In successful organizations people align behind their vision, and work together towards the same goal. In great organizations the alignment level is even higher. All internal processes are aligned to deliver value to the customer. Here are 5 steps to help your organization achieve total alignment.
Develop a Clear, Unified Vision and Strategy
Clarity of the corporate vision is the fundamental prerequisite for any organization to achieve greatness. When the vision is clear and unified and a creative strategy is in place, then you have a solid foundation for alignment, the energy to move forward, and the inspiration for everyone to find a part to play.
A Frame of Reference for Strategy Execution
What’s challenging for many organizations is the ability to execute their strategy. Why is execution so difficult? Because strategic initiatives are too many and don’t fit the budget; or incentives are not in place to assure execution; or people in different functions and levels don’t even understand the strategy. A frame of reference will make it possible for people to align and turn vision into reality. This frame of reference, or the “Alignment Map” is a diagram with vision in the center, all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the organization linked to it on one side and all strategic initiatives linked to it on the other. This map provides a clear diagram for everyone in the organization to achieve clarity and play a part in executing strategy.
Establish Accountability through Individual Scorecards
Most business scorecards consolidate important financial information for the KPIs of a company. But establishing accountability means assigning the KPIs to the appropriate person at the appropriate level of the organization. What is needed for alignment is a scorecard for each person. The individual scorecard should show the roles of direct impact, horizontal influence and management influence for each KPI. The result is a clear and measurable focus for managers and a line of sight showing their contribution to vision and strategy.
Sustain Alignment through Feedback Information
Just as a car in motion needs to adjust its course to reach its destination, managers need feedback information to help adjust their course. The feedback information must be accurate, timely and cover the indicators in their scorecards. Managers need two main types of information: feedback on their own performance, and information on the performance of the people they manage.
Sustain Alignment through Management and Leadership
Management becomes easier when individual scorecards are defined and feedback information is provided to each person in the organization. But, to sustain alignment, a leadership process is needed. Good leadership must empower the workforce, reinforce good performance, encourage collaborators, develop capacity, and compensate people for their real contribution.
With these five steps you will transform the organizational culture of your company over a period of six to nine months. You will progress towards total alignment and will see the great results continue year after year.