Alignment Challenge

ALIGNMENT:

How Effective Is Your Cross-Functional Collaboration?

Imagine the impact of boosting alignment by up to 21%, in just 24 weeks*.

*These results have been achieved with business units and teams in Pharmaceuticals, High Tech, Financial Services and other sectors.

When everybody pulls together amazing things can happen, but with so many competing projects and priorities, alignment is hard to measure and easily lost. 

In an era of change and innovation, alignment and collaboration are hot topics. Moreover, the potential for re-alignment is one of the greatest opportunities and challenges facing any leader.

Boosting your team’s alignment – what impact could it have?

Today’s complex business challenges require working across traditional functional boundaries. That is not easy however and it puts a new urgency around alignment. 

Launching new products, embracing new technologies or complying with new regulations – none of these opportunities or challenges can be met by siloed initiatives or solo-runs.  A shared compelling purpose is key.

How important is cross-functional collaboration to your success?

Starting out perfectly aligned gives an organization a real head start. But, in a fast-moving environment things inevitably change, with priorities and focus shifting as a result.  

If you are out of alignment by just a few degrees today, you could find itself far off course by year end. As alignment slips over time it needs to be continually measured and adjusted to reflect changes inside and outside the organization.

How has your team’s alignment shifted over the past two quarters?

Alignment is one of the greatest opportunities (and challenges) facing today’s leaders – as the following Client stories reveal:

CLIENT STORY:

Alignment: Pulling Together to Deliver the Strategic Agenda

Delivering the strategic agenda – a selection of key strategic projects and priorities – would depend on all departments and teams pulling together.  But for an organization traditionally organized along rigid functional lines, cross-functional collaboration wouldn’t be easy.

CLIENT STORY:

Collaboration: Welcome to the Matrix!

The organization had become a network of teams, with most executives 63%) participating on two or more committees or teams.  The transition from hierarchy to matrix promised greater speed and agility, but it had a surprising hidden cost.

CLIENT STORY:

Purpose: The Team with a 68% ‘Compelling’ Purpose

“I am blue in the face communicating our mission and strategy” said the CEO in a frustrated tone. “Surely everybody knows it by now!?!” he added with a look of disbelief. The data had just revealed otherwise – the score for “clear and compelling purpose” was a disappointing 68%.

Boost alignment by up to 21% over 24 weeks. Here is how it works:

Measure: Identify any misalignment and pin-point its causes with predictive data. This includes the analysis and costing of teaming and cross-functional collaboration.

Re-Align: Your people work to clarify Purpose, Priorities and Results (in powerful pitstop workshops) making any trade-offs required for successful alignment.

Engage: Your team(s) will be energized to take action – tackling obstacles to deliver some quick-wins.

Leaders will be supported at key steps in the process via one-to-one coaching sessions.

Adjust: Progress and momentum will be checked via periodic adjustment updates involving your team.

Re-Measure: Alignment is re-measured using predictive analytics, with progress reviewed by your team, together with any lessons learned & adjustments required

You will find more detail on selected aspects of the process below:

Pitstop Analytics™ provides a speedy measure of alignment for any or all departments, business units or teams within an organization.

Based on an analysis of 200 variables, Pitstop Analytics™ will illuminate the causes of misalignment and how they can be tackled.  It will also provide internal and external bench-marking so as to prevent self-reference bias.

To align strategy requires working at 3 levels – the first is Purpose, the second is Results and the third is Priorities.  Pitstop Analytics™ helps you to ensure they are all aligned.

This is a modern take on MBO and OKRs¹ and connects the what, with the the how, and most importantly the why.  Not only will the analysis measure alignment in this way, it will help your senior executives to align behaviors with goals.

¹ Management by Objectives as promoted by Peter Drucker in the 1970s and Objectives and Key Results as promoted by the late Andy Grove (Intel) and John Doer (author and venture capitalist).

While data can point the way, it is going to take a lot more to align an organization or team.  Engaging people in the process of checking alignment and then realignment is key.

