Organizational Acupuncture™: For the Health of Your Culture | Mark N. Clemente | Skillshare

Organizational Acupuncture™: For the Health of Your Culture

Mark N. Clemente, Writer & Communication Consultant

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9 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Acupuncture Lesson 1 Introduction

    • 2. Acupuncture Lesson 1A Key Terms

    • 3. Acupuncture Lesson 2

    • 4. Acupuncture Lesson 3

    • 5. Acupuncture Lesson 4

    • 6. Acupuncture Lesson 5

    • 7. Acupuncure Lesson 6

    • 8. Acupuncture Lesson 7

    • 9. Acupuncture Lesson 8 Conclusion


About This Class


A combination eLearning micro-course and accompanying business eBook.

Using principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine and the ancient healing art of acupuncture, the instructor presents a unique theory and model to help leaders attain cultural health to achieve enduring business success! Organizational Acupuncture™ helps leaders strategically manage their workplace communications to optimize business results. Techniques taught in the course can help fix “broken” or “toxic” cultures, as well as address communication blockages caused by ineffective channels or company “silos.” Countless business problems can be traced to poor communication between employees and teams. Organizational Acupuncture helps you overcome these and other obstacles to developing a high-performance culture.

Through this course you will:

  • Learn ways to enhance business performance by improving communications between employees and teams
  • Learn a new approach to planning internal communication, knowledge management and training programs from a strategic standpoint
  • Gain a new perspective on gauging organizational and cultural health based on your current communication practices

This course is designed for:

  • Leaders and managers in corporate communications, HR, organization development, training, and operations
  • CEOs and business owners
  • Leaders on track to senior management and entrepreneurial roles. (Note: this course is not for small companies without established systems and cultures.)


