Building Strength – An Organizational Workout

Good morning!

I enjoy working out – actually I enjoy having worked out!  For a long time I did not take care of my body, became overweight, sleep deprived and as a result became more lethargic, developed blood pressure problems and generally became less effective.  Now I have lost weight, dropped my blood pressure and am building muscle and strength and feel much, much better.  As a result, I am more productive and think much better.

I sometimes wonder if as an organization we start getting a little overweight and sleep deprived.  What does it look like to “get in shape” as an organization?  What does it look like to build muscle or strength as an organization?  How do you prepare yourself for the inevitable challenges and changes that are ahead?  Just as a long distance runner trains for months sometimes for the race that is far ahead – how do we train as an organization?

Just as with an athlete, there are many different areas to be trained, it is even more so with an organization.  So let’s just talk about people for a minute.  Following are just a few bullet points for you to consider as you think about getting into shape:

1. What are you training for?  What is the race you are wanting to run?  What is your objective?  If you don’t know the race you want to run, you won’t know how to prepare.

2. What kind of team do you need to run te race?  If the race you are running is a long distance relay race, you don’t need to go hire a bunch of world class weight lifters.  They may be great people and great at lifting weights, but they probably won’t do too well running a relay race.

3. When you have the right relay runners on your team, how are you training them?  How are you “feeding” them?  Do you give them the right environment to train in?  Is your workplace a safe place to train?

4. Are your runners clear about the course you want them to run?  Do they know the location of the finish line?  Do they know the standards for a good run?

5. Are your veteran runners training your rookie runners?  Are they showing them the ropes?  Are you nurturing your young runners looking to the future knowing that one day they will be carrying the team? Do your older runners know how to move from the field to the coaching position?

6. Are you intentionally building strength into your organization?  Are you preparing it to thrive in the midst of the upcoming challenges and changes?  Preparation just does not happen, strength does not come from just hoping or wishing it would.  It is intentional and it is hard work – but oh so worth it.

So – start working out.  You will be glad you did.