3 Traits of Every Healthy, High-Performance Organization
This often-quoted line rings with truth. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good your strategy is. If you don’t have a healthy culture reinforcing your strategy, you’re destined to fail. The most sustainably successful companies have three healthy, high-performance practices in common.
The first trait is a radical commitment to the intrinsic value of people. People matter! This is the concept of Mutual Respect. Your employees are smart, capable, and motivated—that is why you hired them after all. This understanding is in stark contrast to the idea that people who aren’t living in my story or seeing the world from my perspective are stupid, lack ability and are generally lazy. Across the course of my life, I have become increasingly convinced of human potential. For instance, at a campground last summer I observed a …let’s just say, a creative and highly-motivated camper who had effectively figured out how to air condition his tent. People are amazingly capable! Humans are born motivated. You don’t have convince a baby to walk. You couldn’t stop them if you tried. The desire to grow and develop is hardwired into our DNA.
Because people are smart, capable and motivated, their actions and behaviors are always moving them towards a purpose or end goal. That’s why it’s important to discover your Shared Purpose.
-What do we have in common?
-What could we do together that we can’t do alone?
-How can we make the world a better place?
If you don’t have a shared purpose, people will make up a purpose on their own that may or may not support the mission of the organization. More often than not, the frustration you experience from someone else’s behavior is because you are not on the same page. You have simply not come to an agreement about your shared purpose.
The third trait is Meaningful Dialogue. People rarely disagree, they just think they do. People assume they disagree mainly because they are not talking to each other. I don’t mean talking at each other. I’m talking about a two-way conversation that produces mutual understanding. Connection and belonging are some of the most powerful human needs. We connect with others primarily through conversation. Have the conversation. You’ll be glad you did.
Imagine an organization where people have mutual respect for each other. The team is focused on and working towards a shared purpose. They are freely communicating and adjusting to the rapidly changing environment around them through meaningful dialogue. Doesn’t that sound like a great place to hang your hat and belong? H2Os deliver on all three traits and are ultimately the kind of places where the people that you want, want to work.
For more information on creating a healthy culture check out the book The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle.