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Business Alignment

April 7, 2016

Organizational alignment means linking the organization’s structure and resources with its strategy.  Alignment enables higher performance by optimizing the input of its personnel, processes, assets and capital toward strategic and desired goals.

Alignment uses what the organization has to minimize waste, increase efficiency and effectiveness, produce what customers are likely to buy and assure coordination of activities and participation of all stakeholders.  Note that I refer to organizations because this also applies to not-for-profit groups.

Determining a strategic plan is a necessary but an involved and timely process, and must be done to provide a reasonable chance of success.  I have seen many organizations stagnate waiting for the plan which never seems to get completed due to weak management.  Without a plan, two things will occur.

  1. The really good people – those performing at a high level – will get frustrated, realize the inevitability of the organization’s demise and will leave, hastening that decline
  2. The organization will be stuck with dead heads that do the minimum of what they could get away with until the doors close

While this is occurring, assets will be misused, wasted, cause rejects and defective shipments… all serving to destroy value.  Also, when an organization dies, there is peripheral devastation in its wake.  Employees lose the source of their livings, landlords and suppliers get stuck not getting paid for the last few month’s rent, deliveries and services, banks won’t get fully repaid and owners lose their investment.  In some cases, communities lose jobs for its residents and surrounding businesses lose needed customers Weak managers are selfish inconsiderate people that can cause great harm.

Individual employees can make a difference when they do the best they can do even if it is not changing things in a major way.  Their performance can also set a tone that can either be emulated or ignored.  When ignored, it is time for them to move on unless they want to attend the funeral.

It is very difficult to replace the weak managers in family-owned businesses run by the owner or an anointed successor, but for those with outside advisors or an independent board managers need to listen to their suggestions and guidance. It is also possible there is no direction from the independent outsiders or a stubbornness to accept help. In that case, everyone remaining simply is wasting part of their lives. That is their decision, but this is not for me, and shouldn’t be for you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 6hawthorne permalink
    April 7, 2016 2:16 pm


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