Growing up I learned how to take care of my cars myself. Tune-ups, wheels, brakes, engine timing etc. were all things that kept my cars running. And just like driving a car out of alignment decreased fuel inefficiency and added wear and tear to the vehicle, so leading a business or organization out of alignment is just as inefficient and, I could argue, irresponsible in today’s current economic environment.
So what do we mean by “Business Alignment”? Wikipedia identifies no less than 15 definitions depending on whether you are a role-playing gamer or a biochemist. To a leader in today’s business environment, it means the level of congruence between the Vision of the business to the desired results expected from day to day operations. What we know to be true is when a business achieves alignment it holds a competitive advantage through increased effectiveness and efficiencies. What is a competitive advantage worth to your business in 2009?
Business Alignment is much easier to define than execute as it occurs throughout the entire business. If you look at championship teams in any professional sport you find it is not just the players on the field who contributed to the overall success. The front office, the back office, the coaches, scouts and support staff all had a role to play and were very much aligned to the desired result – win the championship. When it comes to your business Super Bowl, is your Vision and Business Strategies in alignment with your team on (in) the field? Are you making the necessary game plan adjustments as your competitor(s) change their game plans mid game? Is your support staff recruiting capable and compatible people and training more than one deep in key positions? Finally, are the business goals robust enough for the new rules of your marketplace?