SundaySep 3 at 10:02am
In Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Advantage,” he presents six critical questions for creating clarity within an organization. These questions are essential for organizations to address to ensure they are functioning effectively and achieving their goals. Among these six questions, two stand out as particularly important:
Why do we exist?
· This question, often framed as an organization’s mission or purpose, is fundamentally important. It goes beyond just making money or providing a product or service. Understanding the deeper purpose of the organization provides a sense of meaning and direction for employees. It answers the question of why the organization was founded in the first place and what value it aims to bring to the world.
· Literature: In Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great,” he emphasizes the importance of having a clear understanding of the “Hedgehog Concept,” which includes the idea of understanding your organization’s core purpose.
· Scripture: Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This biblical verse highlights the importance of having a clear vision or purpose for an organization.
· Example: Consider the success of companies like Apple, which has a clear and compelling mission to “bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.” This mission statement has driven Apple’s success and innovation.
· Thoughtful Analysis: When an organization has a well-defined purpose, it becomes easier for employees to align their efforts with a shared goal. This clarity of purpose fosters a sense of belonging and inspires dedication among team members.
How do we behave?
· This question addresses an organization’s values and culture. It’s crucial to establish clear guidelines for expected behavior within the organization. When employees understand the expected behaviors and values, it leads to a more cohesive and harmonious workplace.
· Literature: “Built to Last” by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras emphasizes the importance of core values in long-lasting and successful organizations.
· Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23 describes the “Fruit of the Spirit,” which includes qualities like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues can guide ethical behavior in any organization.
· Example: Companies like Zappos are renowned for their strong company culture, which includes values like “Deliver WOW through service” and “Create fun and a little weirdness.” These values guide their employees’ behavior and decision-making.
· Thoughtful Analysis: Clear behavioral expectations and values not only shape the workplace environment but also guide decision-making at all levels of the organization. When everyone is on the same page regarding how to behave and what values to uphold, it promotes trust and consistency.
While all six of Lencioni’s critical questions are essential, addressing “Why do we exist?” and “How do we behave?” lays the foundation for a purpose-driven, values-based organization. They help create a strong organizational culture that aligns everyone toward a common mission and ensures that behavior within the organization is consistent with its core values. These two questions are pivotal in building a healthy and successful organization.
YesterdaySep 5 at 8:15pm
Six Critical Questions
According to Lencioni (2012) there are six simple, but critical questions that leaders must agree upon in order to provide employees with clarity within an organization (p. 77). Agreement upon the answers will take away discrepancies in the employees thinking (p. 77). Lencioni points out that the questions cannot be answered in isolation as they must be answered together in order to create organizational clarity (p. 77). The six questions that Lencioni proposes are:
· Why do we exist?
· How do we behave?
· What do we do?
· How will we succeed?
· What is most important, right now?
· Who must do what?
Lencioni writes that answering those six questions, “May well be the most important step of all in achieving the advantage of organizational health” (p. 77). He further suggests that “More than getting the
right answer, it’s often more important to simply have
an answer- one that is directionally correct and around which all team members can commit” (p. 78). Of the six questions proposed by Lencioni, this writer feels that the questions of “How do we behave?” and “What is most important, right now?” are the two most important for organizations to address.
How do we behave?
The word intolerance is not seen in a positive light in today’s society (Lencioni, 2012, p. 91). By definition intolerance is a noun meaning, “the fact of refusing to accept ideas, beliefs, or behavior that are different from your own” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2022). Yet, Lencioni notes, “When it comes to creating organizational clarity and alignment, intolerance is essential” (p. 91). While this is one of the most important questions to answer, it is often one of the most difficult in today’s society. Lencioni writes, “If an organization is tolerant of everything, it will stand for nothing” (p. 91). This writer feels that this is one of the most meaningful concepts in a world where society constantly pushes the concept of tolerance, yet by a different definition. Biblically, Christian leaders (and all Christians, for that matter) are called to be different. The Bible calls Christians to be in the world, but not of the world. Further, John 15:19-20 reads, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (King James Version). In a world of misguided understandings of
tolerance, it is crucial that organizations, especially Christian organizations, have clear understandings of what types of behavior and organizational ideologies are tolerated. Lencioni notes that if an organization gets this right, it will attract the right employees and repel the wrong ones (p. 92).
What is most important, right now?
Second, the question of, ‘What is most important, right now?’ must be addressed. Lencioni (2012) writes that many organizations have “too many top priorities to achieve the level of focus they need to succeed” (p. 119). A result of having too many top priorities, however, is mediocre execution of many initiatives and failing to accomplish what matters most of all (p. 119). This writer feels that this question is critical as it supports the adage of “If everything is important, nothing is” (p. 119).
Cambridge Dictionary. (2022, October 5). I
ntolerance. @CambridgeWords. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/intolerance
Lencioni, P. (2012).
The advantage : why organizational health trumps everything else in business. Jossey-Bass.
Thomas Nelson Publishers. (2011).
King James Study Bible. Thomas Nelson.