Many CEOs talk at their people, not with them. They stand up at all-staff meetings and describe their vision for the company’s future. “You all get that, don’t you?” they ask. Some employees walk away believing they can answer “Yes” to this question (as does the CEO). Others know they don’t know what the “bleep” the boss was talking about, but they’re too afraid to ask.
Either way, there’s a disconnect.
When this happens the senior level, the disconnect resembles a chasm no one can bridge. At the offices of a technology client of CNC Strategy Cloud Solutions, it appeared that everyone on the executive team agreed about where they wanted to go. But because each senior officer had a different expertise and methodology, rarely did they accomplish much. Initiatives were understood so differently—with each person working out of his or her own area—and the company’s approach to change was so disjointed, they couldn’t get where they wanted to be.
Without alignment, there’s no way to execute on strategy.
Alignment is all about ensuring that everyone understands what the company does, where it’s going and how each employee contributes to its growth. This isn’t as simple as it seems. Time and again we see companies with a well-articulated vision and strategic plan, but no way to measure how well the plan is working. Without measuring alignment, you can pretty well assume that your people—from the highest level to the front line—aren’t in sync.
What’s the cost of not getting aligned on alignment? Things may get done, but in the process you can miss opportunities to grow, to sustain your business, to compete in the marketplace. And if you don’t know what’s missing, be assured your competitors do and are doing the necessary things.
Every organization deals with three strategic resources: people, finances and operations. Successful growth comes only when everyone has the same conceptual understanding of these resources and where they’re taking the business—in essence, when everyone is reading off the same sheet of music.
The biggest problem isn’t coming up with a vision for your business. It’s expressing that vision in a short, succinct and actionable statement that everyone in the organization understands. nd, just as importantly, how do you measure progress toward achieving this vision? Some organizations stick to a written plan, whether it’s working or not. But who can afford the extra time and money it takes to focus on things that don’t get you where you want to be?
I invite you to share your own experience with companies in sync, as well as those in disarray.