By Janine Buis
Alignment – Key to Execution
A CEO client was dealing with this problem in his own company. The company was growing but it was a struggle to properly execute their plans. Each part of the team was working hard to deliver but as a whole they were falling short and that’s when the finger-pointing started. He felt he was leading the team up the mountain but when he looked back there was no one behind him.
Without proper alignment, your team will not work together to reach its goal. Everyone will make their own path, making it impossible for them all to arrive at your final destination at the same time. While trying to align everyone at your organization might feel like an impossible task, proper planning and execution can make it go smoothly.
Why is alignment so important? It gets your entire team to focus on the priorities, to make the right decisions, and to achieve results. You want each member of your team, from top to bottom, to understand the link between the work that they do and how it impacts the goals and strategy of the entire company.
Without alignment, you will see more inconsistencies in decision making and messaging to customers. Resources will be wasted on projects that do nothing to drive you closer to company goals.
PwC found in a study that “fostering a more powerful collaboration among chiefs of marketing, information, and digital in setting digital business strategy correlates to stronger financial performance.”
To achieve this powerful collaboration, you must have a solid roadmap that everyone is expected to follow. However, according to PwC’s 2015 Global Digital IQ Survey, only 53% of companies surveyed actually implemented a common road map of their business strategy. That means that nearly half of those companies are struggling to stay on course and achieve goals.
Imagine if the military operated on such a low percentage of alignment. Alignment is of vital importance when it comes to military operations. It is the difference between life and death. To maintain this alignment, the leaders rely on effective communication to ensure that each member of the team knows the mission and the part they must play to make it succeed.
Communication is the most powerful tool in the alignment process and it starts from the top. The leaders need to deeply understand the strategy and key initiatives that will drive success. They need to understand exactly what needs to happen and they need to clearly communicate that information to their team. To gain commitment and ownership at every level, each individual in your company should be able to tell you what the company’s strategy is as well as the key priorities to meet their goals.
So, what are the goals of the strategy alignment process and how do you achieve them?
The goals of alignment are:
Here are five tips for gaining and maintaining strategic alignment within your company:
Strategic alignment is not a one-time exercise. Your investment in maintaining alignment will be key to your execution and success.
How well aligned is your company?
You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.