Organizational Health Check
Ian Saunders & Steve Barker argue that:
One of the main challenges faced by organizations during a change and business improvement phase is the problem identification. The problem identification phase would be easier if the organization carries out regular health checks. Usually when an organization seeks external help for solving a problem internally or for the sake of business improvement the problem is already severe and deep. For many years, financial analysis has been the only real method of checking the organization’s health on a regular basis. By its very nature, however, it is a ‘lag’ measure — it tends to measure consequences of other events or circumstances. There is now an increasing need to monitor these events or circumstances with ‘lead’ indicators. There for regular checks will help in falling in the problems from the start. The key elements in the organizational health check are the strategy, people, enablers and leadership. The parts to be addressed in these elements are:
Strategy: Vision, strategy and direction based on what the organization is doing. It answers “What are we doing?”
People: The capability, alignment and commitment of the people in the organization. It answers “who does what?”
Enablers: The processes, structure and system in delivering the services. It answers “How are we organized to deliver?”
Leadership: Links the strategy, people and enablers together.
Evaluating the four elements facilitates the evaluation of the organization and will benefit it in the following:
- More effectively address the causes rather than effects
- Be able to prioritize actions where they can best leverage performance
- Take preventive actions ahead of major problems
- Use the information to inform stakeholders of not just the financial well-being but also the underlying health of the business.