens the door to disillusionment, negativity and even despair.

MEETINGS

There is one other activity that really matters, and that is meetings. By making a few simple changes to the way meetings happen, your organisation will be successful in sustaining all the gains made in the four disciplines above.

Why does all this even matter?

When confusion, dysfunction and politics are reduced to a minimum people are empowered to design products, serve customers and solve problems in ways that unhealthy organisations can only dream about.

At the end of the day employees are happier, your culture is stronger and executives are at peace because they know they have fulfilled their most important responsibility of allcreating an environment of success. 

If you’d like to be in touch please call me on +27 82 894 4288 or mail me on grant@leadershipworks.co.za.

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