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‘Sick’ Organizations: Can They Be Cured?

The Exchange

Anyone who's ever worked for a company of just about any size, and with any other people, has likely come across things they would change about the organization if they could. But for some places, the problem is deep, systemic and difficult to overcome.

Today, the blog Leadership Freak takes a look at some of the factors that lead to "sick" organizations and offers suggestions for identifying the deficiencies and turning the ship around. How can you recognize whether you're working for an ill outfit? A few things seem to be regularly found, the blog says. Among them, the organization tends to:

  • Struggle to learn new things.
  • Dwell on the past.
  • Become top-heavy.

"Organizational culture is like air, you don't notice it," the blog states. "Even polluted air becomes invisible as time passes. Sick organizations don't know they're sick till things start going bad."

Too many times, sick organizations aren't able to self-diagnose. However, people on the outside are quicker to see the problem or problems, the blog says. But when they're pointed out, members or workers who are part of a sick organization commonly make excuses or cast blame in an effort to justify the practices going on around them.

In order to improve the health of the organization, the blog says, a few things can be done, notably listening to outsiders and collecting feedback from new employees after they've been on board for around three months.

Read the Leadership Freak blog post and get more details by clicking here. Do you see any parts of your own organization here?