Beautifully Fractured

It's all about the why.

What’s a school’s biggest advantage?

I’ve had a great few weeks. Reinvigorated by a new challenge, a chance to confirm my values, and being able to operate in an environment where I feel at ‘home’, has been welcomed by all those who are close to me. In the current climate of seemingly relentless high stakes accountability, ever increasing pressure to meet the sometimes competing demands of students, parents and staff, and in all this ensure that we are true to our beliefs, it’s no wonder that organisational health is critical.

I have long been a fan of Patrick Lencioni’s work and much that he writes resonates with me. Several years ago I read The Advantage and remember at the time thinking how much of it rang true from my experience. Of late, I have revisited the book and as a leader, I am still convinced that organisational health is by far and away the most important aspect to get right in our schools. We can spend masses of time trying to make marginal gains from tweaking classroom practice, making changes to the curriculum, engaging with parents in ever more inventive ways, and working hard to inspire students to be curious. Yet all of these are ultimately never going to yield the outcomes we want, if we do not have a healthy organisation.

What makes organisations really great?

In a nutshell, Lencioni argues that the single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organisational health. Yet why is it that this aspect is the one which is most often ignored by leaders? Lencioni argues that there are three biases which prevent leaders, in all walks of life, giving it the attention it deserves. And ultimately according to Lencioni, this comes down to the issue that leaders believe it’s beneath them – whether this is because they feel that they are too sophisticated, too busy or too analytical to bother with it. Contrary to many people’s initial response to the term organisational health, it is not touchy-feely and more importantly, it goes beyond just culture.

Why do people ignore organisational health?

I have been guilty of all three of the biases that Lencioni outlines at one point or another in the leadership roles I have undertaken. The three biases are as follows:

The Sophistication Bias

Because organisational health is so simple and accessible (this doesn’t mean it is easy to achieve!), many leaders wonder whether it really will make a difference.

The Adrenaline Bias

A healthy organisation is not a quick fix. And in today’s climate, acknowledging and accepting this is tough. Seemingly hooked on day to day activities, and in some cases fire fighting, it just feels too slow for some leaders to focus on it.

The Quantification Bias

It’s no wonder leaders in schools find this one difficult as the reality is that it is very difficult to quantify the benefits of becoming a healthy organisation. It is made more difficult by the fact that it is impossible to separate out variables and measure their impact because organisational health, by its very nature, is cohesive and permeates all aspects of the organisation.

How do you create a healthy organisation?

So even if, as leaders, we accept it is an absolute must, how do we go about creating it? Like learning, it’s a messy process and it doesn’t happen in an orderly, linear fashion. However Lencioni distils the process into four simple disciplines:

1.Build a cohesive leadership team. Here Lencioni references, his perhaps more well-known book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team but we are once again reminded in The Advantage of the necessity to build a team which behaves cohesively. Without this, an organisation will never be healthy.
2.Create clarity. In order to create organisational health, the leadership team must all be aligned and committed to the same answers to the following six questions:

•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?

3.Overcommunicate clarity. Once the leadership team behaves cohesively, and has created clarity around the six key questions, Lencioni outlines the importance of communicating those answers to everyone involved in the organisation clearly, repeatedly and enthusiastically.
4.Reinforce clarity. A healthy organisation has to be worked at and maintained over time. The leadership of a healthy organisation must establish a few, critical but simple systems to reinforce clarity in every process that involves people.

What does it look like in practice?

What does this look like in practice as a senior leader within a large secondary school? It starts with recruitment and appointing the right people who commit and align with the values of the school. I have seen firsthand recently how leaders who create organisational health believe that it’s not the skills and experience that people bring to their school, but their values and beliefs. These leaders believe that skills can be taught, and what’s more, they are confident that they can nurture and develop these in their organisation. What’s of most interest to these leaders in the recruitment of any member of staff, is whether or not their values are aligned with those of the school, and just as importantly the confidence that they will complement the dynamics of the existing team. There has not been one potential applicant to any of the current vacancies at my school that the Principal has not personally spent time with and shown around the school herself. And there has not been one of these applicants who has left the school uninspired or unclear about the values and vision of how the school intends to transform lives and make everything possible. These professionals may decide not to apply but this is because they have found that the school and its ethos doesn’t align with them – and it’s better that they know this at this stage.

Cascade messages which Lencioni discusses in his other work are also a way to help reinforce clarity. Letting everyone know what has been discussed at SLT meetings not only opens the forum for discussion, but it also ensures that every member of the SLT is giving a consistent and clear message in relation to the school’s strategic and operational priorities. Cascade messages work best when all teams undertake this mechanism as it begins a structured but interpersonal process of rolling key messages down through the organisation directly from the leadership team.

