Management & Leadership News South Africa

Finding success through organisational health and balance

German Genuine Contact™ trainer and leadership coach, Sabine Bredemeyer, believes an organisation is at its most productive and successful when healthy and balanced.
Finding success through organisational health and balance
© Sergey Nivens –

We chatted to Bredemeyer before her flight to South Africa, where she will be hosting a series of introductory workshops in organisational development, taking place in Cape Town and Hermanus this December.

Why is it so important to find balance within our organisational structures?

Sabine Bredemeyer
Sabine Bredemeyer

Let me first explain what I mean by balance or health and balance in an organisation: I’m referring to the climate present within the organisation – in other words the environment in which the organisation and its people have to function. Especially today, people are challenged to work more effectively and more flexibly than ever before in humanity’s history.

Think of agriculture: it’s common knowledge that when you want to have a rich harvest and healthy plants, you need to invest in the soil and make sure that it is healthy and balanced. Only when the soil is healthy and balanced, can it absorb the nutrients, bringing about a rich harvest and a better capability to withstand any challenges the environment presents.

In organisations, it’s the same: if the climate and all aspects of an organisation are in health and balance, it affects the attitude of the people involved in the organisation. Attitude is the prime factor in how well an organisation works and gets its work done. So making sure your climate is balanced is the way to ensure good results.

Nowadays, answers to intricate and diverse challenges must be found quickly. Well-thought through organisational structures are indispensable in meeting these challenges – but they can’t funtion if the people involved suffer from a climate that is not in balance.

What are some of the common ills within the organisational climate?

When the organisational climate is unhealthy, for example if it is defensive or life depleting, a great deal of energy is wasted on misunderstandings, overly ridgid procedures and control that limits people’s initiative and ablity to solve problems quickly. Often that leads to confilct that cripples the energy of the entire organisation. An important factor that contributes to organisational distress is the helplessness of leaders when it comes to creating healthy and balanced climates, because health and balance of the organisational climate has not been perceived as a key factor for organisational success.

What is an organisational blueprint?

We, the trainers and consultants working with the Genuine Contact approach talk about the ‘blueprint for health’ that is inherent in each organisation – which means that all the knowledge and all wisdom for the ideal healthy and successful organisation is within the organisation. Like a construction plan which is already there. The people of an organisation know what’s needed for their optimal health, balance and success. We’ve seen this again and again: when we give the people of an organisation the space and opportunity to unfold their genius, they always find the most creative and applicable solutions even to complex challenges. There are some great simple, but powerful tools to invite the collective intelligence of the people within an organisation that re-surface this ‘blueprint’ or construction plan.

What are some of the steps you take in your personal life to maintain balance?

Great question! And so important for me as a Genine Contact trainer: when I was trained to become a Genuine Contact trainer and consultant, one of the most important topics was how to stay in health and balance. We see this as a necessary prerequisite for the work we do with and for our clients. Being conscious about being in health and balance is one of the hallmarks of our work and one of the ways we ensure quality to our clients.

I personally am very conscious about my health: I make sure I move my body in a healthy way by doing Yoga, taking long walks with my dog, I meditate and care for a healthy work-life balance, I eat healthy food, I consciously cultivate friendships and maintain genuine contacts with my colleagues all over the world. Being in genuine contact with myself and the people I meet also helps me to stay healthy. For the last 12 years I even haven’t had a cold.

For more information on the introductory workshops, view:
Leaders and Facilitators Empowering Organisations to Thrive - Cape Town
Leaders and Facilitators Empowering Organisations to Thrive - Hermanus

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