Building Community Through Better Relationships

A Smoking Organization

Organizations have human characteristics. They have a sense of humor. Sometimes, they have bad days. They can come down with illnesses. In fact, some organizations experience illnesses identical to people who smoke. Just like a cigarette ignites the brain’s pleasure centers and simultaneously destroys the heart. Organizations can have contributing members that also bring toxicity into the environment and cripple performance.

Smoking organizations are not seeking to be destructive. Often, they want to fit in. Their bad habits are not as bad as other organizational habits. It is not like someone is embezzling. However, a smoking organization can infect its members in multiple ways. One member may become infected by always being near another member. No harm was intended. Simply, a healthy employee acquired a toxic attitude after being near another employees who has always been toxic. And the sickness spreads. Or a simple cough in corporate behavior is the first symptom of too much toxicity in the environment. Regardless of the reason, the organizational illness spreads and no cure is in sight. Fortunately, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.

Breathe the Fresh Air
Remember that an organization is a congregation of individuals. Just like a sickness can invade the organization and weaken it, a breath of fresh air can rescue the group. All members need to exercise their ability to breathe intentionally. If a sick member is positioned to spread their disease in a certain area, then everyone else needs to go breathe elsewhere. Essentially, isolate the toxicity, let it die alone and let the healthy members continue their healthy ways.

Be the Fragrance
Likewise, each individual has the authority, if not the obligation, to contribute their own fragrance against the stench of illness. Deny negative influences in the environment. At some point, denying negative influences require purposefully positive actions. Bring a pleasant aroma of behavior, teamwork, camaraderie, and productivity so that it permeates the area where the work is done. Pleasant aromas are contagious. And, they are much more conducive to organizational health.

Choices Have Consequences
Just because a bouquet emerges in the environment, the smoke does not necessarily retreat. Members who choose to contribute to a healthier environment need to prioritize maintaining a healthier environment. The organization’s health is paramount, so removing the stench is best for all. Reinforcing this decision is the consequence that complacency leads to decay and death. Organizations die all the time; sometimes it is strategic problems, or competitive forces. But upon closer inspection these management shortfalls begin with cultural decay. Good organizations make healthy choices.

Once an organization chooses death and toxicity, its path is established and its fate is sealed. It’s just a matter of time. Without corrective action the organization will perish. Give the organization the chance to choose life by exercising the option to change and improve. Insert employees that lead by culture in addition to leading by skill in key assignments. Identify the decaying pockets of the organization and take action now to be the fragrance that improves its health and establishes a fresh, vibrant environment. To fix a smoking environment, put out the butts and focus on improving the air.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond


May 10, 2014 - Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , ,

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