Being in business alone is tough. Everything that you do in a company has to be a strategic decision. This can often throw up some challenges, but the result of these steps is that all the functions of your business work strategically towards an aim. Alignment is very important in making decisions and maximizing the usage of resources to build a strong business.
Only about 1 in 5 employees are fully on board with their company's ethos and mission.
33% of employees don't feel like they are reminded enough of their company missions or the reasons why they come to work every day. Even though those numbers aren't very high, companies that are highly aligned with their employees have 36% higher growth than companies that aren't strongly connected.
There is a test that you can perform to start an honest conversation about strategy and organizational effectiveness. By asking yourself three important questions, you will provide yourself with the insight necessary to facilitate activities related to your company's structure. Ask yourself:
1. Why do many businesses easily succeed while so many others crumble before they can get off the ground? A key reason is a lack of strategic alignment, which means not making better forward-looking decisions and not being flexible or adaptable to changing environments in a mutually beneficial way with other organizations.
2. Why do many companies only consider external environmental challenges during strategic planning? Although it can be easy to focus on outside influences, organizations will fail if they fail to examine internal obstacles as well. Only after effectively addressing both internal and external obstacles can an organization achieve positive strategic alignment.
3. What is the company’s organizational purpose? What the organization is trying to achieve or where it’s headed. Strategy is how you will achieve a certain purpose and values are how you embrace the vision of your business and allow your employees to know their importance as part of a bigger picture.
Misalignment has several tangible costs that directly impact a company's ability to remain profitable and competitive. These costs include:
Lost sales and lower revenue
$109m of potential revenue is lost for every $1bn spent on a project due to misalignment. Running a business can be costly and losing out on hundreds of millions in potential revenue every year is irresponsible when you're trying to reach your company's goals. If you find that your company is spending more on various projects than planned, it may be time to think about whether there are any real concerns with the way the company is being run - because if there aren't then it could just be down to poor alignment which means the best way forward would be to start by bringing people from different areas of the business together who have experience in making important decisions. A lack of alignment leads to significant waste and loss of productivity so it's important to deal with this problem before it gets out of hand.
Roughly 43% of an average knowledge worker's time is wasted on miscommunication. Miscommunication costs employers roughly $26,041 per employee as well as a fall in productivity. Ineffective communication can be caused by cultural issues such as when people display negative behaviors that are mismatched with the company's stated values. Hold employees accountable to your core values and don’t let them make excuses when they don’t live up to expectations or go against your rules. Another reason for ineffective communication is a lack of shared goals from one team member to another and you may have a misalignment of purpose amongst members if this is the case. You might want to reevaluate how your organization handles meeting times versus true efficiency because being overscheduled with too many meetings will ruin productivity and efficiency for all those involved and could create inefficiencies for the company overall at the same time!
Ingredients to Alignment
In order to evolve successfully, organizations need a strategy to manage opportunities and risks. Depending on the speed of change, emerging trends and innovative ideas, senior leaders periodically formulate or refresh the overarching strategic vision and direction for the business while considering and exploring relevant trends, opportunities and risks involved in order to explain where the organization is going and how it intends to get there. This strategic vision/direction should explain how each team will be aligned with the overall vision so as to better cooperate with one another in a bid to achieve objectives more efficiently while managing changes that lie ahead on the journey using resources most effectively by working well under pressure as a team; This overarching strategy can be used by managers so that employees will understand what their targets are at any given time - because when people know where they are going, they can plan their actions accordingly.
When putting together a business strategy, it is important to involve your employees in the process. Involving them in determining their own goals and what they would like to achieve is one way to make sure they are proud to be a part of the company. It not only helps decrease resistance when making changes, but it also can make the strategy more effective due to their input. Indeed, encouraging them to share their ideas and opinions will show a kind of engagement within the company that can help employees feel like they are contributing on an individual level.
