Why Strategic Alignment Matters

I have always been a huge advocate of simplicity.

But the challenge with simplicity is that it is often hard to do.

It makes more effort, it’s difficult, it can take time to find simple solutions, and when you are under pressure to make progress it can be an easy option to abandon simplicity and just dive in and start taking action.

The place where I see this have the most negative impact is around strategic alignment, and here what I am defining at strategic alignment is how the Mission, Vision, Purpose, Goals and Culture are aligned.

This can happen because people feel changing culture is too hard and the de-prioritize it, or it can be because the split up the tasks of defining these to different groups, and then surprise, surprise they don’t fit together seamlessly.

When I look to work with companies or departments that are looking to improve their performance this is one of the first things that I look at. Are they strategically aligned or misaligned, because when misaligned then they are usually competing with themselves, or have conflicts that are impacting their efficiency and effectiveness.

Each of these components has an impact on direction and performance and if any of these are misaligned then it’s going to hamper performance.

Of these, the one that has the biggest impact is culture, and if this is misaligned then the chance of hitting you goals are pretty much nil.

But its not just here that I see a disconnect. I remember I attended a presentation where the CEO of a company stated the mission, vision, and strategy of the company which were very inspiring. But when they mentioned the goals they were aiming for, whilst clearly important, they were not aligned with the vision, mission, or strategy.

This form is something that I put together which helps to see any gaps in alignment around these key components.

All you do is fill in the sections with your companies, goals, vision, mission, purpose, and culture and then check to see whether these are working together in harmony, or if there is any degree of conflict, which you can then look to resolve.

I recently worked with a major UK Sports body, and as we were going through this it became clear that there was a big disconnect between the purpose and goals of the organization, this was partly due to there not being much thought about the purpose previously. Once, that was addressed the goals became more obvious, as did the culture needed to deliver the goals.

Now whilst this alignment is no guarantee of success, there is still a lot of hard work to do, the misalignment they had would have pretty much ensured that they would have filed, or even worse potentially delivered the wrong goals.

The better the alignment you have across all of these components, the more consistent your communication will be, the lower the ambiguity and the easier it will be for your organisation to understand what to do, and why you are doing it, and if this is aligned with a strong purpose then this will increase engagement and ownership of the outcomes.

Getting strategic alignment is difficult but achieving what you want without it is impossible.

If you would like to learn more about this then why not set up a call and lets talk.