3 Keys to a Healthy Organization
This is, in fact, the first post of this blog, so welcome to the beginning! Let’s cut right to the chase, shall we?
I’ll be covering content within three primary fields: organizational development, technology (tools), and space design. Those fields are the three-fold approach of Haemer to creating health in business. I want to unpack that briefly right now, but I’ll be writing individual posts for each of these separate topics in the coming weeks.
Do the Right Things
This is the organizational strategy piece. The importance of organizational strategy is this: an organization may have the best technology, the brightest talent, and even the most inspiration and passion, but if they lack cohesion, success will be scarce. In a nutshell, that’s what organizational strategy is; cohesion. It’s the stuff that holds things together, creates proper timing, and moves different pieces in the same direction. The scope of organizational strategy is broad, ranging from vision statements to how meetings operate, and we’ll dig into more of those pieces in the next article.
Taking steps toward doing the right things can sometimes be complex; but you can start thinking about this issue within your own context. Answer the question, How do we know we’re doing the right things? Challenge yourself to answer that question well.
With the Right Tools
This is the technology piece, but the term technology is used somewhat loosely. Of course, there are often electronic gadgets involved, but another big part of using the right tools is creating a healthy system of processes that are both agile and efficient. Again, many processes use digital technology directly, but sometimes it’s more of a policy-type process. Who does this person call when they experience this particular problem? The problem isn’t an inability to use the phone, it’s not knowing what to do with it.
There’s another important side of the tools issue, and it doesn’t involve digital gadgets or policy-type processes. At risk of sounding a bit like a Borg, humans are tools as well. We’re the best kind of tools! Not because we’re faster than a calculator, but because we can learn how to use the calculator (hopefully). That said, put your smartphone down for a minute, and ask yourself How are we using human tools in this organization? Are we using the right ones? Are we using them the right way? Are we using them too much, or too little?
In a few weeks, we’ll talk about the balance of tools: when we have too many, too few, or just enough.
In the Right Conditions
As you may have guessed, this is the space design piece. The space in which we work matters, whether it’s the exterior of the building, the grounds around the building, the layout of the office space, or the interior design. I have observed two major culprits that often hinder the benefit of space design:
- “It just needs to be functional.” I have worked with folks who seem to believe there are two magical categories in the design world, and particularly in space design. There’s the practical category in which the design “gets the job done,” and then there’s the “this is silly-frilly nonsense needlessly expensive impractical artsy-fartsy” category. These are not separate categories, but instead a single continuum. When we stop thinking about space as a box to keep out the rain and bugs, and start thinking about it as a catalyst of health (mental and physical) and attitude, we can begin to create spaces that actually add value to our organizations. More on this in a few weeks.
- The second challenge (and there are many others, but I’m just starting with these two) is to forego bringing in an expert designer, or to forego parts of the final plan from the expert. “It’s just a new paint scheme. We don’t need an interior designer to put paint on walls.” No, you don’t, but you probably need an interior designer to put the right paint on your walls. Your work space is important. Too important to DIY.
We looked at the three key areas Haemer uses to create health in organizations: organizational strategy, technology, and space design. I’ll be exploring these areas ongoing, so be sure to subscribe and follow so as to not miss any of the excitement!
Which of these three areas would you like to see some focus on in your work place? Let me know in the comments!