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The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

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There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healt There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides. Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified. Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni's first non-fiction book provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health--complete with stories, tips and anecdotes from his experiences consulting to some of the nation's leading organizations. In this age of informational ubiquity and nano-second change, it is no longer enough to build a competitive advantage based on intelligence alone. The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way--one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles.


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There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healt There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides. Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified. Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni's first non-fiction book provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health--complete with stories, tips and anecdotes from his experiences consulting to some of the nation's leading organizations. In this age of informational ubiquity and nano-second change, it is no longer enough to build a competitive advantage based on intelligence alone. The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way--one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles.

30 review for The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gabriela

    3 stars because I'm rating it as it is: a detailed checklist on how to build a cohesive team, set goals, communicate within the organization, have effective meetings, and so on (otherwise, I'd give it a 2 for an awful writing style, rushed last part and general consultant patronizing feel). It is like listening to a person you don't like at all, and yet knowing that there's some sense and truth in what he says. I'm focusing on the latter.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Great book. Some takeaways: "The seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre or unsuccessful ones has little, if anything, to do with what they know or how smart they are; it has everything to do with how healthy they are. An organization that is healthy will inevitably get smarter over time. That's because people in a healthy organization, beginning with the leaders, learn from one another, identify critical issues, and recover quickly from mistakes." There are six critical ques Great book. Some takeaways: "The seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre or unsuccessful ones has little, if anything, to do with what they know or how smart they are; it has everything to do with how healthy they are. An organization that is healthy will inevitably get smarter over time. That's because people in a healthy organization, beginning with the leaders, learn from one another, identify critical issues, and recover quickly from mistakes." There are six critical questions leaders must giver their employees: 1. Why do we exist? 2. How do we behave? 3. What do we do? 4. How will we succeed? 5. What is most important, now? 6. Who must do what?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tung

    Disclaimer: I absolutely detest business books. For me, they are self-help books (which I also detest) for monolithic organizations. I don’t care about the habits of leaders; I don’t care about the dysfunctions of teams; I don’t care about strategy or process improvements. I read for good prose (which all business books lack), and I read for good stories (also, which business books lack). Every business book I’ve ever read I read because I was forced to read them; reading this book was for the s Disclaimer: I absolutely detest business books. For me, they are self-help books (which I also detest) for monolithic organizations. I don’t care about the habits of leaders; I don’t care about the dysfunctions of teams; I don’t care about strategy or process improvements. I read for good prose (which all business books lack), and I read for good stories (also, which business books lack). Every business book I’ve ever read I read because I was forced to read them; reading this book was for the same reason. Lencioni is a well-known business consultant who has worked with many successful and unsuccessful organizations, and who has written several popular business book. In this book, he reveals what he considers the secret of what separates great organizations from terrible ones. Ready for the secret? The best companies: build good teams, have a clear vision/mission, and communicate that well. Lencioni provides details about why each component matters, and how to discern whether or not your organization implements that component well. Throughout, he also provides personal anecdotes about organizations that succeeded and or failed in each area. My problems remain that I have no investment in businesses, so I don't care about the subject matter. I also wish he didn’t provide each anecdote anonymously – I would have found it eminently better if he had included the real names of the anecdotes he used; for all I know he made them all up. The book is a quick read, so I’m sure the audience for which this book was intended will enjoy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ray Bliss

    The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni The Advantage is about organizational health improvement. The four disciplines are building a cohesive leadership team, create clarity, over communicate clarity and reinforce clarity. That might not sound like much to you, but it’s everything. Having read almost all of Patrick Lencioni’s books, this is the first one I read that was not a parable. That made it a little difficult to start really getting into but once I reached page 20 I was hooked. What he presents The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni The Advantage is about organizational health improvement. The four disciplines are building a cohesive leadership team, create clarity, over communicate clarity and reinforce clarity. That might not sound like much to you, but it’s everything. Having read almost all of Patrick Lencioni’s books, this is the first one I read that was not a parable. That made it a little difficult to start really getting into but once I reached page 20 I was hooked. What he presents is so uncomplicated and easy to follow, that you would assume (there I go using that word) that everyone would already be doing this. Sadly many businesses do not follow these simple principles, despite them not wanting to see their company fail. I feel Mr. Lencioni’s books should be required reading for anyone in management and above or anyone looking to be in a leadership position. All of his books have a comprehensive cohesion that fit together nicely with all his other books. If you have never read any of Patrick’s books, start with “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job.” To pass up his works I feel your doing a great disservice to your business, team and employees. As a final note, please grab your highlighter, as every book has great things you will want to remember.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brett Monge