1. Acupuncture Lesson 1 Introduction: Hi, I'm Mark lamenting. Thank you very much for your interest in this course called Organizational Acupuncture, which is designed to help you improve your culture by improving your internal workplace communications through the lectures and the accompanying course materials, you'll be learning how to create a vibrant culture that will enable you to achieve enduring business success. Acupuncture is a healing art, a so called alternative therapy that is designed to help people get healthy and stay healthy. Interestingly, the principles of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can be applied to help companies that are experiencing problems such as a broken or a toxic culture or problem situations that result from a lack of communication, collaboration and teamwork. Here's some of the things that you'll learn in this course that will enable you to attain and maintain what I call cultural health as a therapeutic approach for curing business problems. Organizational acupuncture can advance your culture by improving these things first. Worker productivity. It's been documented that effective internal communication between teams can improve overall company performance. Organizational acupuncture can help you improve employee satisfaction, which is derived from employees getting a sense of empowerment when they're able to provide feedback through two way channels of communication with management. Organizational acupuncture can improve inter departmental coordination. This results from a culture based on open communication and feedback, and one in which people are working together toward common goals. Organizational acupuncture can also help your business improve its strategic agility in other words, its ability to effectively plan for and capitalize on new marketplace opportunities. Acupuncture is a timeless Asian medical technique that is designed to help you achieve physical, emotional and spiritual health. Personally, I've had acupuncture treatments many times in my life with great success professionally. As a writer and consultant, I've been working in the area of business communications for more than 35 years. For almost that long, I've been a student of Zen Dallas theory in the Asian martial arts. At a certain point, I realized that the problems facing companies can be looked at through the lens of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture theory. I asked the question If acupuncture could work for people, why couldn't it work for companies? And that's how the organizational acupuncture model came into being. Here's what you'll gain from this course. Through this course, you will learn a practical planning framework based on the concept of cultivating informational energy that could be harnessed to achieve cultural health and drive business results. You will learn a new approach to solving business problems that could be traced to poor communication between employees and teams. Situation where there is an US versus them mentality or when their so called company silos and you'll learn how to apply a model for proactively and strategically managing your internal communications for competitive advantage. Organizational Acupuncture is based on the philosophy that to improve culture, we have to first improve internal workplace communications. And that's what this course is all about. So thank you very much for your interest. Please sign on. Let's get started. 2. Acupuncture Lesson 1A Key Terms: let's start by reviewing some key terms and concepts that I'll be using in this course. It's important to understand these principles because they relate Teoh and highlight many of the problems that a current businesses that could be cured using organizational acupuncture. Let's look at these terms now. The first management terms of principles relate to the basic ways that communications travel within a company when we discuss channels of communication were referring to the formal communication media that are present in the company and which served to deliver messages and information for management. These include electronic channels such as a company's Internet. It's email system. Blog's LCD screens that carry company messages and internal social media Channels of communication also include print media such as company newsletters, magazines or things like informational posters that might be displayed in the workplace. When we discussed two way communications were referring to the media that allow for an ongoing dialogue between management and employees, as well as a dialogue between departments and teams. Two way communications include face to face situations such as team meetings, conferences, town hall sessions and other forums. The most important aspect of two way communications is that they provide a means for people to give and receive information and feedback related to specific management issues, problems or opportunities when there are insufficient channels of communication in a company, employees can't receive the information they need to do their jobs, as well as to be engaged and committed to achieving business success. Without strong internal communication channels, employees are not receiving the information they need from a strategic, financial, operational or cultural standpoint. And when there aren't two way channels of communication, employees are unable to provide valuable feedback in terms of customer needs, the company's products and other issues related to the strategies and operations of the business. The next concepts relate to the strategic accumulation and distribution of information in a company. Intelligence or business. Intelligence refers to the systems the company has in place to collect data for use in business decision making. When we discuss intelligence in this course, it refers to more than just information that's collected, say, in a company's database or other data repository, but more broadly toe all the collective knowledge that people bring to the organization in terms of their individual skills, experience and cultural backgrounds. The next concept relates to knowledge, management and knowledge sharing. This is focused on the ongoing exchange of information between employees and teams in which people skills and expertise are shared. Knowledge. Management is a discipline unto itself. It's defined as the process of creating, sharing and using the intelligence in an organization to attain business objectives. Importantly and as we'll see later on process of effectively sharing knowledge and information is central to the organizational acupuncture model, so communicating, collecting information and intelligence actively sharing that knowledge. So many business problems could be attributed to situations where companies aren't doing these things correctly. Now the problems will be talking about can be understood in addressed using principles of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Now let's look at this ancient healing art to understand the principles underlying acupuncture as a precursor understanding organizational, acupuncture 3. Acupuncture Lesson 2: To understand the principles of organizational acupuncture, we have to first understand the principles of traditional acupuncture. Now acupuncture is a healing art that has been around for approximately 5000 years, and it's based on the idea of the existence of energy called Qi that flows through the human body in yoga cheese called prana. Some Western scientists called bio electricity, But whatever you call it, she is the essence of life. It allows us to live, and it powers the entire world around us. