Throughout my professional life I have encountered a few colleagues who specialize in making assessments for their clients to find out about the morale of their respective organizations. I have also encountered some clients who once in a while hire consultants to assess the morale of their organizations so that they can better understand it, and hence, be able improve it - or so they think.

I can appreciate their concern to improve the morale of their organizations, but unfortunately they have it backwards.

Morale is up. So what? - Morale is down. So what?

When you focus your attention on the morale of your organization, is like focusing your attention on the amount of happiness a very ill person is experiencing - or like focusing your attention on the amount of happiness a very successful athlete is experiencing.

So what?

The illness is the cause of the lack of happiness in the first example (and not the other way around) - and the success of the athlete is the cause of her happiness in the second example (and not the other way around).

If you want to have the morale of your organization high (and you should), morale is not the doorway - the doorway to a high morale among your employees is the health (or the effectiveness) of your organization.

To put it in different words, the doorway to a high morale among your people is a realistic, actualized, and effective strategy; it is the alignment of your entire organization (goals, roles and responsibilities, etc.) with your strategy; it is the nature of your decision-making processes throughout your organization; it is the makeup of your compensation system; it is the capacity of your organization to execute; it is your performance management systems, it is the effectiveness of your hiring practices; it is the nature of the communication environment throughout your entire organization (open of closed), etc.

This list can go on and on. However, it is not an infinite list - there are specific leadership levers that allow you to build a high performance organization, but this topic is for another very different conversation.

Going back to our original question: Morale will always be a symptom - it will never be the root cause of your leadership headaches.

If you want to build a truly effective organization, morale is NOT the doorway - if you approach the morale of your organization as if it were the root cause, morale will be a distraction from the effective organization you are trying to build.

Questions? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to here from you - just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you would like future e-zines to be about - I'm listening.

Feel free to re-send this E-zine to your boss, to your employees, to your colleagues, etc.

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Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
September 7, 2010. Copyright: All rights reserved
Skills2Lead Ezine is published on the first Tuesday of every month

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