The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

( 9 )

Overview

Praise for The Advantage

"The Advantage has more common sense in its 200 pages than I have ever found in a business book. A must-read."
Colleen Barrett, president emeritus, Southwest Airlines Co.; coauthor, Lead with LUV

"Here is the next business classic. Even the best leaders will read this and wonder, 'Why aren't we already doing this?'"
Enrique Salem, president and CEO, Symantec

"We are doing what most ...

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Overview

Praise for The Advantage

"The Advantage has more common sense in its 200 pages than I have ever found in a business book. A must-read."
Colleen Barrett, president emeritus, Southwest Airlines Co.; coauthor, Lead with LUV

"Here is the next business classic. Even the best leaders will read this and wonder, 'Why aren't we already doing this?'"
Enrique Salem, president and CEO, Symantec

"We are doing what most said could not be done in a down economy—start and exponentially grow a business. Using Lencioni's model for organizational health is an everyday choice and a way of life for our company."
Liz Townsend, COO, My Fit Foods

"For more than a decade I've been using Lencioni's approach to run the departments I lead, and it has never failed me."
Rick Friedel, vice president, AT&T Service Management

"Our teams and leaders have really embraced Lencioni's methodology. We've put these ideas into practice and we're experiencing the results that prove it works."
David Gordon, COO, The Cheesecake Factory

"In The Advantage, Lencioni cuts through the corporate 'bull' that creates a culture of stonewalling and feet-dragging, and shows leaders at every level how to build up a culture of productivity and communication."
Dave Ramsey, New York Times best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Consulting executive Lencioni (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team) has an answer for floundering businesses—aim for organizational health. In other words, businesses that are whole, consistent, and complete, with complementary management, operations, strategy, and culture. Today, the vast majority of organizations have more than enough intelligence, experience, and knowledge to be successful. Organizational health is neither sexy nor quantifiable, which is why more people don’t take advantage. However, improved health will not only create a competitive advantage and better bottom line, it will boost morale. Lencioni covers four steps to health: build a cohesive leadership team, create clarity, overcommunicate clarity, and reinforce clarity. Through examples of his own experiences and others’, he addresses the behaviors of a cohesive team, peer-to-peer accountability, office politics and bureaucracy and strategy, and how all organizations should strive to make people’s lives better. This smart, pithy, and practical guide is a must-read for executives and other businesspeople who need to get their proverbial ducks back in a row. Agent: James Levine, Levine Greenberg Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
Consulting executive Lencioni (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team) has an answer for floundering businesses—aim for organizational health. In other words, businesses that are whole, consistent, and complete, with complementary management, operations, strategy, and culture. Today, the vast majority of organizations have more than enough intelligence, experience, and knowledge to be successful. Organizational health is neither sexy nor quantifiable, which is why more people don't take advantage. However, improved health will not only create a competitive advantage and better bottom line, it will boost morale. Lencioni covers four steps to health: build a cohesive leadership team, create clarity, overcommunicate clarity, and reinforce clarity. Through examples of his own experiences and others', he addresses the behaviors of a cohesive team, peer-to-peer accountability, office politics and bureaucracy and strategy, and how all organizations should strive to make people's lives better. This smart, pithy, and practical guide is a must-read for executives and other businesspeople who need to get their proverbial ducks back in a row. (Apr.) (Publishers Weekly, 1/16/12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470941522
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Series: J-B Lencioni Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 17,892
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick M. Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in organizational health and executive team development. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 and mid-size companies to start-ups and nonprofits. Lencioni is the author of nine business books with over three million copies sold worldwide.
He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and four boys.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

The Case for Organizational Health 1

The Four Disciplines Model 15

Discipline 1: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team 19

Discipline 2: Create Clarity 73

Discipline 3: Overcommunicate Clarity 141

Discipline 4: Reinforce Clarity 153

The Centrality of Great Meetings 173

Seizing the Advantage 189

Checklist for Organizational Health 195

More Resources 199

Notes 201

Acknowledgments 203

About the Author 205

Index 207

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Interviews & Essays

Patrick Lencioni / The Advantage - Author Q&A

1. Your other books have all been fables, but The Advantage isn't. Why?
Unlike my other books, The Advantage is not written as a fable because the nature of the subject it covers is just too broad to fit into one story. In the past, I've taken on slightly more contained and limited issues - teamwork, meetings, employee engagement - but this time I'm taking a much more holistic, comprehensive approach to improving organizations. Still, I've used stories about real organizations to bring the points to life, and I'm hoping that readers enjoy those stories and find them helpful in learning and applying the principles.

