Soylent Green might be people, but Organizations are Not
People are not the most important elements in a given organization. Whether the organization is a family, a small non-profit, a government or a corporate entity, the individuals that are the organization are not the most important element regarding the success of that organization. Important, yes. But not most important.
The most important element in the success of any organization is the collective and unifying relationships among/between the individuals in the organization. An organization can employ the most talented, well-meaning, devoted group on the planet. But if the relationships between those individuals are not strong, a much less talented organization—one with positive, healthy relationships among employees—will prevail.
The 1980 Olympic Hockey Game between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. is a good example. This well-studied match-up is a great metaphor for organizational entities that spend enormous effort and treasure to ensure the quality of their talent pool, but are ultimately frustrated at the execution phase due to a seemingly mysterious disconnect between talent management and final performance.
The U.S.A. team consisted of less-talented players. …that had come to deeply care for and trust one another at a visceral, even spiritual level.
The U.S.S.R. team was an incredibly talented machine.
That’s the difference. Healthy, effective organizations are not talented machines.
In the case of the U.S. hockey team, this distinction was not incidental. Indeed, Coach Herb Brooks was famously, ruthlessly intentional in this regard.
Today, among enlightened organizations, there is a growing understanding, an explicit recognition, that the concept of “life balance” and “maintaining margin” between work life and personal/family/social life is simply non-existent. It is Sasquatch. It is Fairy Dust. It sounds great on paper—sounds so good, in fact, that lots of folks have made lots of money selling millions of books on the matter…not to mention the explosion of the Life Coach industry.
Fact is, the vast majority of those who work for a living—at every level—do not turn off their “work life” when they leave the factory floor or the office building any more than they turn off their personal life when they punch the clock or sit down at their desk. It’s a silly proposition and always has been.
Communication, Trust, Respect, Optimism, and Relationships
Today’s enlightened organizations have simply embraced the truth. The very best are capitalizing on that reality, intentionally instilling trust, hope, optimism, and a sense of partnered relationship among and between employees at all levels. Some even use the “L Word.”
In the same way a healthy, productive family is communicative, respectful, trusting, a healthy productive organization is as well. Most families struggle with one or all of these elements, occasionally. So, too with commercial organizations, but with differing results: A lapse in trust, communication or respect within a family is either mitigated by a conscious act of rectification or professional third-party assistance is employed. Or the dysfunction multiplies, exponentially.
In the case of commercial organizations—whose primary missions are generally outward focused, a lapse in trust, respect, communication results in lost productivity, compromised performance and an ongoing, self-propelling cycle of negativity that is difficult to reverse without intervention.
We Can Help
The Larsmont Center for Strategy and Team Development is a first-of-its kind facility developed expressly for the purpose of addressing the reality that trust, communication and respect between professional colleagues is every bit as critical to an organization’s success as those elements are critical to the health of a loving, functional family.
Located on the inspiring campus of Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior, The Larsmont Center for Strategy and Team Development, is engineered to bring groups together in an intentional effort to grow organizational trust, respect and communication. The setting is beautiful. The facilities are pristine.Learn More