The Healthiest Organizations Win

Patrick Lencioni’s latest article, giving excellent insight into what we can learn from the San Antonio spurs about organizational health. Here’s the start:

I loved basketball as a kid, wanting more than anything to play in the NBA one day. But I didn’t make it past high school, my 5’9 inch height and limited jumping ability holding me back. If I were only eight inches taller…

Now, I have to admit that since then I’ve lost much of my interest as a fan of professional basketball as the game has become less about teamwork and finesse, and more about individual, physical, one–on–one challenges. Which is why it was so fun to watch the San Antonio Spurs win the NBA championship this week. They are an old–school reminder of the days of passing, teamwork and strategy — the antithesis of what the NBA has become.

But a closer look at the Spurs, the organization and the team, reveals that there is more going on in San Antonio than meets the eye, and it is something that any organization can learn from. See, the Spurs are the healthiest organization in the NBA, and probably in all of professional sports.

A healthy organization, as I’ve defined in my book, The Advantage, is one that maintains a cohesive leadership team, establishes clarity about what it stands for, communicates that clarity repetitively, and puts in place processes and systems to reinforce that clarity over time. How do the San Antonio Spurs match up? Well, when I talk to people in the industry and ask them which organization is best across all sports, most of them will pause for just a few seconds before arriving at their answer: the Spurs. What is it that makes this organization so special?

Read the whole thing.

  • Bill Maxwell

    I really appreciate this perspective…and have seen it over and over again in pro sports…teams that really play like this …as a team and unselfishly, seem to float to the top for me.