A few days ago, we described the eight attributes of high performing teams, which are prerequisite to creating and sustaining strategically aligned organizations.
What Is A Strategically Aligned Organization?
An organization is strategically aligned when all the parts of the company work together to make and deliver a promise that customers value, and as a result enthusiastically advocate that value to others.
This definition describes the growth engine at the heart of any highly successful organization.
How Can You And Your Team Envision A Path To A Strategically Aligned Organization?
In our experience, leaders and teams quickly grasp the importance of the definition above. However, the recipe for creating a strategically aligned organization often evades them.
In a recent project, we introduced a leadership team to the definition above, as well as to the list of six attributes below. As a result, the team was able to define and impliment an initiative that brought their organization into strategic alignment.
You can use these attributes to understand where your team is on its journey to higher performance – and to chart a path forward.
The Six Hallmarks of Strategically Aligned Organizations
1. Leaders operate from the choice to grow their organization. They are committed to achieving organizational growth over their own parochial, functional or self-interest. And they are quick to resolve situations where key stakeholders are not aligned for growth.
2. Leaders ensure that everyone in the organization understands the priorities impacting the nature and scope of the business (geographic / customer / channel / market / product / service). This includes defining and testing value propositions.
3. Leaders build a common language to define and manage the capabilities and activities required to go to market and win. These include:
i. developing value propositions that create market potential
ii. selling, which is gaining access to target customers and orchestrating successful purchase moments that carve out market share
iii. delivering to customers as promised triggering positive referrals and building brand equity
iv. supporting, which is pooling infrastructure for economies of scale and creating cost advantage
4. Leaders assess the performance of the team, business, and organization from a holistic perspective. They look at four levels: the effectiveness of team mindset, the clarity and effectiveness of roles, the degree to which strategies are aligned, and key financial and operational metrics.
5. Leaders purposefully define key conditions for success, collect data, and test hypotheses. As a result, they have what they need to identify and resolve primary constraints at their root. This reveals the fastest path to growth with the highest ROI.
6. Leaders value, develop and reward the ability to lead change.
How Do You Apply These Distinctions To Your Team?
Complete five steps:
- Gather your team.
- Go through the list.
- List all the gaps, and rank them from highest to lowest priority.
- Assign owners to the top three priorities
- Set a date by which they will come back to the team with strategies to close the gaps.
In our experience, leaders and teams that have been able to apply this list identify critical gaps and follow straighter paths to creating strategically aligned organizations.