    This is the first book I’ve read by Lencioni and I really enjoyed it. The premise is simple: the single greatest “x factor” that gives an organization, company, church, or team an advantage is their internal health as a unit. This comes when leaders in an organization stave off confusion by fighting to pursue lock-step unity with one another around their ideals, values, and purpose for existing. Once this happens, leaders must clearly articulate and actively communicate their values and their pl This is the first book I’ve read by Lencioni and I really enjoyed it. The premise is simple: the single greatest “x factor” that gives an organization, company, church, or team an advantage is their internal health as a unit. This comes when leaders in an organization stave off confusion by fighting to pursue lock-step unity with one another around their ideals, values, and purpose for existing. Once this happens, leaders must clearly articulate and actively communicate their values and their plan to carry out those values repeatedly and effectively to the rest of their team. There were a lot of little nuggets that I took away from this book, and it inspired me to rethink the way that I lead my teams. I plan to read more by Lencioni in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

    Lencioni is one of my favorite business leaders to learn from. "The Advantage" might pack the most punch in terms of the advice Lencioni offers, but being a personal fan of his fable style, it was my least favorite book of his to read. That isn't because it is poorly written, it is just written in a typical business style. In "The Advantage," Lencioni asks the question: what is the most important thing a business can do? The answer to that isn't found in an organization's strategy, intelligence, Lencioni is one of my favorite business leaders to learn from. "The Advantage" might pack the most punch in terms of the advice Lencioni offers, but being a personal fan of his fable style, it was my least favorite book of his to read. That isn't because it is poorly written, it is just written in a typical business style. In "The Advantage," Lencioni asks the question: what is the most important thing a business can do? The answer to that isn't found in an organization's strategy, intelligence, or hiring practices. The answer is creating a healthy culture. Lencioni says, “The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health.” He considers, "The seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre or unsuccessful ones has little, if anything, to do with what they know or how smart they are; it has everything to do with how healthy they are. An organization that is healthy will inevitably get smarter over time. That's because people in a healthy organization, beginning with the leaders, learn from one another, identify critical issues, and recover quickly from mistakes." I couldn't agree more. How does one achieve organizational health? The best companies build good teams, have a clear mission, and communicate that well. “There is no such thing as too much communication," Lencioni says. Clarity, Lencioni argues, is obtained by establishing and reinforcing behaviors, and answering six important questions. Those six critical questions leaders must giver their employees are: 1. Why do we exist? 2. How do we behave? 3. What do we do? 4. How will we succeed? 5. What is most important, now? 6. Who must do what? Creating a healthy organization is a magnet for attracting not just high level performers, but high level performers who are a good fit with the organization. Healthy organizations get the best out of every employee, and align employees in a unified goal. The responsibility of creating healthy organizations, of course, lies on the leader. Lencioni says, “The only way for the leader of a team to create a safe environment for his team members to be vulnerable is by stepping up and doing something that feels unsafe and uncomfortable first. By getting naked before anyone else, by taking the risk of making himself vulnerable with no guarantee that other members of the team will respond in kind, a leader demonstrates an extraordinary level of selflessness and dedication to the team. And that gives him the right, and the confidence, to ask others to do the same.” "The Advantage" is a helpful book. For those who prepare a cut-to-the-chase style, it might even be your favorite Lencioni book. While it isn't my favorite, I certainly recommend. it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Burket

