How to Improve Organization Alignment

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Organization alignment is a critical success factor for accelerated growth. When the management team endorses the strategic plan, it is only the beginning. The business needs to align investment, initiatives, and day-to-day operations succinctly across the whole organization to execute the strategy.

The larger the organization, the more challenging to attain organization alignment. There are three areas to focus on.

Pithy communication

Business strategies usually paint a big picture on where the business is headed. This big picture, however, is inadequate in helping departments and individuals understand how they would contribute.

When the engineers of a technology firm were given an objective to embrace technology, the team embarked on a number of technology pilots. The team was fully immersed in the pilots but felt there was no clear direction on what they should focus on. Some felt resources were not spent wisely. It would have been more helpful by clarifying whether the goal was to enhance the current products or to develop brand new products.

Lack of specificity leaves a lot of room for directionless improvisation that steers the business off to a tangent.

It is so crucial to translate the strategy into specific and meaningful focus for each department. The pithy messages make it easy to understand. When departments and individuals fully understand what they need to focus on, day-to-day decisions and choices of action would be aligned.

Frequent reinforcement

Growth implies introduction of new products and changes to how a business operates. Undoubtedly, there would be adjustments to the business model.

The introduction of an integrated warehouse management system was a necessary investment to support growth for a food distribution business. It was also a big leap for the warehouse employees to learn the new system and process changes. Employees were frustrated. The warehouse manager started a weekly discussion to encourage team members to share hurdles and tricks they learned. The response was ecstatic. Team spirit skyrocketed.

Reinforcement, in an appropriate format, energizes and improves commitment.

Instead of paying lip service to reinforce how important the integrated warehouse management systems was to support business growth, the manager walked the talk. His practical approach built camaraderie and made the learning curve fun.

Conscious verification

It is natural to expect that a sound strategy would deliver the intended outcomes. Unanticipated changes in the business environment and daily whirlwind often lead to shifts in focus.

A logistics business has its own fleet. As growth accelerated, it started to supplement its fleet with third-party drivers. Customers started to experience varying experiences. Pick-up times were missed. Some drivers were rude. The business image and service reliability were tarnished. The business lost a few major accounts as a result. It waited too long to correct course.

Impeccable execution relies on every aspect of a business to complete all tasks in a coherent manner.

Doing regular check-ins with customers is an effective way to ensure customers are happy. This verification is more than a report card on how well the business meets expectations. It is a perfect opportunity to gather great ideas for the business. Without speaking with customers on a regular basis, the business operates in a vacuum. Pithy communication makes the strategy relevant to individuals. Frequent reinforcement emphasizes the significance of the priorities the business has. Conscious verification drives discipline for validating the work being pursued. Click To Tweet

Pithy communication makes the strategy relevant to individuals. Frequent reinforcement emphasizes the significance of the priorities the business has. Conscious verification drives discipline for validating the work being pursued.

When there is consistency in aligning the organization at all levels, the business benefits from coherence and efficiency in execution, delivering the desired outcomes.

 

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