8 Commitments for Small Group Leaders (Mark Howell)
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The Advantage: Organisational Health - by Patrick Lencioni

DownloadPatrick Lencioni's most recent book is The Advantage: Why Organisational Health Trumps Eveyrhting Else. He believes that all the competitive advantages that businesses have been pursuing over the years are gone - strategy, technology, finance, and marketing. No, those disciplines have not disappeared. They are all alive and well in most organisations. But as meaningful competitive advantages, as real differentiators that can set one company apart from another, they are no longer anything close to what they once were. That's because virtually every organisation, of any size, has access to the best thinking and practices around strategy, technology and those other topics. In this age of the internet, as information has become ubiquitous, it's almost impossible to sustain an advantage based on intellectual ideas. However, there is one remaining, untapped competitive advantage out there, and it's more important than all the others ever were. It is simple, reliable and virtually free. What he is talking about is organisational health.

Here is his Organisational Health Model:

Discipline 1: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team

Cohesive teams build trust, eliminate politics, and increase efficiency by…

  • Knowing one another’s unique strengths and weaknesses
  • Openly engaging in constructive ideological conflict
  • Holding one another accountable for behaviours and actions
  • Committing to group decisions

Discipline 2: Create Clarity

Healthy organisations minimise the potential for confusion by clarifying…

  • Why do we exist?
  • How do we behave? 
  • What do we do?
  • How will we succeed?
  • What is most important, right now?
  • Who must do what? 

Discipline 3: Over-Communicate Clarity

Healthy organisations align their employees around organisational clarity by communicating key messages through…

  • Repetition: Don’t be afraid to repeat the same message, again and again
  • Simplicity: The more complicated the message, the more potential for confusion and inconsistency
  • Multiple mediums: People react to information in many ways; use a variety of mediums
  • Cascading messages: Leaders communicate key messages to direct reports; the cycle repeats itself until the message is heard by all

Discipline 4: Reinforce Clarity 

Organisations sustain their health by ensuring consistency in…

  • Hiring
  • Managing performance
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Employee dismissal

Patrick has an excellent web site with videos, tools and processes for implementing this organisational health model. Any business, small or large, can benefit by gleaning from Patrick's insights. 

Check out the One in Jesus blog for an excellent example of applying this matieral in the unique environment of a church.