I wrote several months ago about the importance of starting with the why and I still believe this is central to healthy organisations. This why must be authentic and it should permeate all aspects of a school’s life – from communication with parents, to the way relationships are built with students, to the systems the school operates and perhaps most importantly in the work and priorities that the staff undertake.

Being honest

The Advantage is worth reading, and rereading, and for good measure reading again. And it’s worth being honest with ourselves as leaders – how much time and energy do we really give to creating a healthy organisation? If this isn’t our main priority, then I would question how effective all the other things we do are. And perhaps the most important point Lencioni makes is that the critical issue is that leaders must take responsibility for this themselves. It is not a task or job which can be delegated. And it’s a tiring and unrelenting job. And most of all one which is selfless. Yet it is the most worthwhile and important job in any organisation – when an organisation is healthy, everyone else within that organisation finds a way to get things done. No matter how great the systems or initiatives, if we have an unhealthy organisation, nothing will counteract the misalignment and politics that take hold.

So..how healthy is your school?

healthy organisations

75 Comments

  1. Absolutely right! And I think becoming increasingly important- and required- in schools?

  2. Awaiting moderation

    Superb posts. Regards.
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    which one is stronger viagra or cialis
    cheap cialis
    cialis neden baЕџ aДџrД±sД± yapar
    cialis online

  3. Awaiting moderation

    Superb data, Regards.
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    cialis australia mastercard
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cialis pulmonary hypertension
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  4. Awaiting moderation

    Wow many of very good data.
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    pharmacie moins chere pour cialis
    cialis 20mg
    maximum cialis dosage per day
    buy cialis online

  5. Awaiting moderation

    Fine stuff. Appreciate it!
    http://cialispego.com/
    gratisprobe cialis
    cialis online
    cialis effets long terme
    cialis 20 mg

  6. Awaiting moderation

    Cheers! Great information!
    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    cialis muerte
    cheap cialis
    cialis contra viagra
    cialis 20 mg

  7. Awaiting moderation

    Reliable facts. Thank you!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    cialis cause impotence
    generic cialis
    viagra cialis levitra preço
    cialis 20 mg

  8. Awaiting moderation

    Beneficial data. Appreciate it!
    http://cialisttk.com/
    handla cialis på nätet
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cialis wirkung forum
    cialis 20mg

  9. Awaiting moderation

    Thanks a lot. I appreciate this.
    http://cialisttk.com/
    viagra cialis combo pack
    buy cialis online
    cialis tempi di effetto
    generic cialis

  10. Awaiting moderation

    With thanks, Quite a lot of knowledge!

    http://cialisttk.com/
    viagra cialis levitra quale migliore
    generic cialis
    cialis waschzettel
    cheap cialis

  11. Awaiting moderation

    Very good data. Thank you.
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis information side effects
    cialis online
    viagra levitra and cialis compared
    cialis 20 mg

  12. Awaiting moderation

    Really loads of amazing data.
    http://cialispego.com/
    cialis viagra karЕџД±laЕџtД±rmasД±
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cialis and blood sugar levels
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  13. Awaiting moderation

    Awesome postings, Thanks a lot.
    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    come acquistare cialis in italia
    generic cialis
    cialis vs sildenafil
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  14. Awaiting moderation

    Kudos, Quite a lot of info!

    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    pillola ritardante cialis
    cialis 20mg
    viagra mД± cialis mi
    cialis 20 mg

  15. Awaiting moderation

    Tips very well used.!
    http://cialisttk.com/
    ladies taking cialis
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    shoppers drug mart cialis price
    cialis online

  16. Awaiting moderation

    Cheers, Good information!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    cialis pro zeny
    cialis generic
    when should u take cialis
    buy cialis online

  17. Awaiting moderation

    Thanks! Valuable stuff!
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis 30 kapsГјl
    cialis generic
    cialis 10 mg en venezuela
    cialis generic

  18. Awaiting moderation

    Regards. A lot of info!

    http://cialisttk.com/
    how far in advance should i take cialis
    cheap cialis
    cialis nel body building
    cheap cialis

  19. Awaiting moderation

    Very good data, Thanks.
    http://cialispego.com/
    cialis online sito italiano
    cheap cialis
    max dose cialis
    cheap cialis

  20. Awaiting moderation

    Regards! I value it.
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    precio viagra cialis levitra
    generic cialis
    dove acquistare cialis generico forum
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  21. Awaiting moderation

    Wonderful content, Kudos.
    http://cialisttk.com/
    red viagra cialis nasД±l kullanД±lД±r
    cialis online
    cialis ablaufdatum Гјberschritten
    cialis generic

  22. Awaiting moderation

    Many thanks! Ample info.