    I had not read any Lencioni before this; that might have to change. From what I understand, several of his other books use narrative stories to convey leadership points; this book sought to bring together many of those lessons together with the key focus: that organizational health is the most important thing for a leader to focus on and for an organization to succeed. On why he wrote the book on organizational health: "it has never been presented as a simple, integrated, and practical disciplin I had not read any Lencioni before this; that might have to change. From what I understand, several of his other books use narrative stories to convey leadership points; this book sought to bring together many of those lessons together with the key focus: that organizational health is the most important thing for a leader to focus on and for an organization to succeed. On why he wrote the book on organizational health: "it has never been presented as a simple, integrated, and practical discipline." Highly recommend this book to anyone who is in a leadership role within an organization (large or small). Going forward, I think it important to ensure an intentional approach to "organizational health" first and foremost. I know I've got a lot to learn and grow and this books is helping me think and better go about that developmental process. "An organization has integrity - is healthy - when it is whole, consistent, and complete, that is, when management, operations, strategy, and culture fit together and make sense....A good way to recognize health is to look for signs that indicate an organization has it. These include minimal politics and confusion, high degrees of morale and productivity, and very low turnover among good employees." "The vast majority of organizations today have more than enough intelligence, expertise, and knowledge to be successful. What they lack is organizational health." He organizes the book around 4 disciplines: 1) Build a cohesive leadership team 2) Create clarity (answering and committing to answers on 6 questions) 3) Overcommunicate clarity 4) Reinforce clarity "...When organization's leaders are cohesive, when they are unambiguously aligned around a common set of answers to a few critical questions, when they communicate those answers again and again, and when they put effective processes in place to reinforce those answers, they create an environment in which success is almost impossible to prevent. Really." Building a Cohesive Leadership Team, 5 behavioral principles to embrace: 1) Building trust: vulnerability-based trust; a willingness of people to abandon pride and fear, to sacrifice ego for the collective good of the team; avoid fundamental attribution errors; seek to understand more than be understood; leaders go first - if a team leader is reluctant to acknowledge his or her mistake or fails to admit a weakness that is evident to everyone else, there is littlehope that other members of the team are going to do so. 2) Mastering Conflict: when there is trust, conflict becomes nothing but the pursuit of truth, an attempt to find the best possible answer; one of best ways for leader to raise the level of health conflict is to go mining for confuct during meanings, giving positive feedback in real-time for pushing into uncomfortable areas, 3) Achieving Commitment: give everyone a chance to provide input, ask questions and understand rationale but don't misinterpret this as a need for complete consensus. Most people are reasonable and can rally behind an idea that wasn't their own as long as they know they've had a chance to weigh in. Leave meetings with clear-cut, active, and specific agreements around decisions. 4) Embracing Accountability: Peer to peer accountability is the primary and most effective source of accountability on leadership teams (i.e. accountability does not come just from the leader). To hold someone accountable is to care about them enough to risk having them blame you for pointing out their deficiencies. Dont justify not giving hard feedback to your employee, an honest assessment shows its a selfish act so you dont feel bad, not so they dont feel bad. There is nothing noble about withholding information that can help an employee improve. 5) Focusing on Results: No matter how good a leadership team feels about itself or noble its mission, if the organization does not achieve its goals then its not a good team. Everyone has to row in the same direction, one team. There is no "your side of the boat is sinking." Teams that lead healthy organizations come to terms with the difficult but critical requirement that its members must put the needs of the higher team ahead of the needs of their department. To Create Clarity as a team, focus on having honest answers about 6 questions. Even subtle misalignment/confusion at the top and gaps between executives causes significant damage. ALignment and clarity are not achieved instantly with a series of buzzwords: "it requires a much more rigorous and unpretentious approach." 1) Why do we exist? (has to be real, has to be important/inspirational) 2) How do we behave? (if you tolerate everything, you stand for nothing; what are core vs. aspirational values) 3) What do we do? (one sentence practical description) 4) How will we succeed (intentional decisions made to bring about success, walk away from some opportunities that arent strategically aligned with you) 5) What is most important, right now? (have one top priority for a given period of time; this avoids being pulled in different directions or being in silos; start with thematic goal - the one thing you really want to have accomplished int he next 6 months. Then create defining objectives that are necessary to bring about that end state. 6) Who must do what? (be clear about roles and lines of responsibility Overcommunicate Clarity: "Great leaders seem themselves as Chief Reminding Officers as much as anything else." Its more than repetition; the message/communication has to come through multiple sources and channels; most important is still word of mouth throughout the organization. Messaging must be consistent and timely. Team leads shold leave meetings with clear/specific agreements on what to communicate to employees; and employees should be able to articulate he organization's reason for existence, values, strategic anchors, and goals. Reinforce Clarity: Structures and procedures must reinforce answers to the 6 questions. Does not require complicated systems; "an organization has to institutionalize its culture without bureaucratizing it." Have just enough structure in place with hiring/interviewing to ensure a measure of consistency with and adherence to core values. "Many leaders convince themselves that employees are motivated primarily by money. As a result, they discount the impact of authentic and specific expressions of appreciation." "Keeping a relatively strong performer who is not a cultural fit sends a loud and clear message to employees that the organization isnt all that serious about what it says it believes." "Leaders have to ensure they are having the right kinds of meetings, and they must make those meetings effective...[then] they can look forward to their meetings....they get real work done in those meetings which makes their lies, and the lives of their employees, better as a result."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joya Cousin