Strategic goals are much like maps that are designed to get you to where you want to be. They tell your company how to operate well over the long run and in non-profit institutions as well as some short-term objectives. If a strategic goal has been set, it means they’ve measured everything that could potentially come up against its implementation. So if something doesn't fit into those buckets, don’t try to stick it in there! If something is closely related but not ready to be discussed at the same time, itemize it separately on a separate sheet of paper along with potential solutions and notate when the decision will be made concerning what will happen next. Tying things down in black and white makes sure everyone is clear on the steps that need to take place for strategic goals to succeed and gives scope for helping individuals focus on specific projects or tasks within each goal where necessary. Clearly stating progress or others involved can give overall clarity as well.
A systems perspective means looking at the company as an integrated whole rather than a group of separate parts or functions. An organization's functions must work in cooperation and harmony in order to achieve the mission, ongoing success, and performance excellence of the company. Examples that are examined include strategic objectives, action plans, work systems, and workforce needs. A systems engineering approach involves assessing the environment.
Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential for businesses to keep track of their successes, failures, strengths, and weaknesses. Understanding which KPIs are important for your business – and for managing your value chain – is crucial for growing your business organically while not losing sight of your targets. Our business simulations challenge the traditional interpretation of KPIs and help you set cross-functional and aligned targets.
Having regular discussions and meetings with your employees who work on the front line is a great way to brainstorm ideas that they can contribute towards strategizing as a team. It’s important that these ideas are listened to, discussed and thoughtfully considered so each of your employees can feel like an equal part of a cohesive unit. When the strategies for your business have been made clear to everyone - this strategic alignment means everyone is able to see how their own efforts all align with the vision for the company which helps make people more motivated as they feel more valued. So communication really is key in helping create this alignment!
What's the first thing you need to do right now? What does your short-term plan look like? Who will do what, and when is that person going to get started on it? We call this "strategic alignment", which is basically a fancy name for "prioritization". It helps consolidate specific action items from multiple lists into one, prioritized list.
Optimal Resource Management
Organizations that focus on strategic alignment may be able to more effectively use their resources. For example, in an organization where the employees are self-motivated, this can mean taking advantage of the organization’s capabilities more efficiently because they are aware of what it is that drives their orientation in their desired career path and will use their time accordingly. For example, working within your target company’s strategic goals makes for better use of time because this way you know how to make informed decisions. Thus, the ultimate benefit is efficient asset management allows you to do more with fewer resources. It consolidates all project-related data and documents into a central database with real-time updates. The automation within the system ensures that all the data from both previous and ongoing projects are securely collected, routed, and shared for future similar projects.
Strategic alignment allows companies to make better choices regarding matters of goal planning, by helping them identify specific areas for improvement as well as what practices need to be emphasized in order to achieve this success. As such, it's important when developing a long-term plan for the organization that decision-makers understand how the plan can contribute to fulfilling overall corporate goals so they know where and how to focus on steps, tasks and short-term deliverables that will ultimately aid long-term goals, including the following:
- Increased focus on high-value activities within a team. - Reduced ambiguity and confusion about what a team is working on and why - Lower payroll costs because a company needs fewer people-hours to get the same work done
Accurate reporting is a vital piece of measuring success. In strategic organizations where members regularly check-in, we can assess their progress using up-to-date progress reports that assist us in making timely changes if wanted.
Strategic alignment, for us, means that all elements of your business – including your vision and mission as a company and the way you actually do things day-to-day—are organized so that they can help fulfill your company's purpose. While a company's purpose generally doesn't change, what strategies it employs and the way its employees are organized can. This makes any efforts to try and align strategy with organizational structure feel like an uphill battle that might never end.
Organizations that are strategically aligned work faster and achieve better results because everyone or everyone participates in the process of achieving common goals and objectives. When not properly coordinated, people become emotional and may lead them to take random actions which point to key facts like burnout, loss of motivation and passion for their jobs due to not being able to define what they believe in. It’s important that people can identify themselves with something they value. An organization’s strategy is too important to leave open to chance, steal the game! For companies in all industries today, strategic alignment is one of the most crucial qualities. There isn’t any time to be wasted!