    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    does cialis make your blood pressure go up
    cialis online
    cialis 20 prix en pharmacie
    cialis generic

  23. Awaiting moderation

    Really lots of amazing information!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    komposisi obat cialis
    cialis 20 mg
    compra de viagra o cialis
    cialis generic

  24. Awaiting moderation

    Really tons of excellent information!
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis quanti mg
    cheap cialis
    cialis mit ibuprofen
    generic cialis

  25. Awaiting moderation

    Whoa tons of fantastic knowledge.
    http://cialisttk.com/
    informacion de cialis en espanol
    buy cialis online
    where to buy 5mg cialis
    cialis generic

  26. Awaiting moderation

    Nicely put. Many thanks.
    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    does cialis one a day work
    generic cialis
    cialis jelly 20 mg
    cialis online

  27. Awaiting moderation

    Thanks a lot, Ample knowledge.

    http://cialisttk.com/
    cialis and bloodshot eyes
    cialis generic
    cialis 20mg comment utiliser
    buy cialis online

  28. Awaiting moderation

    Amazing tons of awesome knowledge!
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis nz pharmacy
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    effets secondaires tadalafil cialis
    cialis online

  29. Awaiting moderation

    Superb info. Regards.
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis generika in deutschland bestellen
    generic cialis
    40 mg cialis generic
    cialis 20mg

  30. Awaiting moderation

    Kudos! Quite a lot of material.

    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis posle infarkta
    buy cialis online
    cialis novartis
    cialis online

  31. Awaiting moderation

    Incredible quite a lot of wonderful info.
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    efeitos de cialis
    cialis generic
    cialis y marihuana
    cialis generic

  32. Awaiting moderation

    Whoa loads of good advice.
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis bedeutung
    buy cialis online
    cialis 20mg prix en pharmacie en belgique
    generic cialis

  33. Awaiting moderation

    You said it nicely.!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    cialis 20 mg kaç para
    generic cialis
    champix cialis
    cialis online

  34. Awaiting moderation

    Amazing tons of great facts!
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    generic cialis online prescription
    cialis online
    cuanto dura cialis en el cuerpo
    cialis 20 mg

  35. Awaiting moderation

    Beneficial tips. Kudos!
    http://cialispego.com/
    cialis wirkung auf frauen
    cialis 20mg
    que efecto tiene el cialis en la mujer
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  36. Awaiting moderation

    Kudos, Lots of material!

    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    cheap cialis professional
    buy cialis online
    cialis effect on testosterone levels
    cialis 20mg

  37. Awaiting moderation

    This is nicely expressed! !
    http://cialisttk.com/
    cialis 22 ans
    generic cialis
    efectos secundarios del cialis de 5 mg
    cialis online

  38. Awaiting moderation

    Thanks a lot! Plenty of stuff.

    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    apotik jual cialis jakarta
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cutting a cialis tablet in half
    cialis 20mg

  39. Awaiting moderation

    Perfectly spoken really! .
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis in vietnam
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cialis nasД±l okunur
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  40. Awaiting moderation

    Nicely put. Thanks!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    levitra orosolubile o cialis
    cialis 20mg
    cialis and antibiotics
    buy cialis online

  41. Awaiting moderation

    Thank you, Ample write ups!

    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis online seguro
    buy cialis online
    comentarios cialis 5 mg
    generic cialis

  42. Awaiting moderation

    Lovely stuff, Thanks a lot.
    http://cialispego.com/
    are cialis tablets scored
    cialis generic
    where to get free sample of cialis
    cialis generic

  43. Awaiting moderation

    Nicely put, Appreciate it!
    http://cialisttk.com/
    rasa research cialis
    generic cialis
    posso beber cerveja e tomar cialis
    cialis generic

  44. Awaiting moderation

    Great posts. Thank you.
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis blister para que sirve
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    farmacia online andorra cialis
    cheap cialis

  45. Awaiting moderation

    You actually revealed that perfectly!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    cialis generico en puebla
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cialis viagra levitra nebenwirkungen
    generic cialis

  46. Awaiting moderation

    Wow a lot of good advice.
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis czy jest na recepte
    generic cialis
    cialis П„О№ОјО· П†О±ПЃОјО±ОєОµО№Ої
    cialis generic

  47. Awaiting moderation

    You definitely made your point!
    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    cialis online senza carta di credito
    generic cialis
    cialis keine nebenwirkungen
    buy cialis online

  48. Awaiting moderation

    Terrific content, Thanks a lot.
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis beim hausarzt
    cialis 20mg
    cialis commercial mustang
    cialis 20 mg

  49. Awaiting moderation

    You actually reported this terrifically!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    quanto cialis si puo assumere
    cialis generic
    leg pain after cialis
    buy cialis online

  50. Awaiting moderation

    Truly plenty of helpful knowledge.
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis melhor viagra
    cialis generic
    cialis soft tabs preisvergleich
    cheap cialis

