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Your Corporate Health: Reality or Illusion?

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Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Published November 23, 2014

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Picture of Cathy McCullough

Cathy McCullough
a Business Growth Consultant and Culture Expert with Rhythm Systems

Corporate Health is an exercise in discipline. But like many an exercise routine it can be a sweaty, messy, and exhausting moment in time. This is why I admire the bold and brazen executive team that takes the leap to super-size their exercise routine (vs. their value meal!).


For these brave souls, the payoff is worth the effort and the pain. There are many ways to go about assessing your company’s overall health.

For instance:

  • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) define the aspiration for a company’s overall health.
  • Talent Audits (an exercise for ranking key positions within the company and then the people currently holding those key positions) can be an uncomfortable stretch exercise.
  • Job Scorecards for executive team members (which specifies key expectations for each position and the degree to which those expectations are being met) can be like the equivalent of pulling a muscle during a workout.
  • Organizational Culture Surveys, properly administered, can reveal the deepest, darkest secrets within an organization's soul...and can seemingly cut very deep into the emotional core of most any executive team member or division head.
  • And Leadership 360's are like individual MRIs. Much like an MRI that confirms a physician's worst nightmare for a given patient, the results of a Leadership 360 can be hard to deliver.

Reality vs. Illusion

Yet not doing any one (or more) of these things can be the equivalent of running a marathon where the finish line elusively moves further and further out without explanation...and is thus unachievable. Instead of crossing the finish line as a reality, you discover the finish line is merely an illusion. Yet, you keep running. In the end, you don't ever cross the finish line, so you don't win the race. Instead, exhaustion wins the race.

Corporate leaders can live in the land of illusion, creating their own sense of reality.

When I see this happen, it's a situation where the executive team writes the story they want to write vs. the story that's really happening. It's the "path of least resistance" in action: It's just easier to write our own story and place blame than it is to understand the true picture of who we are as an organization and what's contributing to our organizational illusion that "all is going great!"

A Warrior Spirit

But for those organizations with the courage to dive into what makes them great (or into what can make them stronger than they are), I say kudos to you! Those are the survivors. As Southwest Airlines so frequently says of itself: “We have a Warrior Spirit.”

The leaders of healthy companies fight for greatness. They fight for what's right. They fight for excellence. They fight for truth. They fight for their company's firm position in the marketplace. They reach out for personal trainers who can provide them with the focused coaching they need to win the game.

Kick-start your exercise routine with a Corporate Coach who can help you navigate the sweat and the pain of growing a disciplined and healthy organization. Let your Coach help you take a Deep Dive into Annual Planning, or a Deep Dive into People, or a Deep Dive into Revenue Generation, or a Deep Dive into honing your Brand Promise, or a Deep Dive into ascertaining the degree to which you are a high-performance organization.

These (and other) Deep Dives can help you face reality and create Winning Moves that will propel your organization toward the finish line. So which do you prefer: Illusion or Reality? There's a right answer...and both answers can be equally powerful. Respond with care.


Take the Rhythm Company Health Check to find out the areas of your business holding you back