• Anna Oakes

You Are Human. So Is Your Company. 6 Questions to Assess the Health of Both.

Updated: 3 days ago

Focusing On The Health Of Your Organization is Key

My work with organizations and individuals in the corporate realm and now as a strategic advisor has led me to one powerful mantra: we are all human. The leaders, the employees, me. I look at the organization as a living, breathing, beautiful and fallible human. They should always be striving for improved health. Patrick Lencioni shares that Organizational Health Trumps Everything in a great Harvard Business Review podcast.


The “human organization” has a given “corporate” name, a family of sorts (employees), strengths to maximize on, weaknesses to accept, dreams and health conditions to nurture or care for. These companies become a “human organization” that I grow to love and care for. It may seem complicated to view it this way, as there are so many moving parts and people. I believe it’s just as complicated and unpredictable as one human.


I approach my work with a company no matter how large or small as a “human organization,” looking at them just like I do the individuals I work with. They are so full of potential! They have layers that we need to spend time on so they can understand “self” better and determine how to get to where they want to go. The best way for each “human organization” to grow is by focusing on holistic growth. Similar to a person, I believe we must look at their body, mind and spirit.


Let’s consider the structure, the system, of the “human organization” – their “body.”


How The Human Body Relates To An Organization

  • Bones that provide strength

  • Blood that provides oxygen and nutrients

  • Muscles that give us the ability to move different parts

  • Fascia (sheaths of tissue around muscles and organs) that reduce the friction when our muscles move

  • Tissue that help form and hold things together

  • Organs that each provide a specific function to help the body run and often pair up to provide necessary functions


It’s important the “human organization” understand the basic health of their body.


6 Questions to Assess the Health of Your Organization (And YOU!)

  1. Do they have the right “bones” to support their current and future state?

  2. Is their “blood” make-up healthy to breathe life into their work?

  3. Are they flexing and working the right “muscles” in order to be able to move and flex?

  4. Is there a healthy amount of friction when they move? Do they need to focus on elongating and caring for their “fascia” to be more nimble?

  5. Are their leaders and priorities the right “tissues” needed to build solid, sustainable parts of the whole?

  6. Do they understand the health of their “organs?” Are they leveraging each of them independently and together for maximum body performance and elimination of what’s not needed?


It’s a quirky way to look at it, but it’s helpful in valuing the framework, systems and structures of organizations. And each one is different, just like humans are. I recently worked with a small business on their growth plan and they lead with all heart. Knowing that, we knew how to focus on strengthening the structure around this “organ” so the right muscles, fascia and strength are in focus. We put our energy towards processes, agreements and plans that will honor their bodily health and let it compliment their future success. Very different from a large organization who is focused on flexing their muscles in a new space.


Try It Out

Try looking at your organization in a similar way. Maybe it’s not a lens you’ll use all the time. Try it for a day and consider the parts of the human body listed above and how it may affect some of the key questions outlined. Just like a plan from a healthcare provider, where you decide to strengthen and invest in health should be prioritized or you’ll easily be overwhelmed and go back to old habits.


Wishing you and your “human organization” optimal body health!


Peace and Progress,


Anna


1 view0 comments