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Organizational Health Is the Only Competitive Advantage

by | Jul 21, 2021


The room was stoic. It was obvious that a lot needed to be said that wasn’t actually being said. However, no one dared raise their concerns. Soon, the leader closed the meeting and the attendees spilled out into the hallway.

Predictably, the meetings-after-the meeting immediately started.

I can’t believe she suggested that approach. It’s a death sentence. Cash flow will never hold out.” 

“He continues to amaze me with his short-sighted strategy. Growth is inevitable if he will just get out of the way and let us take some risks.”

“Can you believe how he spoke to the marketing director? What a pain.”

This anecdotal scenario isn’t uncommon. It is one symptom that the health of your organization is poor.

There are other symptoms of poor organizational health:
  • Distrust among the leadership team, often resulting in a culture of politics
  • Absence of healthy conflict
  • Employee wellbeing isn’t integrated into business objectives
  • The employee culture and the desired brand are at odds
  • Purpose is vague or misunderstood
  • Fear of failure paralyzes hard decisions
  • Inability to equip employees to accomplish their responsibilities
  • Lack of accountability
  • Communication is absent from senior leaders


If you relate to this organization, I have good news. There is an alternative.

I discovered it almost a decade ago in Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Advantage.” This new way to work fundamentally changed how I lead teams, guide organizational decisions, and teach the concepts of organizational health. Now, my signed copy sits on my desk. It is a daily reference and continual reminder that, in fact, the classic areas of business (i.e. finance, marketing, technology and strategy) will never be enough for you to outsmart, out maneuver, or out sell your competition.

However, you can be healthier than your competition.

Your management approach, your operations, your business strategy, and your culture can align in a way that truly create a competitive advantage. In this type of organization, you’ll see leaders who are healthy enough to: minimize politics, minimize confusion, increase morale, increase productivity, decrease turnover and improve your customer experience. Oh, and by the way, you’ll blow past the competition in all the metrics you already love to measure. Organizational health truly does trump everything else in business.