Strategic Alignment for Business
As a business owner, you have an idea of your company’s overall purpose – why you’re in business and what you’re hoping to accomplish. Then there’s the “daily grind” – what you and your employees tackle day-in and day-out to keep the ball rolling. Strategic alignment ensures these realities work together to help your company stay on course.
A three-pronged tool, strategic alignment examines your company’s purpose, strategy, and organizational capability (or your ability to be competitive). What do you want to build, how do you plan to build it, and do you have the resources to make it happen? For your company to be truly effective, these three elements must be congruent.
Your objectives should be established from the top-down, but they are realized from the bottom-up. Company Purpose determines Business Strategy which determines Organizational Capability, but Capability supports Strategy which supports Purpose. As such, misalignments can prove very costly!
Purpose is what determines whether or not new opportunities are beneficial and which behaviors are acceptable. Your company’s purpose should be clear enough to be understood throughout the company, disseminated down to the front lines, and actively used as the guiding standard in daily decisions. Each new suggestion and idea should be weighed against its relevance to the company’s purpose before being pursued further.
Likewise, your strategy must apply to, and specifically involve, each member of the organization. While the development of the strategy may be reserved for senior-level management, execution will require everyone’s commitment to accomplish. Without defined responsibilities and expectations, individuals will work toward whatever they determine to be most important. Since you are employing them, you might as well define the priorities!
As with any aspect of life, plans change. The strategy that’s perfect for today, will not always be perfect. We all know of thriving companies that failed to change with the times and thus, failed. To remain aligned, any changes in your strategy should still be guided by your company’s purpose.
What about when the purpose and strategy are established, but the day-to-day work isn’t aligned? This is where your organizational capability comes into play. Understanding your company’s strengths and limitations, identifying the unique value you offer customers, and recognizing how distributing your resources affects your capacity enables you to build the foundation necessary to support the goals you’re pursuing. If what’s on paper is not being implemented through the company’s daily actions, the paper is worthless.
Only when purpose, strategy, and organizational capability come together can your company be truly effective. Contact Venture Further Consulting, Inc. today to see how we can help you find alignment and reach your potential!