Book Buzz: The Advantage
Cindi Filer's review of The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, By Patrick Lencioni
Your day starts like an empty pitcher into which you pour your time and talent. At the end of the day, do you really feel like you have found that perfect blend for your business? How does your day "taste?"
- Do you feel like you spend too much time and money on your employees?
- Do you feel like you spend a disproportionate amount of time handling employee issues, and this frustrates you?
Most business owners feel the same way. The statistics are alarming:
- 50% of CEOs say they spend too much time handling employee issues
- 65% of performance problems are the result of strained employee relationships
- 80% of employees say they will leave their company when the economy improves42% of employees say that they will leave when they find another company with a better management structure
- The cost of losing and replacing an employee is up to 150% of the departing employee's annual salary
Because Innovative Outsourcing is committed to keeping you informed, I'm sending you this edition of Book Buzz to share three great takeaways from a book I found fascinating:
Mr. Lencioni makes a premise that there are two sides of an organization: the SMART side and the HEALTH side. Imagine as you pour hours into your "business pitcher" each day, how much of each of these "sides" you pour into your company.
The SMART side of an organization revolves around the following:
CEOs spend almost 100% of their time focusing on these important business components.
The HEALTH side of the organization revolves around how employees relate to each other and to the organization. CEOs often negate the importance of the HEALTH side:
- Minimal Politics
- Minimal Confusion
- High Morale
- High Productivity
- Low Turnover
The book purports that "being SMART is only half the equation." Being HEALTHY organizationally is equally important to the overall blend of how emphasis should be placed.
Most companies focus on SMART organizational strength, putting their resources and money into improving these tangible business areas. Lencioni believes that a business with good organization HEALTH will naturally get smarter, as the focus can shift away from company politics, low morale, employees working against each other, and replacement of key employees. Lencioni's advice helps you determine your company's organizational health. Through his compelling advice, you will understand why putting together a great leadership team is key, and you will gain tips to effectively create and communicate vision clarity. I love how this author spends time explaining how to achieve alignment within a leadership team by removing any impediments to that alignment. Putting these tips into practice has helped my own business as well as some of my client's organizational lead teams.
Here are THREE TAKEAWAYS from this book that you can use right now:
- KNOW EACH OTHER - If your leadership team is going to work together effectively, you need to be transparent and really know each other. How do you emphasize this? Share life stories and using personality testing.
- PROMOTE GOOD CONFLICT - Good conflict can be a benefit in the workplace, carving a path upon which great ideas can be debated and decisions can be made. A lack of conflict or bad conflict results in a less productive workplace. A strong leader needs to foster good conflict in meetings and seek to extinguish the root of bad workplace conflict, (evidenced by symptoms such as yelling, no sharing, hurt feelings, bad relationships, etc.)
- GET EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE - To grow effectively, all the employees must achieve goal alignment directed through two very important questions: "Why do we exist?" and "How do we behave?" Much work should be done on these questions, and consensus must be achieved to ensure that the leadership team and all employees are guiding the ship in the same direction.
So think about your day, and how you are pouring your time into your business. Are you happy with the blend of SMART-time and HEALTH-time? Start down the path to organizational health by reading this book.
I will call this book worthwhile for any CEO who has the VISION to improve his company and who has more than 5 employees. It is more important for CEOs to read this book than HR people, because the CEOs create the culture. If you don't think culture and organizational health are critical in your company, then these next 5 years could be difficult for you.
This book will take 5 hours or longer to read, and I recommend it be read over several weeks. Strategies need to be implemented over time. This would be an excellent book for you to do as a group in staff meetings over 2 months.
I recommend you take notes as you read or highlight the book because you will want to do some exercises, and it will help to outline this as you go.