Updated: May 27, 2020
Many company executives these days have heard about the concept of organisational alignment. They know that it’s a crucial factor to their company’s success, but, unfortunately, that’s about as far as their familiarity with the topic goes.
Knowing about organisational alignment, after all, is an entirely separate matter from being able to achieve it.
If you’d like to bridge that gap within your own organisation, then this article is a good place to start. Here, we’ll talk about the essential elements needed in achieving organisational alignment, as well as the potential benefits you might gain from doing so.
What is organisational alignment, anyway?
In simple terms, organisational alignment is the process of ensuring that the people (and systems) who comprise an organisation are able to work together in synchronisation to meet common goals.
This process involves multiple stages of management. It requires that the abstract concepts found in an organisation’s vision statement and core values are translated into company-wide objectives. From there, teams can move their focus to align on these objectives. As we’ve written about previously, Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a powerful method to create aligned objective clarity.
The aim of all of this is to maximise the productivity of the entire company. As such, organisational alignment is only possible through effective leaders who are system thinkers understanding the separate parts that comprise the whole.
The question, then, becomes…
How can leaders become promoters of organisation alignment?
For a leader to be effective at aligning an organisation, they must possess a certain set of traits that give them the power to do so. These include their abilities to:
1. Think in the long-term
A leader must start by identifying the purpose of their organisation’s existence. From there, they’ll be able to formulate strategies that allow them to serve that purpose well into the future.
2. Focus on what’s important
They must also learn to make decisions regarding the organisation’s priorities. Only by eliminating the unnecessary will a leader be able to sustain the strategies that they’ve set out.
3. Take ownership of their decisions
At the same time, a leader should also acknowledge the responsibility they hold in shaping their organisation. They must take accountability for their actions—not just to other people, but also to the organisation as a whole.
4. Accept criticism
This goes hand in hand with the previous point. Decisions they make will have
ramifications on the other members of the organisation, and they must be receptive to any feedback that will inevitably result from their choices.
5. Adapt to change
Leaders should also be aware that the environment around them is never static. This will require them to be agile in their decision-making and have contingency plans that prepare them for any situation.
6. Motivate others
A huge portion of their responsibility is to ensure that every other member of the
organisation is fully on board with their strategies. This is done with the right motivation that includes correct job assignment, evaluation, training, and incentivisation.
Most importantly, however, a leader must also understand that they cannot bear all the burden on their own. They must have the ability to make effective leaders out of their colleagues by offering them guidance and the opportunity to lead. When this happens, the entire organisation benefits and becomes more capable of meeting its immediate and long-term goals.
If you’d like to learn more about organisational alignment, then we’re just the people to call - we offer Executive Leadership training and consultation to businesses in Melbourne and Sydney.