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine focus on the movement of TCI through channels in the human body. Cold meridians. When she is flowing strongly through these meridians, it nourishes specific organs in the body, the heart, the lungs, the kidneys and would have you. Now. The practical and philosophical essence of acupuncture can be captured in three basic points. When she is flowing smoothly, it nourishes our internal organs and health is maintained. But when there are blockages, when the key is not moving through your meridians, or when the quality of your cheese poor illness can result to be healthy, we must ensure that she is flowing steadily to the different parts of our body. When it isn't acupuncture needles or acupressure massage are used to massage specific pressure points on the body. This action stimulates or redirects the chief low to heal diseased organs and to help us maintain overall health and well being. So it's T riel. Based on my personal experience, I can say that it most certainly is. Acupuncture is conf eel. And since she when working on a given patient, you may have seen the karate or kung fu master whose ableto power through a stack of boards or bricks with one punch or one strike. That's not magic. That's not a trick. That's the martial artists ability to summon his cheek and powered into his strikes. Now the field of acupuncture is a profoundly deep area for the purposes of understanding organization acupuncture. We need to focus on two basic ideas, the first being the existence of energy, CI energy and secondly, have that energy moves through the human body through the defined channels that we mentioned here are three key takeaways. Acupuncture is based on the principle of ensuring the smooth flow of cheap energy throughout the human body. Energy moves along to find channels called meridians when the energy within meridians is blocked or when it is of poor quality disease can result in the next lesson. Will look at the equivalent of key in their organizational context. In short, will identify and define informational energy as the CI that powers an enterprise and enables it to achieve its objectives through good sound organisational communication between employees and teams. 4. Acupuncture Lesson 3: So now we have seen how acupuncture is based on the idea of internal energy flowing through the human body through channels called meridians, and that when TCI energy is flowing strongly and smoothly through those channels that human health and vitality can result in this lesson will look at the equivalent of tea energy in an organisational context. Now there are many reasons why companies fail could be due to poor products, bad customer service, poor financial management, any number of issues. My theory of organizational acupuncture is focused on problems that result from poor communication, poor information sharing throughout the enterprise. However, when these factors are optimized, we could consider a company to have strong internal energy or strong informational energy. Data and intelligence are the fuel of any enterprise. Every organization needs strong information from the standpoint of financial information, operational information, market insights and what have you. So it is when this information, this type of knowledge, is flowing through the organization on a regular basis that we could say that organizational health can be attained now. This may sound a little theoretical. Let's bring it down to Earth by looking at the specific characteristics of informational energy in terms of the organizational acupuncture model. Internal energy from an organizational acupuncture standpoint is based on communications that effectively and continually promote the vision, mission and values of the organization. That is information that helps people understand what the company stands for, where it's headed in the marketplace and what role people need to play in helping to achieve business objectives. Next, internal energy is characterized by communications that clarify the corporate or business units strategy, helping people understand the exact ways the company's deploying its resources in capital in order to grow and succeed. Internal energy is also marked by communications that provide for a two way flow of information, ideas and insights between employees and management. That is the continual exchange of ideas that helped the company and individual employees achieve their growth objectives. So up to now, we have talked about traditional acupuncture as a healing art, and we've discussed the idea of TCI Energy, which flows through the human body through channels called meridians, in order to maintain human health. In this lesson, we tried to characterize CI energy in terms of organizations, communication function. Let's sum up with three key takeaways. The energy that flows through an organization is created by the ongoing collection and circulation of strategic information that is required for business decision making. This informational energy results from effective communications that regularly promote the company's vision, mission values and business strategies. Informational energy, created through strong information management and knowledge sharing, must continually circulate through the organization to help the business achieve its growth objectives. In the next lesson will look at the organization meridians specific channels of communication through which information, data and knowledge must flow in order to ensure organizational health. 5. Acupuncture Lesson 4: in earlier lessons, we talked about meridians that channels in the human body through which chief flows to maintain health. In this lesson, we'll look at the meridians that carry informational energy in a typical organization now identifying the meridians in your company. The channels of communication with ways that information and intelligence are shared in your organization represents a key aspect of organizational acupuncture. Let's talk in specifics. In a company, people share information through established communication media in lines of management reporting, company knowledge and intelligence travel. Via these basic conduits, which are made up of formal and informal interactions between members of different departments, teams or business units, information exchanges can either be personal or non personal. Personal communication exchanges are those that are delivered in face to face situations such as meetings or group forums, such as a town hall meeting. Non personal communication exchanges are those that occurred through established media or communication protocols such as email memoranda, newsletters or other employees. Communication vehicles, of course, information also travels through less formal channels, for instance, in regular daily conversations and interactions between co workers stated simply, the meridians in an organization or all the ways that employees work together to share information in order to conduct business. Now in large diversified company, there are literally dozens of communication channels. Now you may be asking, Well, how is it possible to focus on every communication channel? And how do you evaluate every interaction that's occurring within that meridian? Well, you really can't. But the same challenge exists in acupuncture. There are literally hundreds of meridians that flow through the human body, and it's the task of the acupuncturist to focus on the most important meridians. And that is a similar challenge in organizational acupuncture. Let's sum up with three key takeaways in organizational acupuncture. Informational energy flows through meridians, which include internal communication media and forums and various types of employee interactions. The meridians in your organization, formal and informal, personal and non personal communication channels, maybe numerous and sometimes difficult to identify. The organizational acupuncturist should focus on the main meridians when assessing communication effectiveness or when evaluating communication problems. In the next lesson, we'll talk about how to conduct an organizational acupuncture examination the same way, and acupuncture is would look at a patient. We'll talk about meridians communications flowing through those meridians as well as to identify informational energy blockages that may be occurring in those channels, which may be creating business problems or maybe hindering your efforts to grow and develop your culture. 