I have used Alignment as the backdrop to all the things that I have posted on Mondays. Today, I want to take a step back and say why.
Well, I always think we need to start with Goals. Any organization has to have Goals to achieve. What the Goals are is not important for the discussion. The thing to understand is that to reach your Goals, there will need to be action. I like to think of this as like a ship navigating. You need to move a ship through a set of waypoints. In order to get the ship going you have to put in energy. You have to change the direction. The bigger the ship the bigger the push required.
So, what does this have to do with alignment? Well, think of your business as that ship. You are navigating to your Goals. You need to push your business along to its goals. Is everything you and your team doing pushing with you? If not, then Alignment is the thing to look at. If people are pushing in the wrong direction, you may not meet your goals. The question is if you have people pushing the wrong way, what are you going to do about it?
Really it breaks into the problem of why people are pushing the wrong way. This can span the spectrum of knowledge, intention, and bull headedness. Knowledge is the easiest one to fix. Many times strategic thinking is not well explained up and down the chain of command. This causes people to do the wrong thing, thinking they are doing the right thing. Here it may be a question of extending the message all the way through the organization. It is critical that each Manager takes the higher level mission and extends it all the way to the bottom. You should be able to roll up the individual Goals of people and see that meeting them means that the company will hit its Goals. If this doesn’t work, then we need to educate people on what they should be doing.
Intention is the next problem. Do people actively work against the Goals because they don’t agree with them? I have seen that. The challenge can be either one of active sabotage because they want something different or because obtaining the Goal is bad for them personally. Either way this kind of insidious behavior has to be quelled. That means that people have to be corrected and if they will not comply, then exited from the firm. There is simply no place for people that work actively against the company.
Finally, there is stubborn behavior. This is most often seen in parts of the company where there change is required. Many people are adverse to change and can create drag on the company as it pursues its Goals. This is where Leadership is truly required. The employee is probably under the impression that he or she is doing the right thing. It will require a leap of faith by them to move to the next level and it is the job of leadership to get them there.
So to recap. Alignment is what is going to drive your business like a ship to its Goals. Others may not be in alignment throwing you off course. This needs to be rectified and dealt with to make it to where you want to go.
Have a great day!
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