The author believes most organisations are unhealthy. Reasons he gives include faulty strategy, poor organisational design, unhappy employees and strained company culture. Yet he proposes to help organisations become healthy by following 11 steps and making use of a tool – DMA (Decision Making Accountability).
Using his experience of working with companies such as Tesco and Unilever, Dive investigates the inherent qualities of a healthy organisation and the boundaries that prevent this from happening.
This is done in a logical way and each step is summarised at regular intervals with graphs and diagrams to illustrate important points. The book also comes with a CD-Rom that further clarifies the themes in a different format (this also indicates the technological applications of DMA).
A key influence on organisational happiness, he believes, is hierarchy and commonly faced problems include different or multiple levels of accountability, and quality of decision-making. Dive claims that excessive or multiple decision-making clogs the arteries of the business, slows down the speed of response and leads to inefficiency.
The points raised here are not new. But they are set out in a logical fashion, with clear points to follow, ensuring the reader gets the most from the message.
Although The Healthy Organization veers on the edge of self-promotion at times, Dive clearly indicates the problems facing businesses, and how an organisation should behave to effectively meet the demands of customers, employees, competitors and shareholders.
The Healthy Organization: A Revolutionary Approach to People & Management
Karen Legg is an HR advisor at NTL. She is currently reading Barefoot on Broken Glass by John Timperley and Co-Leaders by David A Hennan