With growing studies and bodies of work dedicated to proving the difference organizational health makes in success, you've probably heard that this is not something business leaders can ignore. You may have read books and even feel personally convicted that your company needs to work towards a high level of organizational health. But how can you know if your organization is healthy? What are the right areas to target for greater long-term sustainability and agility?
Many senior leaders, executives, and CEOs agree with the concept of organizational health but find themselves stalled out after their attempts to improve it don't show "results" and other more urgent matters push it aside. It's been proven time and time again as we talk with leaders about this that it's in the implementation of these concepts that things fall apart, and this is why we created the OrgHealth Ascent Model and Assessment.
What the senior leadership team needs in order to implement organizational health in their own team and throughout the organization is really three things, plus one very important bonus element:
The final necessary element? Unbiased, real feedback.
At a base level, this means getting the full and transparent input of your whole leadership team on the matters at hand. But the massive acceleration comes when an experienced, outside coach comes alongside your leadership team to challenge areas no one is prepared to address, open communication between people who may not be understanding each other, and do the integral work of illuminating blind spots that have been holding your organization back.
The model, the language, and the mechanism (the three things you'll need to implement organizational health effectively) have all been built into the OrgHealth Ascent Model and Assessment. We've simplified the organizational health definition down to four areas: a collaborative culture, hinging on leadership accountability, propelled by strategic momentum, producing talent magnetism.
The OrgHealth Ascent Model acts as an organizational health dashboard, showing the four main elements organizational health is made of. Pair with it the OrgHealth Ascent Assessment, which makes it simple to administrate, gather, and track data for you, generating an insightful report so you can target the right goals.
There are lots of assessment tools that target communication styles or emotional intelligence or other specific areas. Those can be helpful, but they should be used under the umbrella of where your senior leadership and organization actually have the most pressing need. The OrgHealth Ascent helps you identify your real needs, so you don't waste energy patching holes while the root of the issue remains unaddressed. Use it gain crucial insight into what to prioritize in your efforts towards organizational improvement.
There are four simple metrics that cover the whole of organizational health.
Collaborative Culture measures the trust built, if values are being lived out, and whether or not the vital information is flowing both vertically and horizontally throughout the company. In the model, collaborative culture is the center hub, because it has the greatest overall effect on every single area of your company's health.
How to raise collaborative culture:
The executive team is not only responsible to model personal ownership but is also responsible for the impact their behavior has on the rest of the company. The sad reality is that countless companies stagnate in their growth because the leaders outsource their real responsibilities.
Leadership Accountability is about far more than showing up to meetings on time, getting the numbers in, and getting an annual performance review. It means that the further up the ladder of authority you go, the more your actual responsibility is to intentionally create a healthy environment for the people underneath you—one of open communication, clarity, energized progress, and innovation.
From salespeople, to accountants, to engineers, and machine operators, everyone's ability to contribute to the company's success is limited by how much the leadership team will personally embrace continuous improvement, and how much the company can observe these changes.
How to raise Leadership Accountability:
A healthy organization develops momentum by setting and reaching its goals together, without becoming stuck or rigid in their way of doing things. From strategic planning to crisis management, a healthy organization is resilient not out of stubbornness, but due to the creative solutions that emerge when people love their job and voluntarily step up to challenges as they arise.
How to raise Strategic Momentum:
A healthy company culture, strong growth, and responsible leaders draw in high performers. Establishing processes internally to ensure that the company hires those who embody company values will be key for long-term success.
The team members about to walk out of your door can give you some of the most valuable feedback about where you need to improve health. And people will flock to your door for temporary media buzz or attractive salary packages, but they won't stay for those reasons.
Talent Magnetism is something of a litmus-test of organizational health. Sometimes it may be very high, but watch how it trends over several years to see how healthy your company is. The trends here should never be ignored in your business development and health strategy.
How to raise Talent Magnetism:
With the right starting point, your organization can direct its business development in a way that raises organizational health while gaining momentum towards your strategic goals. How to begin? Use this organizational health checklist.
Organizational health is a critical piece of business development that does not happen by accident. Nor should it be expected to spring out of the good intentions of leaders who are trying their best. The greatest step you can take as a senior leadership team is to commit to implementation, and bring the concept of organizational health into the very real contexts of your own team, your own company, and your own goals. Gain the confidence that comes from making the invisible visible.