What does a healthy company look like?

One for all, all for one
Based on everything I have experienced, observed, and learned over the years, here’s what I think a healthy company looks like:

o First-Person Plural Pronouns: Everyone thinks in terms of “serving our customers,” “what we can accomplish working together, ” and “how all of us can help each other to improve what we do and how we do it.” Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno: One for all, all for one. Communication, cooperation, and collaboration thrive in a healthy company.

o Problem Ownership: Whoever discovers a problem owns it. If a customer tells you about a problem, you own it. Whenever someone asks you to help solve a problem, you become a co-owner of that problem. In a healthy company, problem finders as well as problem solvers are strongly encouraged and generously rewarded.

o Going the Extra Mile: According to the results of Napoleon Hill’s three-year study of the world’s greatest performers in business throughout the world, the only thing they had in common is a commitment to always “go the extra mile”…to do whatever it takes to achieve success. This is embedded in a healthy company’s DNA.

o The Crisis Paradox: The Chinese character for “crisis” has two meanings: peril and opportunity. Healthy companies thrive when facing a crisis. They “show their stuff” and “are at their best.”

It is no coincidence that the companies annually ranked among those most highly admired and best to work for are also annually ranked among those most profitable with the greatest cap value in their industry segment.

Now please re-read that last sentence.

I urge those in need of more information about organizational health to check out these titles:

Freedom, Inc.: Free Your Employees and Let Them Lead Your Business to Higher Productivity, Profits, and Growth
Brian M. Carney and Isaac Getz

Beyond Performance Management: Why, When, and How to Use 40 Tools and Best Practices for Superior Business Performance
Jeremy Hope and Steve Player

Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition

Guy Kawasaki

Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution
Jeanne Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson

Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success
Dean R. Spitzer

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