the Truth About Alignment

There is a difference between establishing a strategy and executing on it. To execute successfully you must have alignment. And yet what often happens is the strategy is set. The memorandum and strategy are communicated. And then each department is off and pursuing their piece of the strategy.

What happens over time is drift. Logistics is pursuing their goals of efficient supply chain operation. The sales team is out, growing the business and operations is pursuing efficiencies. And they are not necessarily optimizing the organization’s strategy or goals.

I can remember my days in the Call Center Business. Sales would be lining up clients which would require agents. And because operations were charged with controlling costs they would hold back a bit on hiring agents in order to optimize profits. This did not deliver for clients and as a result, the whole suffered.

How does one avoid this drift? There is a need for a regularly scheduled and structured Alignment Conversation. This is where the executive and then cascading through the organization, operational leaders connect and make sure that everyone is contributing to the overall goals NOT just their own. And this requires leadership committed to the bigger vision and goals.

In the case of the call center organization, our division was better at this than some of the other divisions. This was because the sales and operational leaders were in the same office and they made a commitment to working together. The president of the division and the senior leaders met each month to talk about the parts and the whole of the organization and the plan. New business was directed to centers that had agents and agents were hired for new business. When the inevitable squeeze for margins came hey worked together to control costs and optimize revenues. In other words, we worked together for the good of the division.

There are three conversations that you must master for managerial and leadership success. To get your details on these three conversations, click here. If you would like to schedule a conversation to discover how you can turbo-charge your team, click here.

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