Organizational Health - Lencioni

The Importance of Organizational Health: Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni, a renowned business author and consultant, has pioneered the concept of organizational health as a critical factor for long-term success and competitive advantage. He has written extensively on the subject and is recognized for pioneering the organizational health movement. He covers this topic in his book “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business”.

What is Organizational Health?

Organizational health refers to the ability of an organization to function effectively by building a cohesive leadership team, establishing real clarity among those leaders, communicating that clarity to everyone, and putting in place just enough structure to reinforce that clarity. Patrick Lencioni explains that it is about integrity – when an organization’s management, operations, strategy, and culture fit together cohesively. There are also software tools like the OHA (by Arrowhead Consulting) and the OHI (organizational health index) that can be used to measure and track changes in organizational health.

The Four Disciplines of Organizational Health

Lencioni outlines four actionable disciplines to achieve organizational health:

  1. Build a Cohesive Leadership Team: All healthy organizations must have a strongly united team at the top, committed to pursuing a common goal and mastering the five behaviors of a cohesive team (trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, results).
  2. Create Clarity: Healthy organizations have complete clarity among leaders by answering six critical questions about why the organization exists, its core values, strategic anchors, roles, goals, and brand promise.
  3. Over-Communicate Clarity: Leaders must repeatedly reinforce and over-communicate the clarity established to ensure everyone understands and believes it.
  4. Reinforce Clarity: Organizations must embed the clarity into systems like hiring, managing performance, rewards, and real-time recognition to reinforce it continuously.

He argues that the key to a successful organization lies not just in the intelligence of its strategy or the speed of its innovation, but in its overall health. Lencioni believes that organizational health provides the greatest untapped competitive advantage as most companies struggle with politics, confusion, and low morale. Mastering these four disciplines allows organizations to capitalize on their intelligence and achieve sustainable success.

In his book, he emphasizes that a healthy organization is one that is whole, consistent, and complete, where its various aspects fit together and make sense:

  • Whole:

Do you have any questions about organizational health? Contact Arrowhead Consulting today.