Balance: The Foundation of a Healthy Organization
Insight: Organizational health begins with personal and organizational balance.
A healthy organization is one that has a high likelihood of success. When all areas of the business are aligned and in balance, there are few obstacles to peak performance.
So what does organizational health mean, and how can your company achieve it?
A healthy business is one that maximizes its effectiveness. It is characterized by a clear mission or purpose, a high level of trust between management and employees, a collaborative and cooperative culture, engaged workers, delighted customers, and financial strength.
Prosperous leaders know that their success depends on their ability to create and maintain balance not just in their businesses, but in their personal lives as well. When all areas of their lives are in equilibrium, their effectiveness goes up, their stress levels go down, and they can focus on working on the business instead of merely working in it.
A healthy business begins with healthy people. There are four dimensions of your life that you must balance: physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.
Physical health requires that you take care of your body. Get enough sleep, make nutritionally sound choices, and engage in regular exercise.
Mental health comes from exercising your mind. Learning new skills, seeking new experiences, and acquiring new knowledge will help keep your mind sharp.
Spiritual health results from identifying and living up to your core values. Surrounding yourself with people and things that uplift you will inspire your success.
Emotional health evolves from positive interactions with others. Developing strong, on-going relationships will feed your social needs.
You set yourself up for achieving great success when all four of the personal dimensions are in balance.
Your business has four dimensions that are analogous to those for personal health: economic or financial, developing talent, mission and values, and organizational culture. You position your company for organizational health by ensuring these four dimensions are aligned.
Financial health is the lifeblood of business success. It is characterized by positive cash flow, good profit margins, and the ready availability of credit when needed.
Developing talent is essential to organizational health: a business can thrive only to the extent that its employees are successful. Provide your workers with the resources they need to be successful.
Mission and values are the foundation for organizational health. The bases for decision-making across the company, they identify what you stand for and, importantly, what you will not stand for.
A culture of trust is crucial for building great relationships. In a healthy organization, there is a high level of trust between management and employees.
For optimal organizational health, all four dimensions must be balanced in both the personal and the business arenas. If any one element is neglected or over-emphasized, the other areas will suffer. Imagine the four dimensions are the legs of a table that’s piled high with your work. If any one leg is missing, or is shorter or longer than the others, everything will slide off the table and create a mess.
Here are ten steps you can take to build the foundation for a healthy business by creating balance in your life and in your organization:
Develop a personal scorecard. Identify the behaviors and specify the results that support your personal mission.
Create an organizational scorecard. Identify the behaviors and specify the results that are consistent with your business mission.
Assess where you are today on both scorecards.
Ask trusted and knowledgeable others to assess where you are on both scorecards.
Compare the results. Identify and discuss the gaps (if any) between your respective evaluations.
Develop a specific plan to help you achieve your desired behaviors and results.
Communicate the contents of the business scorecard widely throughout the organization.
Schedule regular and frequent reviews to assess your progress and achievements on both scorecards.
Adjust the measures as needed.
To find additional information and examples of using scorecards for personal and organizational health, please see chapter 5 of my book, The Prosperous Leader: How Smart People Achieve Success.
If you would like to learn more about how to optimize your organization’s health and prosperity, I invite you to visit my website for additional free resources. There you will find related articles, an organizational health self-assessment, and an organizational health checklist. Or contact me for a 30-minute personal consultation.