10 Characteristics of a Healthy Organization or Team

I love organizational leadership as a subject and I am happy to serve on a healthy team. It’s amazing how many church leaders I know that say their team is not healthy.  Recently I started wondering why it is that I claim our team is healthy and it led me to this post.

Here, in my opinion, are 10 elements of a healthy organization/team:

  • A shared vision is held by all team members.
  • Team members and their individual ideas are equally valued.
  • Leadership development is a part of the strategy.
  • The organization readily embraces change and risk taking is encouraged.
  • Team members are continually energized and encouragement flows freely.
  • It’s a fun place to hang out…people enjoy their work and relationships are deeper than just the professional environment.
  • Mistakes are considered part of the learning process.
  • The structure doesn’t limit growth, but provides healthy boundaries.
  • There is a freedom to offer constructive criticism, even of top leadership, without fear of retribution.
  • Conflict is not discouraged, but used to make the team better.

What would you add to the list?

Do you serve on a healthy team?

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26 thoughts on “10 Characteristics of a Healthy Organization or Team

  1. Great post, Ron. Spot on. If I were to add one, it would be that leaders and team members are open and forthright in their communication. It's such a foundational component of both great leaders and great teams. There are elements of communication touched on in several of your points; however, it is such a critical issue for many leaders and teams, that I think it deserves its own bullet point! 🙂 It also is built upon the trust that Laura mentioned.


    Will R

  2. Okay, so today we discussed the 10 points when it came to our staff at LifePoint Church. What an eye-opener. There were three things I think we need to work on. Our staff singled out another that we spent 45 minutes talking about.
    Overall, we spent an hour on this post.
    Thank you Ron, our staff is stronger now having worked through these ten characteristics.

  3. Hey Ron,
    We regularly have a segment of our staff meeting where we discuss, "Leadership Lessons." In our next meeting we're going to discuss this post. It looks good.

    Thanks so much,


  4. Number 3 and 5 have to be my two favorite on this list! If I were to add a number 11, I think it would have to do with team members encouraging each other to spend time and invest in their families. An orginization that encourages you to shut down and go home because the family is important is bound to create a happier spouse which creates a healthier team member.

  5. Great thoughts. Freedom to fail is crucial in an ever adapting culture. Thus the need for innovation & creativity. Teams that foster that secure environment to innovate together along their shared vision unleash the best creativity. Fear ladden environments only foster status quo & more than likely lead to decline.

  6. This is a great post! I think that a shared vision where the entire team participates is integral in developing a healthy and thriving team. Certainly, that would top my list as well.

    One thing I would add is that trust is also an important component to team building. If you can't trust your team to do the right thing, it's hard to create a positive environment. I've seen so many workplaces put so many rules and restrictions in place to make sure employees do the right thing. Great teams don't need that. If you trust your team and give them appropriate responsibility for their actions, they will do the right thing without having to put consequences in place.

  7. Thanks Fernando! I think you are right about structure. As our organization grows, we have more need for structure, but we never want that structure to stifle creativity or growth…which has gotten us where we are today. Thanks for your comment.
    Twitter: Ronedmondson

  8. Thank you for your post. I believe you hit several key aspects. Although I think they are all important, for large organizations, I think the one you mention on structure is very central. I have served in some organizations where structure instead of enabling, it limited the effective functioning of the organization, usually opening the space to political moves, rather than visionary, ministerial, strategic moves to develop the organization. I also find important the one on leadership development. In the end leaders are in the business of raising new leaders thus training/mentoring is of utmost importance. In the context where I am serving now both geographical and organizational, this has not been a key factor, and the organization has been paying the price in shortage of leaders to take different levels of responsibility in the structure. Thanks for these great points.