So, What Happened?
You poured time and money into creating a mission, vision and strategic plan that should be delivering breathtaking results.
Instead you're gasping for air.
It could be due to any number of external factors, but the problem might come down to two internal issues:
- Your people, processes and partners are not properly positioned--or aligned--to make the plan deliver.
- Employees do not know what the plan is--or the role they play in making it successful. As in, communication.
How do you know if your organization needs alignment?
Start by asking questions like:
- Do my people really understand our strategy?
- Do they own it?
- Do they know how their personal efforts move the company forward?
- Is there cross-functional finger pointing? Do people play the "blame game"?
- Am I suddenly searching for a super silo-buster?
We identify the key issues that may be preventing alignment between the day-to-day behavior of your customer-facing teams and the spirit of your strategic plan, as well as the alignment between your company
The alignment counselors at AlignComm deliver expertise and a point-of-view that is fresh, results oriented, independent and straightforward.
The recommended adjustments are prioritized so that the changes you make will deliver the greatest Return on Alignment: our exclusive methodology that helps you determine the potential value of the changes you make.
Then hang onto your socks. Once you change the way your strategic plan is communicated, understood, re-enforced and implemented, the promise of your plan will be realized.
The Power of Alignment
Learn about the power of an aligned organization and the way we help executives benefit from previously invisible information about the deeper workings of their organization.
How many managers are confident about their company’s own strategy? Fewer than half, according to an ongoing Booz & Company survey. More than 2,000 executives in a variety of industries and regions have taken part, and 53 percent say they don’t believe their company’s strategy will lead to success. They are critical of the way strategy is formulated, communicated, and implemented in their companies:
- 64% say their company has too many conflicting priorities
- 49% say their company lacks even a list of strategic priorities
- 54% say that the way their company creates value is not understood by employees and customers
- 82% say that growth initiatives lead to waste at least some of the time
- 55% say that their company’s capabilities do not reinforce one another
Booz calls this a lack of coherence. For us, it is also the lack of alignment.
Let us help you identify and proactively address the alignment issues that could block your success.
Alignment is not about the management of quality. it is about the quality of management ... Takeo Shiina, Chairman of IBM Japan
What is Corporate Alignment?
Organizations typically use the term “alignment” to describe the vital and continuous process of mobilizing resources to meet their objectives. Alignment unites a company’s plans and processes with the people that execute them, and a fully aligned business can easily demonstrate how the unification of strategies, stakeholders’ actions and outcomes drive success.
However, in complex organizations the existence of multiple decision-makers, teams and agendas makes it difficult to unify these entities in support of common goals. Although most successful companies clearly have strong mission statements, brands and goals, many still struggle to unify their disparate teams in support of an overarching organizational vision. How can organizations bring employees into alignment with overall strategy while accounting for differences in agendas, operational idiosyncrasies, regional differences, and local culture? 1
The alignment process starts with a business mission and vision, and a list of desired results. In turn, the mission is translated into a strategy which drives a set of goals and objectives against which the organization develops appropriate processes that can be broken down into tasks that measure, manage and yield the desired results. Additionally, the organization’s culture (values, practices and behaviors) influences the outcome. Strategy dictates what needs to be done; culture dictates how to do it.2
Traditionally, most organizations focus on strategy -- the objectives, goals, and tactics. But the culture is at least as important. Values and the way the strategy is communicated and implemented need to be compatible with the strategy itself in order to be effective.
Maintaining an aligned organization ultimately requires sound decision-making about direction and intent, beginning at the macro level – what the organization is in business to do and what is critical about how it does business. This involves not only alignment of mission and vision, but also processes and knowledge.
Organizations seeking alignment ultimately must ask four fundamental questions:
- Where are we going? (Mission and Vision)
- Who are we? (Values and Culture)
- Where do we want to go? (Strategy)
- How do we get there? (Tactics)
Strongly aligned companies have shared visions of what they want to achieve and why. Companies that have yet to achieve alignment strive for it in various ways by breaking down silos, integrating systems and coordinating business activities to achieve objectives. In pursuit of alignment, organizations must focus on including appropriate stakeholders and ensuring they understand overarching missions and visions.
Translating key global organizational objectives into locally relevant and executable objectives is not easy, and front-line stakeholders’ first responsibility is to be proactive in grasping and comprehending the global message before striving to execute against it.3
1 Han Davis and Elizabeth Stephenson, McKinsey Quarterly January 2006
2 Donald Tosti and Stephanie Jackson, Organizational Alignment, Vanguard Consulting
3 Abstracted from Driving Global Corporate Alignment in Complex Organizations, Marketing Professionals International, June 2006