  51. Awaiting moderation

    Superb data. With thanks.
    http://cialisttk.com/
    cialis 10mg vidal
    buy cialis online
    experiencias uso cialis
    cialis 20 mg

  52. Awaiting moderation

    You said this perfectly!
    http://cialisttk.com/
    take 2 daily cialis
    cialis 20 mg
    cialis effetti positivi
    cialis 20 mg

  53. Awaiting moderation

    You actually revealed it exceptionally well.
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    why the two bathtubs in cialis commercial
    cialis 20mg
    cialis and copd
    cialis 20 mg

  54. Awaiting moderation

    Good data. With thanks.
    http://cialispego.com/
    blogs about cialis
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cialis with avodart
    cialis 20mg

  55. Awaiting moderation

    Tips effectively utilized..
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    how much is cialis at walgreens
    generic cialis
    cialis 10mg how to take
    buy cialis online

  56. Awaiting moderation

    Good forum posts. Appreciate it!
    http://cialispego.com/
    cialis riГ±ones
    cialis 20 mg
    cual pastilla es mejor cialis o levitra
    generic cialis

  57. Awaiting moderation

    Nicely put, Cheers!
    http://cialispego.com/
    cialis e dores nas pernas
    cialis online
    cialis itu obat apa
    cheap cialis

  58. Awaiting moderation

    Many thanks. Very good information.
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    masshealth cialis
    generic cialis
    how long can you store cialis
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  59. Awaiting moderation

    Very good facts. Thank you.
    https://www.cialismim.com/
    cialis en ligne 5mg
    cialis online
    donde puedo comprar cialis en lima
    cheap cialis

  60. Awaiting moderation

    You actually said that effectively!
    http://cialisttk.com/
    online generic cialis canada
    cialis generic
    cialis senza ricetta europa
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  61. Awaiting moderation

    Nicely put, Regards.
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis generique brevet
    buy cialis online
    cost comparison cialis levitra viagra
    cialis generic

  62. Awaiting moderation

    You’ve made your point very nicely..
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    oryginalny cialis gdzie kupic
    buy cialis online
    cialis for lung disease
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  63. Awaiting moderation

    Reliable forum posts. Thank you!
    https://www.cialisfidel.com/
    cialis geciktirici sprey kullanД±mД±
    cialis online
    is it illegal to buy generic cialis
    cialis generic

  64. Awaiting moderation

    You actually said this adequately!
    http://cialispego.com/
    cialis de 20mg preço
    cialis 20mg
    viagra vs cialis dosage comparison
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  65. Awaiting moderation

    With thanks! A lot of content!

    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    cialis tablets cost
    generic cialis
    fa male prendere il cialis
    cialis generic

  66. Awaiting moderation

    Superb posts, Thanks a lot.
    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    werkzame stof van cialis
    cialis online
    cialis in der schweiz bestellen
    cheap cialis

  67. Awaiting moderation

    You actually explained it fantastically!
    http://cialispego.com/
    when does cialis patent expire in us
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    cialis lo trovo in farmacia
    cialis 20 mg

  68. Awaiting moderation

    Cheers. Lots of facts.

    http://cialisttk.com/
    places to buy cialis
    cialis 20 mg
    cialis soft tabs review
    buy cialis online

  69. Awaiting moderation

    Nicely expressed without a doubt! !
    http://cialismsnntx.com/
    cialis bruciore occhi
    cialis online
    viagra cialis levitra vivanza comparação
    cialis 20 mg

  70. Awaiting moderation

    Seriously plenty of superb knowledge!
    http://cialisttk.com/
    precio caja de cialis
    cialis generic
    generische cialis kaufen
    buy cialis online

  71. Awaiting moderation

    You actually mentioned that really well.
    http://cialisttk.com/
    cialis ed emorroidi
    cialis online
    can you mix viagra and cialis
    generic cialis

  72. Awaiting moderation

    Terrific write ups. With thanks.
    http://cialismsnrx.com/
    cialis time before intercourse
    cialis generic
    cialis naturale erboristeria
    cialis generic

  73. Awaiting moderation

    Nicely voiced certainly. !
    http://cialisttk.com/
    cialis 20mg filmtabletten rezeptfrei
    cialis without a doctor prescription
    sprzedam cialis olsztyn
    cialis without a doctor prescription

  74. Awaiting moderation

    Whoa tons of terrific advice.
    http://cialispego.com/
    cialis 10 mg en espaГ±ol
    cialis 20 mg
    compare viagra levitra and cialis
    cheap cialis

  75. Awaiting moderation

    Regards, A lot of posts.

    http://cialisttk.com/
    eczane saДџlД±k cialis
    cheap cialis
    ГЁ migliore il cialis o il levitra
    generic cialis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

Skip to toolbar