6. Acupuncture Lesson 5: and acupuncturists works to identify and remove blockages that may be occurring in the human body. When blockages occur, health problems can result in organizational acupuncture. The task is similar. We need to identify blockages that may be occurring in a given communication channel in the organization. Try to identify the nature of that blockage and, most importantly, identify ways to remove it. In my experience, in working with dozens of companies in all industries, out of all sizes have identified three basic types of blockages. They are poor quality information, too much information or thirdly, withholding information. Let's look at each one of these blockages in detail. Poor quality information takes various forms. Poor quality information is that which is incorrect, outdated or irrelevant. Irrelevant because it isn't directly usable by its recipients. We have to consider energy in terms of its inherent quality. Acupuncturists believe that there is good CI and there's Bachi. The energy flowing through a given channel is of poor quality. It can create a blockage. Think of arteries in the human body. If over the course of many years you eat too many high fat, high cholesterol foods, your arteries will clog up. Why because those foods possess negative qualities. Ultimately, the circulatory pathways become so congested that blood can flow through them. Heart disease and strokes can result. The same phenomenon occurs in an organization's pathways. If too much poor quality data flows through the system, it can clog up the channels through which corporate information, knowledge and intelligence must travel. The second type of blockage relates to the problem of too much information that's flowing through communication channels. Let's look at the problems that this particular blockage can create. Blockages can result when too much information, even good quality information is flowing through given communication channels or meridians . In a word, the problem is clutter. You must make sure that even if high quality, useful data and intelligence are circulating through the company, that the quantity of data doesn't overwhelm people. Our world is dense with information, and it's a skill to be able to continually take in and process information to determine its relevance in many organisations. Information. It's flowing in many different directions, from the top down from bottom out from side to side, in other words, from function to function. Today, many of us are overwhelmed by this flood of information. It's incumbent upon a company's leaders to know when a data deluge is causing a clutter related blockage. The third type of blockage relates to interpersonal communications, an office politics, and it has to do with people withholding information. Let's take a look at this particular blockage and the problems that can result. This blockage relates to some people's aversion to sharing knowledge and business intelligence. Historically, information has always been the quote currency of power. In other words, managers who had certain proprietary data or insights intentionally withheld it to boost their standing in the organization were to weaken the standing of others. Take, for example, a star sales person who refuses to share any insights on his or her customers, markets or aspects of his customers, relationships that might benefit his fellow sales professionals. This type of attitude of behavior is in contrast to the basic principles of knowledge management, which are based on accumulating and sharing the intellectual property resident in a company , this type of attitude and behavior withheld information can completely block informational energy from flowing through the company. When you can characterize the nature and components of the informational energy that's flowing three organization through specific communication channels, you could begin to identify the types of blockages that may be occurring in your organization and the reasons why your company may be underperforming or you may be experiencing particular management problems. So let's sum up the guidance in this lesson. Here are the three key takeaways first identified the organisational communication channels , or meridians in your company that serves as the main conduits of information sharing and intelligence. Next, isolate problems. The specific blockages that may be occurring in those channels and next characterized the type of blockages that are occurring is the first step in understanding how to remove them . We talked about three common blockages. Keep in mind that there may be others that are unique to your company, and acupuncture is uses needles or acupressure points to remove blockages that are occurring in the body's meridians. In the next lesson, we'll look at the ways that we can remove blockages that are occurring in the communication and information channels in your particular organization. 7. Acupuncure Lesson 6: in the last lesson, we looked at some of the situations that can occur in a given company that could lead to informational energy blockages within its communication channels. In this lesson, we'll look at some of the ways to remove those blockages, similar to the way an acupuncturist would use needles or acupressure to restore the smooth flow of key energy in the human body. The first step in removing blockages is actually a twofold process. First, you should ensure the value and quality of the information flowing between teams, departments and business functions. This requires that you audit all existing lines of communication between these groups to ensure that productive interactions are occurring. That is, people and teams are communicating about important, relevant issues that affect the business. And they're interrelated activities, for example, or sales and marketing, interacting and sharing information. A research and development and production, interacting and sharing information like they need to be are other internal teams regularly meeting and discussing key issues that affect their activities. These are just a few examples. Next, it's important that you established lines of communication where they do not exist. This means making sure the people and departments that need to be communicating on a regular basis are in fact doing so, so a formal channels of communication do not exist between sales and marketing. Those channels need to