I had not thought much about organizational health in my former career as a public radio reporter. It wasn’t something I worried about, even though it was something that affected me.
I have worked in my share of dysfunctional organizations. I remember when I was still a public radio reporter and was sent to cover breaking news. I rushed back to my desk under deadline to find two operations guys had unplugged my computer and emptied my desk because they were in the middle of moving me to a new location. No one bothered to ask or tell me about the seat change.
Now, as the CEO of Listenwise, I am learning the power and importance of building a company where people feel respected.
According to the book The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni, organizational health can mean the difference between success and failure for a company. Basically the difference between successful companies and failures is not strategy and smarts – it’s the health of the team. This matters even in a company the size of mine.
“Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage,” writes Lencioni.
I know the desk incident doesn’t really communicate the health of an organization, but it does reflect the values of a company that didn’t place much emphasis on including employees in changes.
I want to build my company with an eye to promoting a healthy organization. But it’s hard when you are doing so many jobs at once and at times just focused on your very survival. Trying to unify management, operations and culture in a company seems like a luxury big companies can afford.
But as I’ve shared in this blog, we are collaborating on setting company values and working on those values and our shared mission. I now know that’s an important step in organizational health. And it will be the first of many steps I take to ensure the health (and success) of the company.