The Care Plan for your SOS

We have been looking in the past few blogs at organisations and how they can become sick, tired or past their sell by date. Check it out: is yours a patient? To combat Sick Organisation Syndrome takes skill, experience and chutzpah – if you have decided you, or someone you know, is qualified to revive the patient, it is time to plan ahead!

You have identified the meaning of the Organisation? You have felt its admittedly weak pulse, have found the something that causes its heart to beat, and have understood what it was that gave the reason for all those good people to join it in the first place? If you haven’t done this yet you must set about it immediately, before the patient becomes too clapped out to survive! Without finding the purpose of the organisation you have already failed. If you think the purpose of your organisation is to make money, or to provide services, you are only part way there: those may be some of the aims, but Purpose is different, Purpose is what gives warmth and humanity to an organisation regardless of size. And warmth and humanity cannot be faked or injected, they grow outwards from the people driving the organisation and depend on those qualities being in those people and ready to share. A Company can be successful in terms of P&L,  acquisition, growth, without warmth – although it is far more likely to be more successful with warmth and with empathy. But an Organisation stands or falls on its relationships, its warmth and its human face, which should never ever be confused with chumminess or clubbable relationships, or worse, dependent and sycophantic, often inbred or incestuous, relationships . And people know when it is real, especially in Health and Social Care and Support Organisations where the emotional intelligence is usually high and the Purpose more complex.

If you are in the centre of a sick organisation you may need some help to see past the infection to the healthy tissue, the Purpose. You may need some fresh eyes. However, we have all been involved in “consultations” which are paper exercises designed to push through the hidden or covert agenda – you know what I mean: those consultations run by bureaucrats or others with their own agenda already decided, rubber stamped and packaged ready to go but who have to conform to an expected or mandatory “inclusion” charade in order to move ahead. They tick the box, they do the job, but they don’t carry the people with them, and in the long term are counter productive as they serve to confirm negative views without providing evidence of positivity or genuine inclusion and run a real risk of patronising those involved. I am sure you recognise some of that if you have been around for any length of time. And what will actually, genuinely, move people forwards inside the organisation, will massage that near-dead heart and get the blood flowing again, is a genuine and warm reach out that values those participating and gives a virtual hug to everyone in the organisation. Not everyone will be first hand participants, so reaching out with that virtual hug across the groups will make that vital difference, and that can only be done if those first hand participants buy into the process and believe the deal. They won’t if the warmth is absent. The warmth will be absent if the people running the show don’t possess it.

So – if you want to get the paddles onto that heart and revive the patient you need not only skill, experience and chutzpah, but warmth and humanity as well. Add integrity and honesty and you may well have a fighting chance! Without them – there’s the door, get your coat.

Next time: what next?

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