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Leadership Gems


Reinforcing Organizational Clarity: Human Systems Matter

Many leadership teams believe they’re operating with clarity, despite continued confusion, politics, inefficiency and low performance throughout the organization. It’s wishful thinking to expect team members to be clear if there’s confusion up top. Here’s a reminder on the six clarity questions for organizational health, created by Patrick Lencioni and The Table Group.

  1. Why do we exist?

  2. How do we behave?

  3. What do we do?

  4. How will we succeed?

  5. What’s most important, right now?

  6. Who must do what?

Having intellectual alignment at the highest levels, coupled with the behavioral alignment experienced when overcoming the five dysfunctions is the needed fundamental for companies to consistently operate with all of their human systems. It’s an essential for embedding clarity throughout such systems, without getting overly bureaucratic. This can sound more complicated than it is; in all actuality, the most effective human systems are simple, weaving the organization’s operations, culture and management consistently together even when leaders aren’t around to provide constant reminders.

The simplest way to ensure your organization’s human systems align with your behavioral and intellectual clarity is to follow the natural life cycle of your employees.

  • Recruiting/hiring

  • Orientation/onboarding

  • Performance management

  • Training

  • Meeting effectiveness

  • Rewards/recognition/compensation

  • Dismissals

Simply put, these steps, if utilized together, will consistently catalyze the right conversations around the right topics and lead to ongoing growth of individuals and the overall organization. When each organizational system points back to the clarity questions and the “heart” of the organization, it leaves very little room for misunderstandings and confusion. Constancy, stability and consistency create clear expectations, increase awareness of ways to succeed, highlight value-adding, and drive high performance. It’s worth the work to get to a place of complete organizational alignment, as this will maximize your team’s overall health.


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