The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else (Jossey-Bass, 2012)

The Advantage is a quick read that provides a compelling case for building Organizational Health, a deep alignment of priorities and management practices across an organization. In my most recent fast-growth business, we found this book to be quite valuable in developing a common language to address some of our challenges of growth and scale. Most of Lencioni’s observations and insights align with my own view of, and framework for, organizational alignment.

Lencioni himself observes that while the formula for Organizational Health is straightforward, few organizations seem to achieve it and maintain it long-term. Why? I believe it requires a level of consistency and discipline that few management teams and established organizations can attain… at least with their current leadership. Most organizations I’ve encountered, beyond the start-up stage, are fundamentally inconsistent and undisciplined, with a multitude of priorities, processes, practices and performance metrics that perpetuate this. And many leaders I’ve worked with become addicted to these behaviors and the chaos-management adrenaline they produce.

Still, I highly recommend The Advantage as an aspirational model, and a tool for realizing just how unhealthy some of your organization’s behaviors may be… and for ideas on how to make your organization healthier.

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