Building Healthy, Functioning Teams

By: Patrick Davidson, General Manager, Orchid Chelsea and Orchid Memphis

Many of the divisions at Orchid have been working on developing better intrapersonal and interpersonal communication and team health over the last few years.  We work with an outside coach, Mark Freier, from Nexecute – a company built to help organizations grow on both the “Smart” and “Healthy” side of business.  The sites are very much aligned with the belief (as originally published by Patrick Lencioni and The Table Group) that: Smart + Healthy = Success.  Lots of books, training, and time is spent focusing on how we can be more Smart.  Within the last few years we have begun to focus on how we can also be more Healthy.

While each site started out with training the Leadership Teams on team health, and personal strengths – many sites (including Chelsea, Lansing, and Memphis) have now also started working with the next layer of leaders within the respective organizations.  These leaders have also begun working on being more Healthy through understanding their strengths and how they can better work and communicate together, with the associates, and with the leadership teams.

Going through this training takes time – and, as this is a very precious resource, this takes dedication.  It is also challenging to learn to be open and honest in our communication, as this makes us feel vulnerable.  These leaders are practicing Service before self when they attend the training and practice what they learn.  Of course, practicing these things improves our culture and makes it more exciting to come to work each day – which makes it an Enviable place to work and do business.

The willingness to look in the mirror and do the hard personal (sometimes emotional) work to change how we interact is also an excellent example of good leadership.  And as we all know, the Excellence we seek comes through leadership and performance.   The leaders are working on linking arms and understanding that our first priority is to the people around the table – we win as a team, or we lose as a team.  And that requires complete honesty in how we interact – even when it feels hard.  This is the very essence ofTeamwork and Integrity in all relationships.

Of course, the whole experience is a great example of the fact that Growth brings opportunity.  It is because our company and divisions have continued to grow that we have been provided the opportunity to be able to receive this kind of coaching and training.  And the personal and interpersonal growth that has taken place because of this training has allowed our divisions to continue to grow and be successful, even when the market and business conditions are challenging. It is really exciting to be able to invest in the leaders in our organizations and to watch how they, in turn, invest themselves, their energy, and their talents into the company.  It is a great example of all five core values at work, and clearly helps us provide the opportunity for our leaders, our associates, our customers, and end users to live a better life!

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