    This easy-to-read leadership handbook is Patrick Lencioni's follow up effort to his earlier and very effectively presented business fables. The subtitle - why organizational health trumps everything else in business - is a theme that resonates with me, and would with any manager who knows what attempting to lead in a dysfunctional organizational feels like. Nothing gets done until you fix the core issues. Lencioni presents the deceptively simple 4 disciplines model, which is centered on building This easy-to-read leadership handbook is Patrick Lencioni's follow up effort to his earlier and very effectively presented business fables. The subtitle - why organizational health trumps everything else in business - is a theme that resonates with me, and would with any manager who knows what attempting to lead in a dysfunctional organizational feels like. Nothing gets done until you fix the core issues. Lencioni presents the deceptively simple 4 disciplines model, which is centered on building cohesiveness throughout an organization through clarity. Clarity is obtained by establishing and reinforcing 5 behaviors, and continually answering 6 important questions. To some, this approach may seem too touchy-feely, but in my experience, this is where the real hard work lies. Investing the intensive effort and high levels of discipline required to tackle destructive problems such as lack of trust will put dedicated leaders on the right track toward transforming even very troubled organizations. I recommend this book, and Patrick Lencioni's work in general, to any General Manager or CEO seeking to achieve lasting results by build a humane, effective and resilient organization.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

    My pastor had all the team leaders at our church read this book. Leadership organization and business books are not usually my cup of tea, though they can be quite helpful. This one was great! I see lots of lessons and principles in here to use in my full-time ministry as well as my volunteer work at my church. It is great for ministry leaders, but is not faith based. Actually, it barely mentions churches at all. So if you're a business leader, this book would be great for you too. Basically, an My pastor had all the team leaders at our church read this book. Leadership organization and business books are not usually my cup of tea, though they can be quite helpful. This one was great! I see lots of lessons and principles in here to use in my full-time ministry as well as my volunteer work at my church. It is great for ministry leaders, but is not faith based. Actually, it barely mentions churches at all. So if you're a business leader, this book would be great for you too. Basically, anyone who leads people and works with teams could benefit from this.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Irwin

    Like most of Lencioni's books, this one was written primarily for business, but I find it helpful when looking at universities as well. If the organization is not healthy, it will fail, and there are some basic things that leaders can do to ensure that health. Lencioni argues that there are six fundamental questions to ask to determine how the organization sees itself, the first of which is "Why do we exist?" A simple question that I imagine will have many answers. This one is going to stick with Like most of Lencioni's books, this one was written primarily for business, but I find it helpful when looking at universities as well. If the organization is not healthy, it will fail, and there are some basic things that leaders can do to ensure that health. Lencioni argues that there are six fundamental questions to ask to determine how the organization sees itself, the first of which is "Why do we exist?" A simple question that I imagine will have many answers. This one is going to stick with me for a long time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Szymon Kulec

    The book starts in an unfortunate "I'm the expert, let me share my stories supporting my theories" way. Recently, whenever I read a book like this, I get a rash. Fortunately, beside patting on his own back, author delivers value. The value delivered in this book, would create a perfect mix with "E-Myth Revisited". This one is all about creating a clear mission statement for the company, dividing between strategy and tactics, making the company better. One could argue that some arguments and appro The book starts in an unfortunate "I'm the expert, let me share my stories supporting my theories" way. Recently, whenever I read a book like this, I get a rash. Fortunately, beside patting on his own back, author delivers value. The value delivered in this book, would create a perfect mix with "E-Myth Revisited". This one is all about creating a clear mission statement for the company, dividing between strategy and tactics, making the company better. One could argue that some arguments and approaches presented in here a bit old-fashioned, but still, it delivers a solid foundation for having a coherent way to organizing a company.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Wreesman

    I had read one of Lencioni’s other works—5 Disfunctions of a Team—and thoroughly enjoyed it. This one was pretty dry and underwhelming. I actually really resonate with his thesis regarding the importance of organizational health. I just found myself wanting more—more anecdotes, more insights, more something.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Demetrius Rogers

    Wow. This was terrific. There's no fluff here. Every paragraph serves its purpose, and there's just enough review for it to be helpful and not redundant. The clarity and comprehensiveness of this book is exhilarating. As a local church pastor, I plan to put much of this stuff to work. Thankful I've run across such an amazing resource.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Romans Karpelcevs

    Great book, short and very useful. Rhymes a lot with The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (and probably with other books of his), but isn't too repetitive to be boring. Will definitely re-read and will start by implementing some of the things in the small(-er) team, not execs.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    A great outline of how to structure a healthy organization. Though there are many great examples and tips, it is not an instruction manual... just an excellent first step toward creating a strong healthy organization.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Swaroop

