Achieving organizational alignment

Achieving organizational alignment is a real challenge for many companies. If we are to believe the findings from various CEO surveys then Talent and Strategic Execution are two challenges that crop up again and again. Achieving organizational alignment is where these two intersect. This post covers how you can do that.

What is organizational alignment?

Good organizational alignment happens when:

✓ Your strategy is clear

✓ Your strategy is clearly broken into goals

✓ Your people take ownership of those goals

✓ Your people execute those goals

In larger organizations, companies will ‘cascade’ these factors down the levels of management. Here’s an example of how this cascading process may happen:

Now this may sound easy enough. But as a company gets bigger, typically more and more layers of management are put in place. This increases the likelihood that the above steps can go sideways. Then add to the mix…

− Conflicting goals between departments

– Personality clashes, both within and between department members

– A failure to delegate those goals within departments

– A failure to execute those goals by those at any point of the chain…

…and you have organizational alignment problems!

How to improve organizational alignment in your company or business unit

If the above problems ‘sound like your company’, then the good news is that you can do something about them!

The reality is that most of these problems are ‘soft skill’ related. So here’s what you want to do depending on your level in the company:

» If you’re at team level, then you want to work on team development by focussing on the Five Dysfunctions of a Team Model to start, and working through those blockages.

» If you’re at organisational level, then have a look at implementing a good employee engagement survey, to try to diagnose the issues at hand. Or check out our employee engagement solution here.

» If you are a department manager, and are faced with a difficulty cascading objectives and tasks, then training your people in supervisory skills will help.

Then there’s another factor…

If this doesn’t sound challenging enough, as the cascading process takes place, people forget one other, critical factor…

…the customer!

Have a look at the graphic below which we used in a previous post on customer focus:

As you can see, the ‘taller’ a company gets, the more likely it is to forget the customer. For companies in Asia that struggle with hierarchical cultures, this creates an even bigger challenge!

We’ll be dealing with this issue soon so stay tuned by subscribing below…