Personal & Cultural Values, Health & Wellness

Building a High Performing Organization That is Flexible, Agile & Focused

A healthy organizational culture is critical for any business to succeed. So, why is it so tough to find & create? The answer is simple: organizations pay lip service to its importance but do not spend nearly enough time demonstrating, learning, engaging and fostering a high performing culture. In this section we will study and share examples of how to recruit, review, reorganize & re-energize an organization through both structural changes as well as important personal choices that can be made to achieve organizational wellness.

  • Critical Aspects of a Healthy Organizational Culture
    1. Clear Mission, Vision & Purpose.
    2. Transparent & consistent business strategy. What does success look like? What are our most important brands, segments, customers, channels suppliers, agencies and so on. “The 80.”
    3. Values. How will we behave, operate and interact? These must be reinforced within all levels of the organization.
    4. Managing divergence & convergence. There are times to challenge, be creative and to disagree, and there are times that alignment, unity and decisiveness are paramount.
    5. Agility, flexibility and empowerment. Create a space for trial and error, opportunistic investments, strategic thought, ownership & accountability. Learning makes us better!
    6. Balance. How are we working smarter? How are we managing stress, physical demands or time constraints? How are we encouraging safer and healthier lifestyles?
    7. Prioritization. What will we be outstanding at doing or offering? Are the resources in our organization focused on those things, and is our energy focused there as well? Is there such clarity on the priorities that all employees own and reinforce in their day-to-day interaction?
    8. Reward & recognition. Understanding the personal side of employees, modeling at ALL levels, and saying & showing gratitude with sincerity and through gestures.
A great video from Simon Sinek talking about the importance of consistency, authenticity and courage in both personal and professional relationships. A Must Watch!

Organizational Design & Talent Development

On the strategy page, we covered in great detail the importance and process of creating a sound business strategy, including several tools that can help you along the way. Once all that work is completed, reviewed and revised, you should have a clear business strategy, and the second set of work plans begins.

Once your business strategy is clear, the most important next step is revamping your Organizational Design & Talent Development Plan. This is the “make or break” step in terms of how successful you are in mobilizing your organization to deliver the business strategy. Get it right and it will enable the subsequent steps to flow more seamlessly while allowing you to harness the true power of your talent. Get it wrong, and the most brilliant strategy will be destined to fail. You’ll want to follow four steps:

4-step Cycle
  1. Current organizational structure review. This will include a resource review, a talent assessment of current staff and a functional area/resource SWOT. I recommend this be led by the CEO and CHRO, and include the leadership team who reports directly to the CEO.
  2. Clean Slate Organization. In this step, you start with your business strategy, an open mind and a clean slate and design your organization to deliver on your business strategy. In this step you can review various design option and seek to eliminate complexity while enhancing agility.
  3. Select, Design, Create. Once you have reviewed and vetted a few designs, you select which one will do the best job of enabling the organization to deliver the business strategy, and you drill down into specifics around roles, titles, budgets, staff counts and job descriptions. Importantly, you are not focused on the names of people yet. Again, let this be driven by the CEO and CHRO, and then enroll the leadership team to build the rest of the specifics.
  4. Evaluate, Assess, Place & Move. In this final step, you evaluate the staff and how they fit into your revised organizational structure. Where you have a good fit, you move quickly to place people in role and arm them to be successful. Where you need to train & develop, you establish those plans. And where you do not have a fit, you establish a change management plan.

As CEO, first focus on establishing your leadership team:

  • You need to be in position to trust your team to lead, drive the business strategy & define/nurture the culture. That means you need to spend time defining the IQ & EQ required to ensure you have the best person in each leadership role.
  • You want the leadership team to own their team. If they select the team, define the roles and seek the skills, they are 100% vested and owners of the results. Empower them to succeed, and this is a critical step.