An Unaligned Age – We Need Much Better Alignment Within and Throughout our Organizations

a position of agreement or alliance.

Corporate alignment: Linking of organizational goals with the employees’ personal goals. Requires common understanding of purposes and goals of the organization, and consistency between every objective and plan right down to the incentive offers.


Just how “aligned” are your folks?

You can call it by any one of a number of names.

Corporate alignment
Everyone on the same page…

In one of his blog posts today, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi on “The Coherence Premium,” Bob Morris referred to the word “coherence.”  Quoting from an article from HBR:

Sustainable, superior returns accrue to companies that focus on what they do best.

When people are not on the same page.  When they are:

Not aligned
Out of alignment
With no buy-in
With every person/team/section/department competing for ”their own agenda”
Or, floundering from a lack of a coherent agenda

…you’ve got real trouble.

I think we are seeing some pretty stark examples these days of such lack of alignment.  For example…

Do you think there might be a lack of alignment among and within the Miami Dolphins at the moment?

And, there does not seem to be much in the way of alignment in our two houses of Congress, and/or our two Political Parties.  Not on the same page; constant conflict — and something pretty close to paralysis.

And, you see it in companies and organizations that can’t quite find their way.  The people seem to flounder, jumping from one initiative to another, from one quick fix to the next, not even finding agreement on the problem(s), much less the solution(s).

And you see it in more and more individuals.  In the old days, people had a “job.”  They went to work, did their work, went home…  But, as we all know, an increasing number of people are building multi-faceted careers, working “on their own.”  They do a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

I’m an adjunct professor at one of our community colleges.  I love teaching my students.  But, my “real job” is as a broad-based knowledge consultant, and a speaker.  I deliver content.

There are times when people ask me what I do, and my answer is:  “It depends on the time of day and the day of the week.”

I know a few other folks with that answer…

And I know teachers who have a real array of endeavors; and some who teach in different colleges — Community Colleges, and for-profit colleges.  They go from campus to campus.  They don’t have much time to sit and and leisurely interact with students that way.  (And there are plenty of studies out there that reveal that relying on an increasing work force of adjunct teachers is one of the challenges contributing to the problems facing higher education these days).

But, adjunct teachers are just one of many such examples.  When a worker does a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, it is pretty tough to do that one thing really well.  Thus – a lack of alignment.

Lack of alignment may be one of the curses of our age.

Planning, teamwork, communication – all of these help feed alignment.

Here’s what I know.  One of your challenges for the new year is to work diligently on getting everyone on your organization on the same page.  A lack of alignment is truly costly.  And successful alignment pays very rich dividends.


12_vital_signs_to_organisational_health_2D_coverAlignment is one of the “Vital Signs.”  Check out all 12 in my e-book from Amazon :  12 Vital Signs of Organizational Health.

Here's a graphic with the 12 vital signs of organizational health - alignment is on the lower right (Click on image for full view)
Here’s a graphic with the 12 vital signs of organizational health – alignment is on the lower right
(Click on image for full view)

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