Pitstop Analytics™ leverages a powerful engagement methodology to energize your senior executives in the process of re-aligning with strategy and connecting with purpose.

The most powerful and most enduring form of alignment is that which rooted in purpose.  It is what we call deep alignment – alignment around “the bigger why“.

Pitstop Analytics™ will test how your corporate mission statement connects with meaning/purpose and identity for your team.

Measuring and analyzing alignment is not enough.  Re-alignment is the goal. Typically, the goal is to improve alignment by up to 21%.

Pitstop Analytics™ will measure alignment at the start and the end of the process thereby tracking progress over time.

Provisioning Process: For more information on how Pitstop Analytics™ works click here.

Imagine the impact of increasing your alignment by up to 21%, with your leaders and teams all pulling in the direction of agreed goals. 

Alignment is as complex, as it is important.  Here are 5 reasons why it will challenge you:

Alignment goes to the heart of performance, agility & innovation for an organization.  Also, to the engagement, creativity and passion of its people. 

Pitstop Analytics™ illuminates the link between alignment and success.  Highlighting where mis-alignment could hinder the successful execution of key strategic projects and priorities.

Alignment isn’t easy. A multiplicity of competing projects and priorities can result in people pulling in different directions and resources being dissipated.

Alignment must be horizontal as well as vertical. The challenge is to align the different strategies, targets and KPIs of different levels, functions, departments and teams. It is also to align quarter end, with the requirements of sustained success.

The cost of mis-alignment is real.  To see it in action: Take a group of highly capable leaders and give them a set of vague, conflicting and even meaningless goals, then watch what happens to their performance and motivation.

To align a team with compelling goals is to unlock its potential for performance, innovation and growth.  It is not just about strategy and execution, but engagement, accountability and purpose too.

Organizational resources (time, money, facilities, etc.) are finite. They must be allocated in the optimal manner to deliver the maximum return. But where to focus?

There are many projects and priorities vying for scare time, attention and other resources. Also there are legacy commitments and political considerations too.

Alignment slips over time.  Starting out perfectly aligned in Quarter 1 gives an organization a real head start.  But, inevitably things change, with priorities and focus shifting as a result.

Alignment is dynamic.  It needs to be continually reviewed and adjusted to reflect changes inside and outside the organization.  An organization or unit that is out of alignment by just a few degrees today, could find itself far off course by year end.

In a fast-changing environment maintaining alignment is a particular challenge. But nothing kills speed and agility like misalignment.

Alignment isn’t a problem if your organization is standing still. However, the faster you are going (or need to go) the more of a challenge it becomes.

Beware: If everything seems perfectly aligned (and it has been for some time) then you may not be going fast enough.

Alignment – here are 6 ways that the approach is special:

Pitstop Analytics™ measures not just the alignment of strategy or the allocation of resources, but the engagement of people in the pursuit of the goals and strategies of the organization.

Resources (time money, facilities, etc.) can be allocated, but people need to be engaged.  That is if their talent, creativity and passion is to be unlocked

It would be easy to think of alignment as purely a matter of strategy or execution.  But that would be to underestimate it complexity.   

Alignment is connected to so much else – to leadership, talent, culture, structure and systems. To effectively work on alignment is to work on all of these things.

The role of Pitstop Analytics™ is not just to go deep on alignment, but on all those factors that connect it to performance, innovation and growth.

Launching new products, embracing new technologies or complying with new regulations requires working across traditional functional boundaries. This cross-functional collaboration puts a new urgency around alignment. 

But now that people are working on a multiplicity of teams, with different projects/priorities and even leaders, a more new dynamic approach to alignment is required.  Pitstop Analytics™ provides new insight to the requirements of effective internal collaboration. 

We can do A, B or C.  But we cannot do all 3!  There are key directional choices to be made to achieve focused alignment.

Alignment requires discipline and focus, with inevitable trade-offs and compromises to be made. Pitstop Analytics™ illuminates these choices.

Poor alignment represents a drag on performance and efficiency. Its cost can be measured in lost engagement, collaboration & innovation.

