Last year, a series of random chest pains prompted me to go to the doctor, and eventually a cardiologist—a visit that got me thinking about the role and significance of the figurative heart of an organization. I’m 46, and that was enough for my primary care doctor to tell me, “At your age, I can’t tell you to take Advil and ignore these chest pains. Let’s check this out.” It was another reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of maintaining my health. The random chest pains, while ultimately harmless, were enough to make me pause and reflect on my lifestyle choices. It was a vivid, relatively terrifying reminder that without a healthy heart, I’d be risking a lot—more than I cared to admit.

This personal journey ended up feeling parallel to the work we were doing. Our team has embarked on creating a learning program called Guidance, People and Systems (GPS), aimed at strengthening capacity for teams that design and develop learning. Just like a human, your organization needs a healthy heart to function and thrive. So, we’ve organized the critical information you need into the Horizon, Essentials & Rocks Tracker—or HEaRT, as we like to call it. The HEaRT captures everything you need to achieve organizational wellness and success, allowing you to tackle big questions at your organization’s core through an efficient, streamlined process.

In the same way we should always be cognizant of warning signs in our health, like chest pains, we should be aware of the occasional discomforts and warning signs our organizations might face. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to deteriorating organizational health and significantly hinder our capacity to innovate, grow, and thrive.

In order to be ready for whatever comes next, we need to look out for our HEaRT health.

What is HEaRT, and how does it work? 

HEaRT is more than just a clever acronym; it encompasses our commitment to guiding organizations towards their desired future while navigating around any and all potential obstacles. Like a doctor providing a treatment plan for cardiovascular health, HEaRT offers a strategic pathway for:

  • Cultivating a culture of continuous learning and adaptability.
  • Enhancing team cohesion and efficiency.
  • Streamlining operations and processes for maximum impact.
  • Innovating products and programs that resonate with our core audience.
  • Ensuring financial health and sustainability.
  • Leveraging technology for growth and advancement.

As we look towards our one-year and three-year horizons, we envision a future where our clients and their teams not only achieve their goals but surpass them. We see a thriving culture of health ahead of them, both personally and organizationally.

How can I determine the heartbeat of my organization?

We like to begin the HEaRT process by establishing your organization’s essential values—in other words, what’s vital to you and your team in fostering a culture where everyone is happy and motivated to work. A solid, collective understanding of your organization’s essential values is crucial; it’s the foundation that will set your organization up for success as you embark on the rest of HEaRT. 

Determining your organization’s mindset, both in terms of workplace dynamics and what you put out into the world, is another central element of finding your heartbeat. Ask yourself: how do our employees interact with both clients and each other? How do they conduct their everyday work? What is our organization bringing to the table, and how do we feel about that mission? 

It’s well worth the time and effort it takes to think through these larger questions for your organization, and HEaRT streamlines the process. Your organization’s values and mindset are present in every employee and every facet of your operations; they’re the heartbeat of your business. A heartbeat, after all, is how we know our bodies are alive and functioning—and your organization isn’t any different. 

A Call to Action

My visit to the cardiologist was a reminder of the importance of taking care of our hearts—both physically and metaphorically. It reinforced the necessity of setting ourselves up for success by being proactive about our health and well-being. Let’s not wait for warning signs to prompt us into action, scrambling to find a solution once the bad has already begun. Instead, let’s embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle—in every sense of the term—and cultivate organizational environments that thrive on resilience, empathy, innovation, and collaboration.

We invite you to join us on this journey as we continue to develop our GPS program and implement HEaRT. Together, we can ensure that both our hearts and our organizations are set up for a future of health, success, and fulfillment.

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