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The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

ISBN: 978-1-118-26610-6
300 pages
March 2012, Jossey-Bass
The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business (1118266102) cover image
There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides.

Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified.  Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni’s first non-fiction book provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health—complete with stories, tips and anecdotes from his experiences consulting to some of the nation’s leading organizations. In this age of informational ubiquity and nano-second change, it is no longer enough to build a competitive advantage based on intelligence alone. The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way—one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles.

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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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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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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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