2. Do you consider your company healthy?
Yes, I consider my company healthy. And like any healthy company, we're messy and imperfect. We argue sometimes, we make mistakes, we try things that don't work. But we know who we are, what we believe in, and what we're trying to accomplish, so we're able to recover from setbacks quickly and grow stronger through conflict and adversity. I'm glad to say that we've always believed in living the principles that we espouse. And though we can sometimes forget and feel like the cobbler's children without shoes, we have certainly worked hard to become a healthy organization, and we continue to do so every day.

3. Having worked with companies for so many years, is there anything that still surprises you ?
Yes, I still get surprised by what I see in companies I work with, even after all these years. Some of that surprise is just a function of the fact that no two people, and thus no two organizations, are exactly alike. The nuances are interesting and keep me on my toes. But ironically, the biggest surprise I get is being reminded again and again that even the most sophisticated companies struggle with the simplest things. I guess it's hard for me to believe that the concepts I write and speak about are so universal. I don't know that I'll ever come to terms with that completely.

4. How can someone who's not in the upper levels of their organization make an impact on its health?
While it's true that no one can influence and organization like the leader, and that without a leader's commitment and involvement, organizational health cannot become a reality, there are many things that employees deeper in an organization can do to make health more likely. First, they have to speak truth upward in the organization. Most leaders, even the struggling ones, want to get better. They're not leading and managing in the way they really want to, even if they don't come out and say so. When an employee is courageous and wise enough to come to them with respect, kindness and honesty, most leaders will be grateful. Without honest upward feedback, a leader cannot get better. Beyond that, people deeper in an organization can focus on making their own departments healthier, and not getting too distracted or discouraged by their inability to change things outside of their "circle of influence", as Stephen Covey says. By focusing on their own departments and their own areas of influence, they provide others in the organization with an example to follow, and they put themselves in a position to be promoted and to have even greater influence.

5. What's something I can do tomorrow morning to get started?
The first thing anyone can do, immediately, to begin the process of making their organizations healthier, is to begin with themselves and their team. A leader has to understand and embrace the concept of being vulnerable, which inspires trust on the leadership team. That trust is the foundation for teamwork, which is one of the cornerstones of organizational health. If a leader cannot be vulnerable, cannot admit his or her mistakes, shortcomings or weaknesses, others will not be vulnerable and organizational health becomes impossible.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Great Read

    A great book to help understand the second missing piece to a successful organization.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Not your typical Patrick Lencioni

    Unlike his business fables, this book is filled with examples of gaining the business advantage based on the author's consulting firm. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2013

    A Must Read for Organizational Leaders

    "The Advantage" by Patrick Lencioni is a must read for visionary organizational leaders who must create "healthy" organizations in order to be sustainable into the future.

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    Huge disappointment. He really says nothing new in this book.

    Huge disappointment. He really says nothing new in this book. I am
    disappointed because his previous books were so well done, and I
    recommend all of the others

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Management consultant and author Patrick Lencioni, known for his

    Management consultant and author Patrick Lencioni, known for his popular business fables, steps into straight exposition to explain how to handle complex business problems by building organizational health and relying on common-sense solutions. Yet few organizations practice what Lencioni preaches. Companies generally focus on traditional business areas rather than digging into the nitty-gritty of developing what Lencioni calls a “healthy organization.” He offers a step-by-step prescription – based on familiar nostrums – for improving corporate health. getAbstract recommends his casual, basic and accessible advice to new business leaders who want to build an effective organizational framework.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Highly recommend.

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 7, 2012

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    Posted June 3, 2012

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    Posted June 2, 2012

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