The Advantage Book Summary - The Advantage Book explained in key points
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The Advantage summary

Patrick M. Lencioni

Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

4.6 (145 ratings)
25 mins
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    The Advantage
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    Key idea 1 of 11

    To be successful, organizations need to be smart and healthy.

    As long as there have been companies, there have been business leaders pondering the secret of a successful organization.

    For an organization to become successful, two criteria must be fulfilled: the organization must be smart and healthy.

    Being smart means having the technical competence to deal with aspects of the company like strategy, marketing, finance and technology, while being healthy means having high morale and productivity as well as minimal conflicts, confusion and employee churn.

    As you will discover in these blinks, it’s organizational health that most affects the company’s success.


    First of all, healthy organizations can at least become smart over time, but unhealthy organizations can’t.

    This is because leaders in unhealthy organizations are reluctant to admit their own flaws and therefore won’t ask others for advice – which impedes learning. In healthy organizations, leaders are open about mistakes and therefore quicker to overcome them and learn from them.

    Consider the analogy of a family: In healthy families where parents raise their children through discipline, affection and time spent together, the children tend to be able to overcome the difficulties they face. Unhealthy families, on the other hand, often produce children who struggle no matter how smart they are.

    Second, in unhealthy organizations even smart people often make stupid decisions. Many companies have smart leaders who have graduated from top universities, but their firms still fail because they are riddled with politics, misalignment and inconsistencies.

    In fact, it turns out that having smart leaders is not that important: many healthy companies run by relatively average people still make wise decisions that make them more successful than their “smarter” competitors.

    Of course, the financial costs of an unhealthy organization are undeniable: squabbling staff and inefficient work results in wasted resources and time as customers and employees leave. This means a healthy organization is in fact at a competitive advantage, the benefits of which can be seen in the bottom line as well as in the happiness of employees.

    But how can you create a healthy organization and why do leaders often neglect this vital aspect of business?

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    What is The Advantage about?

    These blinks outline the key principles for building a healthy organization where all the employees pull together in the same direction following the same objectives. This enables organizations to achieve their full potential, while unhealthy competitors waste resources in internal squabbles.

    Who should read The Advantage?

    • Leadership team members in any type of organization
    • Anyone working in human resources
    • Consultants in the fields of leadership, organizational learning and team building

    About the Author

    Patrick Lencioni is the founder and president of The Table Group, a management consultancy specializing in organizational health and the development of executive teams. He has authored ten business books that together have sold over three million copies globally. His best-selling book is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, the key ideas of which are also available in blinks.


    Patrick M. Lencioni: The Advantage copyright 2012, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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