Annual Physicals, Vital Signs… for Your “Personal” Life, and for Your Organization

Yes, you all know all this already…

hands with stethoscopeThe annual physical is a bother – but critical. I just had mine. My weight is (back) up. Not at its highest, but not where it needs to be. My other vitals seem ok – won’t know for sure until the blood work comes back.

I got the usual nicely worded, empathetic counsel from my doctor. It boils down to this: move more, eat less ice cream. (If you can find a doctor who says it is best to sit still all day, and eat lots of ice cream every night, please give me his/her name).

Now, with the coming health apps revolution, we are about to be able to have pretty constant vital signs readings and feedback. We will know much more about our actual health pretty much on a constant basis.

And, at work, we experience the same challenge. If an annual physical kind of gets us back on course, then maybe a perpetual feedback loop for our work life will help us keep on course much better than before…

The ritual of the annual physical reminds me of some pretty basic principles, fully transferable to the work context.  The big one is this — what you don’t pay attention to does not get done. Monitor; measure; pay attention! Monitor your vital signs at work…

For your own productivity:

  • are you as productive as you could be, every hour of every work day?
  • are you focused – and maintaining that focus?
  • are you keeping in touch with key people?
  • are you getting better; building skills; becoming more…more knowledgeable, more collaborative, more attentive, more effective at listening?

For your organization:

  • do you have the best strategy?
  • have you built effective teams?
  • are you improving your customer experience?
  • are you staying ahead of the curve with your innovation challenges?

You can add other important questions to these. The list can be a long one… But this much I know. Checking your organizational health, like checking your personal health, is a constant need, and serves as a constant, needed corrective.


12_vital_signs_to_organisational_health_2D_coverMy e-book, 12 Vital Signs of Organizational Health, is a quick read, and can help you check on your own organization’s health. Check it out at Amazon.

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