The Unconference Undiary

My View on the Forum for Healthy Organisations
The Unconference Undiary
I apologise in advance if my quotes are incorrect and statements not quite right, as my notes are a little scratchy and only half complete.
An intro, a light dinner, some networking and WOW…, I was able to meet my Organisational Health mentor, Mr Pat Lencioni. Pat was a little overwhelmed by the tremendous support and attention that The Table Group’s little “Unconference” was attracting, but true to text Pat was as humble as all his writings suggest.
Yep, and sorry we began with principles, blah, blah, blah, not really, the refresher was great, and I’m sure there were more than a few people in the room who loved everything and every model that was presented. The reinforcement of trust and accountability, the stories and humour, what organisation wouldn’t want to be this healthy?
After the ‘four disciplines’ our first awesome guest joined Pat on stage; Alan Mulally, CEO extraordinaire, a huge grin on his face. Pat, you got it wrong, leadership is a privilege, it’s not hard, it’s not a sacrifice, we are here to serve!
“What motivates you as a leader, Alan”?
“Profitable growth for all, our people our stakeholders and our customers (in no particular order). Have a plan and execute, lead with joyful accountability. Wow, but trust, love and serve”.
As I listened to Alan and Pat and their healthy conflicting argument about leadership, my own thoughts were racing. It’s you and only you; the leader needs to be at the crest of the wave, the entrusted, the moral compass, the champion of clarity. It is an honour to serve our people and to take responsibility for providing a stable enjoyable environment and profitable future that they can all enjoy!
Next up were Tim Tassopoulos and Andrew Cathy from Chick-fil-A, the chicken chain that employs over 120,000 people (and they all love their jobs). During the discussion, purpose and values were mentioned continuously and as it seemed, interviews as normal, the Sunday questions reared their head! “Family, faith and people; oh yeah – we don’t work on Sundays, on Monday our chicken tastes best”.
The Chick-Fil-A, Corporate Purpose: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Staying true to your values is not a compromise it’s “on Mondays it tastes best”! Too often we let our consumers and competitors dictate our better self, but; god bless, “on Mondays our chicken tastes best”! Thank goodness we left the Dallas airport on Saturday and we could cash in our free sandwich voucher… and yes, the Chick-fil-A experience was all that had been expressed. The staff were happy and polite, the service impeccable and the food something else (as the cows would say, “eat mor chikin”)!
I look through my scribbled notes from day 2, statements like “healthy = smarter over time”, “remind don’t instruct”, “over communicate” and “to serve” fill every page. The importance of leadership on all levels is essential for organisational health.
Full of LUV – Southwest Airlines
LUV is Southwest Airline’s symbol on the New York Stock exchange. “We first started flying out of Love Field in Dallas, and our first advertising slogan in 1971 was “Southwest Airlines, the Someone Else Up There Who LUVs You.” Lead with LUV: A Different Way to Create Real Success.
The Southwest culture and LUV, the success and growth of an awesome company. These guys really do care about their people, and they have done from day one. How humbling to see LUV done so well!
This page in my note book remained relatively empty until Elizabeth Bryant the Southwest Chief Training Officer joined the stage; now it’s the page that’s the fullest! My biggest takeaway (there was lots to choose from), the Southwest Airlines University, “training, the Southwest way”. Not just training pilots and flight crew, but training (what I referred to as) Southwest 101, the teaching of values, purpose and culture.
Reinforce Clarity – ✔️
On day 3 Pat also allowed us all to have a copy of the first 1/3 of his new, not yet published book “The Motive”. Amy and the “Naked” team from Lighthouse Management Consulting are mentioned on page 2, awesome, Getting Naked is one of my favourites! Pat’s motive is clear from the intro: “I hope this book helps you adopt the right motive for leadership so that you can embrace the tasks required to make you organisation healthier and more effective. You, your employees, and your customers deserve that kind of leadership”. I can’t wait to read the whole thing.
Another great guest Silver Oak Winery CEO David Duncan produced some fantastic short quotes. “You can’t control what you can’t control, but you can control how you treat your people”. “Be humble, ask for help”. “Trust the process”.
Over all days there were “Ed Talks” and “Soap Box Sessions”, so many inspirational stories, so many inspiring friends.
“By choosing to believe in each other’s capacity we embody the connection we long for in so many of life’s other circumstances.” Justin Self
Organisational health brings everyone in, it is the gel of human performance, it is the work smile and family bond that we all wished existed in our everyday lives.
Thank you, Pat and the Table Group, for putting down on paper and presenting what I have always instinctively felt or believed but didn’t know how to implement. I love being a leader, I love working on making our organisation healthy, I love the harmony, the cohesion, the adrenaline, and fulfillment of everyday. I am here to serve!
On with “the movement”, organisational health will evolve to be rule, not the exception…
Ricky Gatti