Essentials of Outstanding Organizations

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Alex Pollock
May 4, 2020
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You are are attending a professional gathering, mixing and enjoying the atmosphere, when suddenly you are approached by a leader in your profession and asked the name of your company. Do you find yourself standing a little taller or do you shrink a few inches? Do you anticipate an increase in your listeners admiration or do you detect a look of confusion — maybe even sorrow?

How you feel about your organization has serious implications. It impacts your loyalty, your tenure, your job performance and your happiness. Deep down, we all want to work for outstanding organizations whose name garners broad respect. This raises the question: "What do outstanding organizations have that others don't?" I read two books recently that expanded my thinking and led me to reflect upon my experiences ("The Best Place to Work," Ron Friedman, 2014, and "Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional," John G Miller, 2010).

I'll list a few factors that have been important to me over the years and I'd appreciate if you'd consider them and share your own with us. As a result of our analysis, I'd like each of us to consider advancing a few areas in our workplaces. My list is is no special order, so here we go. 
 
In outstanding organizations:
  • Protection of human health and the environment are foundational in all decisions made.
  • There is an energy, vitality, creativity and excitement among employees.
  • Leaders lead. They connect the heart, mind to the bottom line.
  • Mission is top of mind. Everyone knows the reason their role exists.
  • Humility allows easy collaboration. Smug doesn't work.
  • Everyone knows their customer. Exemplary service is the offering.
  • Personal growth is encouraged, cultivated and rewarded.
  • Training and tools spur success not slogans.
  • Promises are kept.
  • Victories are celebrated.
  • Waste and inefficiency are purged at all times.
  • People speak up. They share clearly and confidently what's seen, thought, believed. No code-speak.
  • Macro management makes it easy for people to thrive.
  • People are put before policies. Roles are adjusted to fit the growing talents of people.
  • Friendship and caring thrives.
  • Meetings work. They occur only when needed with right people, right focus, right time allotment. Agreements are promises made.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. Let's cheer each other on as we do our part to ensure our organizations remain outstanding places to work.

About the Author

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Alex Pollock
Alex Pollock has been studying leadership effectiveness for more than 30 years. A former leader in environment, health and safety, and public affairs at The Dow Chemical Co., he learned that we all have leadership roles to play. He enjoys discussing new ideas and sharing practical ways we can all become better leaders.

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