The logistics industry is transforming before our eyes. Yesterday’s approaches won’t satisfy the incessant and urgent demand for faster, better, cheaper. According to Patrick Lencioni, a keynote speaker at the recent Material Handling and Logistics Conference in Park City, UT, only healthy companies will have the ingredients to succeed in this fast-paced sector.
Borrowing thoughts from his book, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” he talked about the five key behaviors that firms must demonstrate to build a “healthy company:” Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results.
Trust: The toughest part of Trust is being vulnerable. Leaders must acknowledge when mistakes are made. Being vulnerable is to be human. Everyone on the leadership team must have the humility and security to voice their true opinions and feeling without fear.
Conflict: “Great teams have conflict.” Conflict becomes “the pursuit of the truth.” It is not healthy to have a leadership team that is insecure and always agrees with the top dog. It takes courage to disagree and create conflict. If the team has trust, conflict will be a true differentiator and decisions will be more thoroughly vetted and correct.
Commitment: If people don’t weigh in, they won’t buy in. It is important to gain active consensus from all company leaders in order for the organization’s strategy to be successful.
Accountability: Half the boat doesn’t sink. Because organizations are inter-dependent, people need to hold one another accountable. Big challenges may require help from others to achieve the goal, and that’s okay, but the accountable person must seek that help and own the outcome. Accountability keeps everyone on track and working together.
Results: Within a healthy organization, communication from the top down about progress and results is critical. Leaders must over-communicate the company’s strategy, goals and challenges. Team members want to know where the company is going and where it is on that journey.
Healthy behavior is required, but Lencioni reminded us that the foundation for a successful company is a strategy that delivers relevant value to the customer in a way that no one else or few others can emulate.
Mr. Lencioni confessed that none of his ideas were new or groundbreaking. But he added that these critical behavior traits are routinely ignored in businesses, large and small.
Is your company a “healthy company?"