Pitstop Analytics™ illuminates the cost of misalignment for an organization or team, including the impact on its ability to deliver on its key strategic projects and priorities.

Will being in alignment help your leaders and their teams to win?  If not people will struggle to put the interests of their organization and team out front.

Pitstop Analytics™ employs a powerful workshop methodology (using alignment data) to help leaders and their teams to define and re-define winning, in a way that connects with deep personal motivations.

Key Features: To explore the key features of Pitstop Analytics™ click here.

Pitstop Analytics™ is a meta-analysis providing new insights into the link between ALIGNMENT and performance, innovation & Growth.

Here are some of the variables measured:

Alignment is connected to so many aspects of business success – from talent to leadership. To reflect this complexity, Pitstop Analytics™ integrates 4 key datasets:

Strategic Alignment

(Strategy-Execution) The implications of your organization’s strategy and the requirements of its effective execution.  This includes the extent to which people are aligned with and fired-up by the org’s mission/strategy.  Also an analysis of the requirements for change and innovation within your industry.

Cultural Alignment

The alignment implications of your organization’s culture and norms of behaviour.  This includes an analysis of cultural congruence in respect of 8 critical areas that define the behavioural signature of an organization/team (incl. urgency, discipline and communication).  Gaps in terms of present and future culture, plus the appetite for change.

Leadership Alignment

Analysis of alignment in the context of leadership and management with your organization. Including levels of autonomy, visibility & control, clarity of roles, reporting relationships, and so on.  Reveals leader-team dissonance – i.e. divergent perspectives / expectations between leaders and their teams.

Structural Alignment

The link between alignment and organizational design  (present & future), incl. structure & set up of business units/teams.  This includes an analysis of the Right People in the Right Roles, etc. The level of hierarchy, requirements of cross-functional collaboration, the use of teams, and the effectiveness of rewards / incentives.

Next generation metrics for Focus & Alignment, called KPPIs (the extra ‘P’ is for potential):

Return on Talent Employed™

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is a key measure of business performance.  It measures the return on one of the organization’s greatest assets – that is its people.  Return on Talent Employed™ measures the organizations ability to unlock the skills, ideas and passion of its people.

Return on Collaboration™

Today, no one department or function can launch a new product / channel, much less do with with speed. An increasingly competitive and fast changing environment requires effective internal collaboration, but it is not easy. Return on Collaboration™ calculates the cost of poor collaboration, illuminates the barriers and how they can be removed.

E3 – Energy, Engagement & Exploration

Research suggest that as much as 50% of the success of an organization or team may be explained by the levels of energy, engagement and exploration among its people.  Pitstop Analytics™ examines these variables in depth, providing new insights to organizational health.

Leadership Congruence

Pitstop Analytics™ will show the level of congruence / dissonance between the leader and the team in terms of how they see structure, culture, performance, teamwork, strategy and execution.  It will also highlight blind spots and contradictions.

What is the cost of mis-aligment?

  • A drag on the organization’s performance, speed and innovation.
  • Hinders ability to capitalize on market opportunities or quickly respond to threats.
  • Time, energy and other resources dissipated.
  • Frustrates the whole-hearth-ed implementation or execution of strategy.
  • Diminishes accountability – there is ambiguity about that is to be achieved and who is responsible for it.
  • A lack of unity/cohesion – rather than being united by a common goal – people are pulling in different directions.
  • Frustration among leaders.  Lack of engagement among others.
  • Turf wars, politics and personalities get in the way.  Poor collaboration – people have a silo-mindset. Solo-runs are common.
  • There is a lot of noise and interference – distracting from what needs to be done.

Check your alignment with the following questions:

  • Is your organization moving in the right direction?
  • Are all your people pulling together?
  • Is there cross-functional alignment?
  • Does the allocation of resources reflect the priorities of the business
  • Are you people fired up by a compelling purpose?
  • Is everybody clear on the results to be achieved?
  • Does a set of clear priorities guide what gets done?

The Alignment Challenge:  Boost alignment by up to 21% in 24 weeks.  Are you ready?

Want to push (and redefine) the limits? Click on the area that interests you most: