Organizational health has long been a component of business strategy, but is something that I believe is vastly underutilized by most businesses. To clarify, I am not referring to the physical health of employees where many organizations have been implementing physical fitness programs in attempts to reduce health insurance costs. Rather, I am referring to the overall health and function (or disfunction) of a business.
Patrick Lencioni discusses this topic in his book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. In his book, Lencioni states that organizational health is comprised of five main components - leadership, teamwork, culture, strategy, and meetings.
He explains that the cost of poor health in these areas leads to a dysfunction throughout the business. Lencioni utilizes a psychology approach in building a cohesive team and ultimately a healthy culture through tools like trust building exercises and the study of personality profiles.
I believe that organizational fitness (a term I prefer to use) goes far beyond the five components listed by Lencioni. Organizational fitness can be broken into ten different components:
1) Vision is the foresight and planning of an organization
2) Hearing is how an organization listens to its environment and stakeholders
3) Speech is what others hear
4) Height is the stature of a company, and could also be measured by growth or size
5) Weight is an organization's burdens and baggage
6) Nutrition is the investments the company is making
7) Agility is the resilience of the company
8) Cosmetics are what others see: the image of an organization
9) The Nervous System is the communication and internal processes
10) Immunizations are the risk mitigators implemented by a company
Over the next few months, I will be breaking apart each of these components of business fitness. Look for our other posts on Organizational Fitness.