It takes more than a strategy session to create alignment, it is an ongoing conversation called The Alignment Conversation.
Who cares about alignment? You should!
- 65% of organizations have an agreed-upon strategy
- 14% of employees understand the organization’s strategy
- Less than 10% of all organizations successfully execute the strategy
What happens if you do not execute on your strategy? Money is lost, energy and resources are lost, and you are out of business.
Alignment is an agreement on the goals of the organization and on the process of allocating resources to achieve these goals. There are some real benefits to alignment.
- Alignment creates boundaries; it says we are pursuing these goals, not all goals.
- It minimizes personal agendas, as leaders are committing to something bigger than themselves.
What goes into the alignment conversation?
- Organization Goals, Strategies, Values, and Culture. These are reinforced and progress updates are often. I once worked with Mike and, as a CEO, anytime one of his employees did something that reflected the values of the company, he would send out an email to highlight the event and the value that was demonstrated. Then he articulated how it reflected on the organization, using it to create meaning.
- Initiatives and objectives. Objectives might be to increase market share in South America. So, the sales department will take that objective and create goals to open a sales channel or hire a sales team. The
- logistics team takes that same objective that was cascaded from the top and their goal may be to setup supply chain distribution to deliver. Alignment between teams occurs as these teams work with the executives to ensure they are in support of each other and the organization.
- Organizational news. It could be that the west entrance is shut down for a remodel, so we have to re-route the patients to the south wing or it could be that benefits are coming out in September and elections are due on the 15th of October.
- Insight into how the team performance is impacting the organization’s larger mission. For example, a hospital revenue cycle team might have a record quarter in cash recovered. And that lowers AR days outstanding by 2 days. This impacts the organizations credit rating making it easier to sell bonds.
For a team, this can happen monthly and with a rhythm. New research shows that a cadence to communication enhances people’s willingness to collaborate and work for the good of the whole over themselves.
There are three conversations that you must master for managerial and leadership success. To get your details on these three conversation click here.
 Forbes Magazine October 16, 2012