    Simple ideas organised and communicated in an easy to read. Could have been a bit more concise.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Omid Milanifard

    Excellent book. Simple but not easy. If you are an organizational leader or manager, I strongly suggest this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Max Lapin

    A serious book. Kind of unusual for Lencioni to switch from fables to academic style. Nevertheless, I liked it though somewhat less than others. Feels a bit synthetic as if Patrick aimed for a more mature readers in a more crowded genre.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike Arvela

    3,5 stars or so. Easy to agree with, yet to a large degree so general that it’s a bit easy to dismiss as ”just another business book that contains some really good advice nobody takes.” So, I guess the question would be, how to make the stuff happen in practice. Nice and compact enough.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul Giertz

    This should be a must read for all executives and senior managers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eddy Espinosa

    Great book on helping create strong organizational health, communication and teamwork!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Martin Chalupa

    I would say this book falls into the category of books which are good to introduce you into the topic. However, if you are already exploring psychology, how motivation works, learnings and how other soft skills work I don't think there will be too much new information you can get out of this book. It can help you refresh your memory but I haven't expanded my knowledge. If you want to start learning those things I think this would be a solid start. There is a couple of recommended sources in this I would say this book falls into the category of books which are good to introduce you into the topic. However, if you are already exploring psychology, how motivation works, learnings and how other soft skills work I don't think there will be too much new information you can get out of this book. It can help you refresh your memory but I haven't expanded my knowledge. If you want to start learning those things I think this would be a solid start. There is a couple of recommended sources in this book where you can follow and learn more.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gergely

    It is a good and handy book, could be an actual handbook in a lot of cases. It still leaves me wanting something, just not sure what. Maybe that's inherent in topics when the ball is now in the reader's court, but maybe something more than that. I'm glad I read it, while not sure how much practical use this advice will see.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nithin Thompson

    Check out my review here: http://www.sojournintoexile.com/thead... Check out my review here: http://www.sojournintoexile.com/thead...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristeen

    Very easy reading, very easy concepts. But then love is an easy concept, but hard to get right. Creating a healthy workplace is hard work with simple, even common sense steps to take to get there. I'm sure many readers will react with a "duh" followed by "oh wait, I don't really do that. I totally neglected that." While this is a book about leadership I couldn't help but read it as someone who left a job because of a lack of leadership. It helped me shape a new story for my experience at the U. Very easy reading, very easy concepts. But then love is an easy concept, but hard to get right. Creating a healthy workplace is hard work with simple, even common sense steps to take to get there. I'm sure many readers will react with a "duh" followed by "oh wait, I don't really do that. I totally neglected that." While this is a book about leadership I couldn't help but read it as someone who left a job because of a lack of leadership. It helped me shape a new story for my experience at the U. I kept hitting my head into walls for two reasons. One was that my core value of enhancing the student experience came up against the institution's core value of faculty independence and government. When it came to student (or even university) interests against a single faculty's, the faculty would almost always win. The second realization was that I had failed to over-communicate. When I began my work there, I spent a lot of time educating leadership and others. Leadership sometimes used my own words because they were so familiar to them. After I stopped lobbying, educating and informing, other voices became louder. And since leadership was not making tactical decisions based solely on reactive impulse, my voice simply never got mind share. This book also reminded me of how wonderful it is to work on a healthy team. Our team's conflicts used to worry others but never us. We had seen the creative ideas and work that conflict stimulated. We did not worry about who had what role or what responsibility and knew that we could offer comments on a colleague's work. We expected them to do the same with us. We held each other accountable and celebrated reaching our shared goals. It's just too bad that our leadership never took the time to either endorse or condemn our goals. We would have felt more valued either way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rusty Fulling

    June 2012 - Was a little disappointing after reading his other books that were fable style. This was definitely a more "how to" traditional approach of many business writers. While it is a good stand alone business management book - don't compare it to his previous writings. Summary: There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that June 2012 - Was a little disappointing after reading his other books that were fable style. This was definitely a more "how to" traditional approach of many business writers. While it is a good stand alone business management book - don't compare it to his previous writings. Summary: There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides. Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified. Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni’s first non-fiction book provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health—complete with stories, tips and anecdotes from his experiences consulting to some of the nation’s leading organizations. In this age of informational ubiquity and nano-second change, it is no longer enough to build a competitive advantage based on intelligence alone. The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way—one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Shelton

