How to Create Organizational Vitality and Be a Place Where People Love Coming to Work

People struggle and sink when environments feel like death.


7 signs your organization is sick:

  1. Low performers are protected. Anyone who isn’t growing, needs to go. Coach them up or out. 
  2. Secrets saturate the environment.
  3. Gossip is endorsed, even honored.
  4. CYA is SOP. (Cover Your *ss is Standard Operating Procedure.)
  5. Destructive high-performers get ahead.
  6. Playing politics, not results, is enough to earn promotion. The good ole boy’s club is filled with self-protective gatekeepers who love being served by brown nosers.
  7. People development is an inconvenience, not a commitment.

7 steps to vitality:

Successful leaders focus on building vigorous vibrant organizations.

Everything is easier when positive energy abounds.

  1. Define what vibrancy means for your organization. For example:
    • Real conversations are normal. Dancing with elephants is an art form.
    • Poor performance is brought up quickly.
    • Team members know each other’s goals, passions, strengths and weaknesses.
    • Results and relationships matter.
    • Leaders give help as much as they seek it.
    • Transparency is expected and honored. Most meetings are recorded and posted on the company intranet for anyone to see or hear.
    • Teams look to the future, more than the past.
    • “How can we make this better?” is part of organizational language.
    • Everything you expect from others, you’re already giving to them.
  2. Create a vibrancy scale. Determine where you are.
  3. Define better.
  4. Collaboratively define behaviors that contribute to vitality.
  5. Collaboratively define behaviors that drain vitality.
  6. Pursue vitality. Vitality may be a byproduct, but it isn’t an accident.
  7. Evaluate progress.
  8. Call out and correct energy sinks. Negative environments are built by tolerance, not intent.
  9. Honor those who get it.
  10. Replace poor performers and resistors.

Bonus: When energy goes down, bring it up.

How might leaders build vibrant organizations?

What has been true of leaders and organizations where you have seen vitality?

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