Organisational Alignment – a critical ingredient to top performance

The ‘Master Widget’ company has good products, and the people are working hard, but the company is just not operating cohesively. Therefore, inefficiencies are driving up costs, a silo mentality rules, frustrated people are leaving, and the competition is gaining on them, so they are leaking profits. In other words, the company is misaligned – management and people aren’t pointed in the same direction, working harmoniously towards a common end.

Like a finely tuned engine, highly successful companies are in sync enabling them to operate at a level of high performance. The parts work seamlessly together, and the employees thrive, producing an output their customers desire and rave about.

“Great performance is 1% vision and 99% alignment”
– Jim Collins, author of ‘Good to Great’.

Let’s examine the struggles organisations face through misalignment. How does it impact your business? Why is it happening? And, most importantly, how to put it right?

The importance of Alignment

Companies put a lot of effort into identifying where they want to go and developing plans to get there. But misalignments within the organisation often happen leading them on a journey of non-performance.

Surveys have shown that approximately 65% of a strategy’s value is lost through its execution. That’s unbelievable. All that effort to create the roadmap to get where you want to go, only to have most of it undone through the delivery process.

Intuitively we all know that the more things that are in sync, the better the results are going to be. Statistics show that companies that are highly aligned grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable while outperforming misaligned companies at great rates:

  • Customer retention 2.23 to 1.00
  • Customer satisfaction 3.20 to 1.00
  • Leadership effectiveness 8.71 to 1.00
  • Employee engagement 16.80 to 1.00
    *LSA Global

Misalignment outcomes

Organisational misalignment causes all sorts of issues. Here are a few:

  • Poor employee engagement and high staff turnover
  • Silo mentality
  • Poor execution of initiatives
  • People working on the same things or at cross purposes or even on the wrong things all together
  • Unnecessary costs
  • A non-performance or toxic culture prevails
  • Customer satisfaction drops
  • Loss of profits

Alignment starts with awareness and collaborative leadership. So why is it when everyone knows alignment is so critically important, that most organisations continuously fall short of their potential through misalignments?

The primary reason is simply that there is just a lack of focus and commitment in being aligned. Despite its importance, it just doesn’t isn’t on most people’s radar. There are no checks and balances to ensure that things are aligned.

Consider these questions:

  • Are all the company strategies aligned with the company’s purpose, vision and values?
  • Do all team members buy into and commit to the strategies and understand what their roles are in delivering the results?
  • Does the company have the capability and capacity to be able to deliver?
  • Are your teams performing at the highest level?
  • Do you have the correct measuring, monitoring and feedback systems in place?
  • Are you rewarding the right behaviours?
  • Is there a collaborative, purposeful, performance culture embedded in the organisation?

Alignment brings:

  • Clarity on the elements of success
  • Focus and discipline
  • Connectivity between people
  • Links between departments
  • Buy-in and commitment
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Transformation through high performing teams
  • An ability to unleash talent
  • Feedback loops
  • A great culture with positive energy that grows
  • Improved customer experiences
  • Higher profits

Take a moment to consider what misalignments may be happening within your organisation right now and the impacts they may be having on your business plan, and then have a think about what you are going to do about it.

To help you figure out where you stand, get in touch with Bill to organise your free Alignment Pulse Survey and one hour consultation to discuss the results.  Email Bill here.

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