    The Advantage The Advantage is a concise, helpful book which focuses on helping organizations to function effectively. The thesis of the book is that the single greatest advantage that any company can achieve is organizational health (Pg 1). For this reason it is the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage that currently exists in the market place, even above technical knowledge and innovation (Pg 3). The book is made up 4 disciplines of a healthy organization as well as a The Advantage The Advantage is a concise, helpful book which focuses on helping organizations to function effectively. The thesis of the book is that the single greatest advantage that any company can achieve is organizational health (Pg 1). For this reason it is the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage that currently exists in the market place, even above technical knowledge and innovation (Pg 3). The book is made up 4 disciplines of a healthy organization as well as an additional chapter on the importance of meetings. I found chapter 1 on Building a Cohesive Leadership Team and the chapter on meetings to be the most valuable in the book. The rest of it is good as well, but it does get fairly redundant as the author wants to highlight the importance of clarity. In the Chapter on Cohesive Leadership Teams he discusses the importance of vulnerability, transparency, handling conflict, and accountability as crucial aspects of a good leadership team. As someone who has been on some good and bad leadership teams, I found his advice to be extremely wise and helpful. For example, I Lencioni argues that conflict is critical if a team is to achieve commitment to a central goal. “If people don’t weigh in, they can’t buy in” (Pg 48). The result of this is often passive agreement, where the team members simply do nothing and wait for new initiatives to fail (Pg 49). I found this to be extremely helpful and something I can apply on the leadership teams that I am part of. There are also checklists throughout the book that are helpful at defining the main points. Overall I liked the book a lot and give it 4 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Summer Miller

    First off, I'm a huge Patrick Lencioni fan. I recently read The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, and this book reads differently than his typical writing, in that it's not written in fable format. Being a fan of his typical style, I still found this book very engaging, and extremely thought provoking. It actually builds upon concepts and principles in his other books, and includes so many great approaches for leaders. When I read any of Lencioni's books, I First off, I'm a huge Patrick Lencioni fan. I recently read The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, and this book reads differently than his typical writing, in that it's not written in fable format. Being a fan of his typical style, I still found this book very engaging, and extremely thought provoking. It actually builds upon concepts and principles in his other books, and includes so many great approaches for leaders. When I read any of Lencioni's books, I become inspired to think differently. I begin to analyze my environment with a critical but solutions-focused mindset. I look at people and processes to understand what's working and why, but also to assess where the opportunity lies, even among the seemingly small things. This book looks at the whole organization from a health perspective, and I think the challenge for us who hold middle-management leadership roles, is to take the concepts shared, and wrap our arms around what we can influence from where we sit. We often don't determine the values our company will embody, the details of the recognition program, or the strategic or tactical areas of focus from an organizational perspective. With that in mind, I have to think about what we do determine, and what we can influence. I'm planning to dig into this further with my team, to see how we can leverage the following questions from the book, and what that means for our future success and health.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Owen

    I really enjoy Patrick's insight and this book is packed. My only problem with this book is that I have listen to him speak so many times so a lot of the information has been repeated. This was my first time reading one of his non fables and I would have to recommend them over the advantage. He really drive home how important it is to have clearly defined objectives.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Murch

    I'm a big fan of Lencioni. The Advantage was the only one of his books I had yet to read. After remedying that, I'm reminded why I read his other 7 books in a 4 week period 5 years ago. In terms of management and organizational health, this guy knows his field. This book is a summation of his entire organization health model. It is basically all his other books in one volume. Unlike his others, there is no fable here. He jumps straight into the model from page 1. He argues from the outset that o I'm a big fan of Lencioni. The Advantage was the only one of his books I had yet to read. After remedying that, I'm reminded why I read his other 7 books in a 4 week period 5 years ago. In terms of management and organizational health, this guy knows his field. This book is a summation of his entire organization health model. It is basically all his other books in one volume. Unlike his others, there is no fable here. He jumps straight into the model from page 1. He argues from the outset that organization health trumps intelligence, talent, or strategy. His model to attain it includes four disciplines: 1) Build a cohesive leadership team, 2) Create clarity, 3) Over-communicate clarity, and 4) Reinforce clarity. Building a cohesive team is the discipline he spends the most time on. In his experience (and mine) this seems to be the most difficult part of organizational health. Obviously, this involves people (rather than content or strategy), so it has a lot of variables. Lencioni downloads his principles for this and the other disciplines--giving anecdotal examples from his consulting firm throughout. If you're into leadership or management, this book (and his others) is a must.

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