Why is organizational health so important to focus on right now?
As companies navigated the demands of the last three years, the priorities became clear: get smart and pivot quickly. They were asked to create systems and processes to respond to rapid change. Products were created to meet the evolving needs of customers. As the demands increased, many organizations met the moment by flexing and they excelled through the pandemic.
While many organizations met the ever changing demands of their customers, many lost sight of their most valuable asset: the people that make up the culture of their organization. Culture has been re-defined, now that we are living in a Global hybrid environment. Many who once defined a strong culture based on being together "in person" have shifted to an environment of back-to-back video conferencing, with little time to cultivate relationships at lunch, at the water station or walking to and from meetings. Now, we barely have time to greet someone before diving into the systems, processes and strategies that drive how we work.
So what can we learn from this? And more importantly, how do we charter the future of creating both smart and healthy organizations?
Identify the “What”
It is critical to take a pause and begin to define “what does organizational health look like for us?” As a team, carve out the space to walk though these questions and begin to anchor on what a healthy team and organization can look like for you. Challenge yourselves to let go of what has worked or defined you in the past, and instead leverage and build on what is working now. Begin to explore what else is needed for future success. Have fun with it, get creative and think outside the box!
What words would team members use to describe our culture? What makes us unique?
What is strong about the health of our company?
What do people value about working here?
What would create more value for our team members?
What are three things we could be doing differently to drive organizational health?
Explore the “Why”
Once you have identified “what” the future of organizational health can look like, it is important to go through a process of exploring the “why.” Many teams and organizations skip this step of the process, and when they do, the “how” becomes blurry, less effective, and not rooted in strong clarity, alignment and buy-in.
Once you have some initial clarity on identifying the “what,” spend some time anchoring on the following questions in the spirit of creating alignment and shared ownership.
Why do our team members need us to focus on the culture and health of our organization?
Why would not prioritizing organizational health be detrimental to success? What would be lost?
Define the “How”
The final step in the process of prioritizing the health of your team and organization is around defining the “how.”
How will you begin to introduce, integrate and embed an initiative to emerge as both smart and healthy?
Without over-committing, identify one or two initiatives you can prioritize that will drive the most value and impact to the overall culture of your organization. Keep it simple. Set everyone up for success.
Over-communicate the what, why and how. Commit to it consistently and cascade the initiatives down through your organization. And most importantly, communicate with authenticity, transparency and optimism about the future you are co-creating.