It’s doubtful that Margaret Mead, the cultural anthropologist, and Patrick Lencioni, organizational health expert, ever met. Yet I’m thinking that if they they did, they would have had much to talk about. I heard a recent story about Meade, that if true, indicates that Lencioni’s advice on teamwork, team players, and organizational heath are worth following in your organization, if you want to succeed that is.
The story goes like this. Mead was asked which artifact of a culture or society was the first indication of a potentially strong society, assuming that the answer would be a tool, or dish, or writing implement, or something like that. She picked up a bone from skelton that she had studied and pointed out that the bone, a femur, had been broken and had healed. It meant that instead of being left to die, the other members in the persons society had either stayed with the person to fend off danger, or had carried the person back to camp. Either way, the other members of that society had the “back” of the fallen member, valued his/her contribution to the community, and made sure they were safe.
Lencioni regularly advocates that the strongest teams know how to cover for each other in tough situations. They have each other’s backs. They help each other succeed, value the contributions of each other and are loyal to each other. Read his books, The Five Dysfuntions of a Team, The Ideal Team Player, Organizational Health, and even Death by Meetings. Each book details ways to make your team stronger, to build your organization’s culture, and create commitment to each other and their collective decisions. A good portion of each deals with the strength of an organization to heal the rifts between each other to become stronger.
Not exactly Mead’s broken femur, but her insight certainly lines up with the findings of Lencioni regarding the competitive advantage of a strong organizational culture.
Ask yourself the following metaphorical question. “How many ‘broken bones’ has your organization mended and in doing so, became a stronger organization.” “Has it ever happened?” “Are you prepared to do it in the future?” “What would it take to do so?” “How do I get started strenthening my organization?”
Want to talk about it? It’s what I’m here for. Let’s have a conversation. Here’s My Calendar