These are the basic principles that will apply to any organization, whether it exists to make money or to fulfill its mission. As a woman business leader and entrepreneur, I am passionate about my business and the causes that I am involved in. I find these tips from Fredia Woolf extremely relevant to the health of either.
I’ve summarized Fredia’s “7 Essentials for an Effective, Sustainable, Healthy Organization” and added my thoughts for you here:
- Leadership ability and commitment
Fredia notes that, “At the heart of every successful organization lies the quality, competency, vision and drive of its leader or leaders.” I think most of us have experienced lackluster leadership, whether in businesses, schools or government. It shows in the lack of enthusiasm of employees, students and staff.
Without clarity and direction, says Fredia, it’s difficult for employees and staff to feel as if they are part of the process. Leaders need to communicate the organization’s strategies so that team members can set goals that are aligned with the corporate goals, and work together to achieve them.
- Communication from and visibility of senior leaders
According to Fredia, “Highly capable leaders who craft a brilliant strategy yet stay in their offices … will not create high performance or healthy organizations.” Not only should good leaders be the voice of the organization to the outside world, they should communicate often and openly with their team. Keeping staff informed and updated helps them to feel part of the overall success of the business.
Fredia makes a good point, noting that many times leaders either micromanage their team or don’t offer enough support or direction leaving employees to flounder. Finding balance between those two extremes makes sense not only from a productivity standpoint but also from an employee satisfaction standpoint. Empowering your team to make decisions but also holding them accountable for their work will create an engaged and purposeful team.
- Remove structural impediments
Rather than referring to office walls and closed doors, Fredia is suggesting that there may be political, organizational or even personal agendas in a business that hamper it from growing and adapting. Healthy organizations will acknowledge internal impediments exist and work towards a goal of removing them.
- Creating a sense of team and trust
While it is important to gather employees that have the technology and technical expertise to help your business stay profitable and current, Fredia cautions that companies cannot afford to forget about teamwork and trust. You can employ great technical minds, but if your team doesn’t communicate and trust one another, your organization will flounder.
- Focus on coaching and development
Fredia’s last point is so important, and something I feel strongly about in my own business. Coaching and mentoring your team to help them reach their full potential not only helps your business by maximizing the talent your team already possesses, but it fosters team members who will go the extra mile for you when the going gets rough.
Rather than think of employees as expendable or as a business asset, grow a culture of trust, communication and mentoring to create a team culture that fosters healthy effective sustainable organizations. Here are a few of my favorite blogs on mentoring, “7 Way Women Business Leaders can Mentor and Motivate Others”, and “Itzhak Perlman Inspires Pointers on Perfection for Women Business Leaders.”