People need to be reminded more than instructed.
Two years ago to this day, he was meeting with the top leaders of Southwestern, listening to the amazing things their leaders were doing. I leaned over and asked the CEO, “Why don’t your competitors do this?” He said, “Honestly, I think they think it is beneath them.”
Building a Healthy Organization. Organizational health is the single greatest completive advantage in business. It is virtually free and accessible to any leader who wants it an diet it main largely untapped in most organizations.
Too many leaders think it is beneath them. It’s not complex enough. Its not measurable enough. It’s not immediate enough.
In order for an organization, a school, business, or church, in order for it to maximize it’s success, it has to do two things at the highest level.
TWO CRITICAL FACTORS TO SUCCESS
1. SMART: finance, tech, marketing, leadership, intellectual sciences, etc. This is critical. But it is only half the equation. But it gets 98% of the leaders attention today.
2. HEALTHY: Minimum Politics, Minimal confusion, High Morale, High productivity, Low Turnover
Most leaders would give their leg to have number 2. But, most leaders are more comfortable with number 1 because they are easier to measure and are more comfortable.
The SMART stuff. 30 years ago, much of that was untapped. In this era, it’s almost impossible to distinguish yourself with the things that are on the smart list. We can only maximize the things on the SMART list, if we learn what is on the HEALTH list.
FOUR DISCIPLINES OF HEALTHY ORGANIZATIONS
1. BUILD AND MAINTAIN A COHESIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM
MASTERING FIVE BEHAVIORS: TRUST CONFLICT COMMITMENT ACCOUNTABILITY RESULTS (FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM)
2. CREATE CLARITY
In addition to being behaviorally aligned, our teams have to be intellectually aligned.
A mission statement is not a good way to create clarity. we need to answer six critical questions:
The Six Critical Questions for Clarity
1. Why do we exist? (Mission)
2. How do we behave? (Core Values)
3. What do we actually do?
4. How will we succeed?
5. What is most important in our organization right now?
6. Who must do what?
If we can answer these q4eustions, then we will actually empower people.
WHY DO WE EXIST?
Every organization at it’s core has to know why it is there. For churches, this is pretty easy. (Really? I disagree! Christendom has highjacked the mission of the church)
Great organizations can tell you quickly and passionately why they exist. This informs all the decisions you make in specific and practical way.
HOW DO WE BEHAVE?
Everybody has values statements today. But, they are usually too generic. when we talk about how we behave, we need to get down to the 3 core behavioral values that we call everyone to.
We must recognize what are aspirational values, the values we want to reach for even though its not true of us. That is not a core value. ENRON, one of their core values was integrity.
A core value is something you are willing to get punished for. Even if ti’s not convenient and the market doesn’t reward it, you will do it anyway. Southwestern has a core value of “sense of humor.” You’ll hear it all the time through their organization, including the safety instructions! you’d think safety is too serious to make jokes about. A customer wrote in to complain about that specific thing. They actually sent her a note back that said, “We will miss you.” Southwestern would not compromise their core value. You won’t violate it because if you do you will have sold your soul. That’s why you can only have 3 at the most.
HOW WILL WE SUCCEED?
What is the most actionable definition of strategy? Strategy should be accessible to everyone in the organization. Every decision you make is apart of your strategy. It boils down to three things. 3 STRATEGIC ANCHORS (Every decision must be connected to these anchors)
You must figure out what those are. Southwestern’s 3 anchors: LOW COST ON FLIGHTS, FLIGHTS ON TIME, GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR CUSTOMER. Every employee knows these and is empowered to make decisions based on those three things.
3. OVER-COMMUNICATE CLARITY
4. REINFORCE CLARITY
I wish organizational health was a standard that was nonnegotiable in the bottomline. Until that happens, this is a huge opportunity for competitive advantage.