Organizations can become highly functional or dysfunctional for any number of reasons. When highly functional, organizations are capable of beautiful things, both in what they contribute outside their firm and the atmosphere they create within. When highly dysfunctional they can be extremely toxic to everyone involved.
In both cases the effects extend far beyond the intended "audiences." These effects are not only business-related, but affect society at large. For example when a team works well they may develop a product or service that empowers somebody to do their job better and more effectively, but happier people are also more likely to make better decisions, think more clearly, and be more creative in their solutions. A toxic environment is one in which it becomes much more difficult for people to behave in productive ways. Toxic environments produce situations where there is a lack of trust, people feel as though they must fend for themselves, and a shared mission all but ceases to exist. Which workplace would you prefer the coach of your child’s little league team spend the majority of their waking hours?
In what ways can we create and foster business environments that are suitable for human beings? How can we encourage us to think within organizations about how to look at the way we impact society? We say things like, “think globally, act locally” but what does that really mean when we still throw around terms like “externalities?” We have business coaches, consultants, and trainers. Is it time to seriously consider business therapists?