Leaders who value alignment and include it in their set of critical success factors are more likely to achieve successful outcomes efficiently and timely. Alignment is best described as having everyone in an organization working and focusing on the same direction, goals and targets. An organization is in alignment when everyone is performing to the mission and vision statements along with the core values.
The mission and vision statements are intended to give others the direction and guidance they need in pursuing successful outcomes for the company and themselves. The core values are another way to measure alignment within a company. How do people treat each other and their customers? Leaders model the core values and hold others accountable to them in their performance and outcomes.
Alignment must include the strategic plan for the company. The leaders’s role is to keep it front and center at all times so others are set up to succeed with it. This can be done in meetings where values in actions stories start every agenda. By sharing the stories and examples of people acting in alignment with the values, they are being reinforced.
Alignment requires relentless focus by the leader and the employees of an organization. It is important to keep the aligning tools front and center for all to see and model. They are numerous ways to keep the core values in front of the people in an organization and this includes seeing them, talking about them and recognizing when they are present and rewarding them. People innately want to do well at their jobs and they want to be recognized for what they do well.
Alignment is best supported by a robust communication plan that is not only implemented, it is also monitored for ongoing progress and success. The communication plan will only be successful with an accountable leader overseeing it and following through on it. When information is shared with people, they are morel likely to find alignment versus making up their own stories and drifting off course.
Leaders must support the linkage between the strategy and alignment within their organizations. The strategy is a road map to success and when people do not have the map nor the end in mind, they cannot contribute to the successful performance and outcomes required to be profitable. The strategy and alignment have to be seen as interdependent for the company to be successful with its targets.
Alignment promotes efficiencies in organizations and limits waste and rework. When people are aligned with the strategy, mission, vision and core values; they are working on the bigger picture. When the bigger picture is in view, it is more likely that everyone will succeed with achieving it including the company.
Alignment supports the higher performance that must be achieved to create the bigger picture successes and outcomes. When people are aligned, they are more focused, creative and dedicated which may lead more significant outcomes.
It is worth noting that alignment alone will not achieve results; however, it will go a long way in assuring the successful outcomes. The lack of alignment may also be called chaos, disorder or disorganization. All of these are very costly to a company and may make the difference between and profit or loss. A solid argument for alignment can be made solely on this last point.