be established. There are other proactive steps that leaders can take to remove informational energy blockages in communication channels. Let's take a look at some of those particular initiatives. Blockages to information Energy can also be removed by instituting the following measures. For example, you can establish a knowledge university or other knowledge management initiative. This involves establishing a formal database or repository of business intelligence and insights that provides employees with access to institutional intelligence and residents subject matter experts. You can also institute reboard and recognition programs. This is to increase employee information sharing while establishing disincentives for people and teams that fail to do so. And you should also identify and promptly address harmful political situations. That is, situations evolving specific people that may be hampering organizational knowledge, sharing an internal communication. These situations might be present for example, when so called silos existing your company. Let's some of the guidance in this lesson with three key takeaways. Informational energy blockages can be removed by assessing and refining the modes and patterns of communication between employees, teams and departments. Removing blockages requires proactive steps that foster and reward effective information sharing and knowledge transfer. An informational energy is maximized. That is, it's unblocked when people received the right types of information and intelligence they need when they need it. In general, from a content standpoint, it's essential that your internal communications continually focused on your company's strategy as well as its mission, vision and values. And that information is flowing in a strong two way fashion throughout the organization. This idea is really at the heart of the organizational acupuncture model, which will discuss in the next lesson. 8. Acupuncture Lesson 7: All the lessons in this course can be summarized by looking at the organizational acupuncture model, which is based on the strategic flow of information and intelligence throughout the organization. It starts with information that emanates from senior management, which flows down through lower levels of management and then circulates back up to senior management in a continuous flow. Let's first look at the communications that emanate from senior management in the organizational acupuncture model. Communications from leadership initially flow through the company in a top down fashion. In the most basic sense, these communications relate to the company's corporate strategy, its mission, vision and values, an operational procedural and cultural guidance. Together, the information that originates from the company's senior management helps employees to understand the organization's core strategy and growth objectives, as well as its fundamental reason for being, which is articulated in its mission and vision statements. But guidance and information from a company's leadership also relate to the basic ways that employees should perform their jobs and interact with each other from an operational procedural and cultural perspective. Now let's look at the communications that flow up from the lower levels of the organization and which should circulate back up to senior management in the organizational acupuncture model communications directed to leadership flow through the company. In a bottom up way, These communications relate to things like customer feedback, for example, issues related to the company's products and services, such as quality related problems or emerging customer needs. Secondly, market insights and Competitive intelligence and third employee feedback, which would be delivered in response to management's operational, procedural or cultural guidelines and which are delivered through two way channels of communication, information and intelligence that flow up to senior management, help a company's leadership to continually monitor what's happening inside the company and in the marketplace. Ideally, the insights received by management help them to forge new strategies and ways of doing business where and when appropriate, of course, in response to important changes happening inside the organization or in the markets it serves. As you could see, the continual flow of knowledge and intelligence to the organization represents a type of informational energy that powers the enterprise and helps the company to achieve its business objectives, as well as to prepare itself to cope with changes in the marketplace and the competitive landscape in the next and final lesson. I'll sum up the guidance I've tried to provide in this course as well as discuss a class project that you can undertake to help you better understand organizational, acupuncture and, most importantly, be able to apply it in your company. 9. Acupuncture Lesson 8 Conclusion: Well, thank you for completing this course in it. I've tried to present a theory in a framework of using organizational communications in a strategic way. The goals of organizational acupuncture are to help you use communications to support business decision making, as well as to help you maintain a type of corporate health that allows you to build a thriving corporate culture that enables your company to succeed in the markets in which it competes. Let's take a look at some of the main points that we covered in this course. Organizational Acupuncture is a methodology to assess your internal communication programs and practices and the degree to which they are either supporting or hindering your company's ability to optimize business performance. Organizational acupuncture is based on ensuring the current actionable information and intelligence is continually flowing unimpeded through the organization that is delivering the right information to the right people at the right time for business decision making. An organizational acupuncture is a way to use internal communications to create an engaged and committed workforce, one that has inspired to achieve optimal business results and competitive advantage. Now let's discuss a class project that you can undertake to better understand organizational acupuncture and to help you apply it in your particular company. The class project for organizational acupuncture involves three interrelated activities. First, identify one or two communication channels in your company, the's maybe Elektronik or print media that deliver strategic and business related information to employees. Second, evaluate the nature of the information being delivered through those communication channels in terms of how usable or actionable that information is. Ask questions like Is this information? Current is being presented in ways that people can truly understand and apply in their specific jobs. In short, is the information meaningful to the audience that's receiving it? And third, try to identify at least one blockage of informational energy, for example, too much information that may be flowing through a given communication channel or not enough information flowing through that channel or situations where information is seemingly being withheld, say, in silos that may exist in your company. Next, think about the steps that you would take to remove those types of blockages. So thank you again for taking this course. I look forward to interacting with students online and fielding your comments, questions and ideas. I wish you all the very best of luck