In our last Organisational Health Blog, we spoke about the need for organisations to be both Smart and Healthy.  Many organisations are very Smart but don’t quite reach the sustainable high performance of their best competitors because they don’t get the Healthy piece right.  In this context Healthy refers to having an aligned leadership team, understanding what is important to the organisation right now, and then engaging the broader team and creating clarity throughout the organisation so that everyone is heading in the same direction.

In order to road test this hypothesis we gathered seven senior business leaders from a range of industries and, accompanied by a glass of wine and some cheese, discussed the relevance of organisational health in today’s business environment.  If the reaction from our leaders is anything to go by, organisation health is about to become a movement!

Over a few hours, each leader shared their organisational health journey with the group.  Although each leader was from a very different sector, a number of common themes emerged:

  • Having the right people on the leadership team is critical.  Although everyone agreed with this, there were some examples given where leaders had tolerated poorly behaved but highly skilful or knowledgeable team members.  In every case, the poor behaviours, where not rectified, resulted in that person leaving the team.  Having a lead team comprised of true team players is a critical ingredient of being a high performing organisation.
  • The job of leaders is to lead!  A number of our leaders mentioned that it was easy to be dragged down in to the detail and to start doing the work.  This simply forces everyone else in the organisation to work a level down and leaves a leadership vacuum.  In many ways, the most effective role a CEO can take on is to remind everyone else of what’s important.
  • If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority!  Our leaders commented that with the busyness of our organisations today, it is tempting to try to do too much as everything seems critical and important.  Healthy organisations have a laser like focus on what is most important right now and they pursue those few things relentlessly.
  • Lastly, be present!  CEO’s are human and get tired and frustrated at times.  However, leaders gave specific examples of times when they had been off their game a little and people read far too much into it – including one situation where the CEO was asked if he was preparing to leave the organisation because he seemed a little disinterested!

Being a senior leader is not easy but it is a great privilege.  People in such roles can impact the lives of all their employees and their loved ones in a very positive way.  Not many people have such an opportunity.  One of the best ways to have this positive impact is to create a healthy organisation – people with great clarity on their role and how it connects with the organisation’s priorities, as well as a very clear understanding of performance standards tend to thrive.  Teams comprised of such people are great to be a part of and deliver great results; and organisations that are comprised of such teams are unbeatable.  Its hard work, but worth it!

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​​​​​The Positive Impact Created by Healthy Organisations

Seven Senior Business Leaders Discuss the Relevance of Organisational Health in Today's Business Environment with Red Emu

By Keith Gordon 6 March 2019​​