What Is A ‘Healthy, Performance-Based Organization and Culture’?

By Patrick Trottier

One hears a lot these days about ‘healthy organizations’, ‘healthy cultures’, and the need to enhance ‘organizational performance’.

What does that mean? The following are a few attributes and perspectives that I believe describe such. Of course these are not all inclusive but begin to paint some ‘picture’ of what, in my experience, that entails.

A healthy organization and culture is one where:

  • People are engaged, motivated and want to take responsibility and accountability for their behaviors, decisions and actions.
  • People want to perform to their abilities, to continually learn to enhance current and new abilities… and to inspire others to do the same.
  • The organization embeds its principles, values and beliefs into its systems, processes, policies, leadership and management practices, etc., so people experience ‘congruency’ in the organizational culture and their work climate day-to-day (v.s. a cultural gap).
  • The organization continually adapts to its constantly changing environments in order to facilitate and renew its own viability and vitality.

A ‘performance-based’ organization is one that:

  • Realizes that people naturally want to perform and succeed.
  • Uses metrics and effective information as a basis for strategy, decision-making and action.
  • Develops open information and feedback systems at every level so that people can ‘self-manage’ their work functions aligned to the strategies and goals of the organization.
  • Understands that valid and effective information is a key foundation to continuous improvement, learning, quality, as well as adaptation and innovation to constantly changing environments.

I am sure there are many more points can be added from your ideas, knowledge and experiences. I would be interested in your suggestions and comments that you may want to contribute to this ‘picture’.


About Patrick A. Trottier

I am a 30 plus year applied Organizational Development practitioner having honed my craft in the U.S., Canada and internationally. Presently living in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., I am currently developing the next evolution of O.D. termed; 'Emergent Organizational Development and Emergent Change® (EODC)®, and focusing on Emergent OD®, Emergent Change® and the development of Emergent Organizations® within my professional practice.
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