Aligning organisations from the top. Have you put the puzzle together for financial success?

Written by Jennifer Kelly

Deliver your strategy and execute it effectively | www.strategybox.ie

 

Are you a CEO or a leader that wants to cascade and deliver your strategy through your organisation? Every year, a brilliant plan was devised but for some reason or another, the result was not seen? Progress was not tracked effectively and roughly around March - May timeframe, enthusiasm from your team started to decline ?

This year, you want to see results ! How you can make sure it happens?


The following are some steps to make this happen.

Every company in history, was set up with a specific purpose in mind. A destination. A vision of where it could be taken. With time and with change of leadership, the purpose and vision may have changed, or be weakened but can be re-kindled through powerful leadership.

Creating a Vision and Purpose

A company’s vision is the direction or destination it intends to reach over a period of time. A company’s purpose is WHY the company does what it does -the bigger picture /Its higher purpose in the world for doing what it does. As many people carry an Apple device, I am using this as an example.

Apple’s purpose is to “Enrich people’s lives”. Apple’s mission is “to bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.”

This shows the higher purpose on how the business fits into society and the world. The business has created a higher meaning for what it does and why it does it.

Once your company Vision, Mission and Purpose has been established. Your team need to be aligned to this. They need to feel apart of the company purpose and that each one of their jobs have purpose and a higher meaning which they do. A buyer’s role is not just procuring parts. They could be procuring parts for a medical device industry which is ultimately saving lives every day. A designer in a media production company, is not just a designer who designs all day, they are designers who help the world communicate better through colour and visuals. On a deeper level, we all live in a society that operates like an engine for our world. Each business has been created for a need that is driven by a customer within our society. Each person that holds a role within society is operating for the higher good of the world.

Aligning teams to your higher purpose and why the best companies are the best aligned.

In an article published by Jonathan Trevor and Barry Varcoe, shared that the best aligned companies that have strategy, purpose and Organisational capabilities must be in sync to drive the best chance of winning. They developed a simple test which allows companies to assess themselves on the levels of strategic, Organisational, alignment with long term purpose, and Organisational capabilities. Companies that scored highly on both scales have more financial results as well as a positive work climate, above average staff engagement, a strong commitment to values. There is a buzz, no matter what type of business because people value being part of a company that is winning.

When you think about alignment. It always starts at the top. Generally, you will see organisation structures who are formed into functions that often start their own mini enterprises to optimize their own area. In order to align these teams, the leadership level needs to be aligned on the company’s purpose. As Jim Collins states -before deciding where to go, you need to know who you have on the bus that will get you there. The leaders of the organisation must think of their business as a value chain. Not broken links in the chain! These are the decision makers in the organisation, and they need to work together to ensure the best value to driven for the business. Buy in from leadership from the start is key.

To ensure the business is aligned, there needs to be the following in place

  1. A structure that allows this to happen. A structure that optimizes the value chain and oversees the “the sum of the parts” to ensure it is working together. This could be a software platform that manages this for you? You could appoint someone from your team to own this. This is not the CEO! This will set the tone of the organisation and allow a positive and accountable culture to shine through.
  2. Buy-in from the teams throughout the organisation and linking their role to the vision of the organisation is key. I have found this with most of my strategic execution projects. If the team feel that one of the paths that you are about to take is wrong, it is a good policy to hear them out and understand their point of view before ploughing on. You can do this also at the ideation stage. They might have thought of something that you haven’t! do not discount the team.
  3. Understanding the key results and what your team need to achieve will keep the team on track and help them align to goals.
  4. Once the strategic goals are set and the projects are formed then you are set. WRONG! this is where most companies fail. They think the strategy is done and now I can sit back. If you do not have a strategic execution plan with a governance around it, you will not succeed. A monthly meeting to allow the teams share their breakthroughs would be the next steps. If you miss this step, you will fall into the trap of Activity mistaken for progress.

Overall, coaching the team, aligning them to the higher purpose and vision of the company through communication, strong KPIs and allowing them to contribute to the bigger picture will allow your team to feel the same as your leadership team feel, part of the bigger picture.

 

If you need any help with aligning your teams for success, you can contact me here.

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