Alignment: How clear are your people on the Top 3-5 business priorities and results at this time?
Leaders are often surprised, even frustrated, by the answer to this question. That is because data puts clarity regarding priorities and results (i.e. alignment) at a disappointing 63% for most units and teams.
Alignment tops the list of performance losses for many projects & teams. However, ‘getting it right’ can have a transformative effect.
How could alignment boost your team?
Pitstop to Align™ boosts alignment by up to 25% over a period of 4-6 weeks, driving ownership, collaboration and performance as a result.
What is Misalignment Costing You?
Units or teams with 75%+ alignment are rare. Yet, even such above average teams can be up to 25% misaligned, where:
- One in 4 people (25%) may be pulling in a different direction
- Up to 25% of management time & attention is misdirected
- Up to 25% of resources are underutilized or even wasted
- Responding to opportunities & threats is 25% slower.
In a fast-moving environment change is inevitable, with priorities shifting as a result. Thus, alignment requires ongoing adjustment.
How quickly can you re-align?
If your team is out of alignment by just a few degrees today, you could find yourself far off-course by year-end. Pitstop to Align™ ensures a dynamic approach to alignment.
Objectives: Pitstop to Align™ boosts alignment by up to 21% in 4-6 weeks to:
Accelerate key business priorities, by focusing time, attention and resources where they matter most/can have the greatest impact.
Increase confidence / reduce risk around key business results by ensuring that they are the key focus for all.
Rally the team – energizing and engaging them – to accelerate and sustain momentum for the next few laps
What is the impact? Client Stories:
‘It turned out that we were not as aligned as we thought…’
Dave Gribben of Below the Line talks about the impact of Pitstop to Align™, in getting ‘really, really clear on what we were about and what our priorities were’. He shares the benefits including enabling his team to speed up, taking ‘noise out of the system’ and maximizing accountability.
68% Purpose: The Team in need of a ‘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%.
71% 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, with up to 71% of executive time spend on internal collaboration.
23% Misalignment: Pulling Together to Deliver the Strategic Agenda
Delivering the strategic agenda 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. The data showing 23% misalignment came as little surprise.
How does it work? An overview of Pitstop to Align™:
Pitstop to Align™ typically takes place over 6-12 weeks and includes the following:
Analytics: Team + Stakeholders
4 x Virtual Pitstops
2 x Data-Led Coaching
2 x Leader Pre/Post Briefs
1 x Winning Move Adj.
Want to go deeper? FAQs on Pitstop to Win™:
How will you know if your unit or team needs Pitstop to Align™?
When your car is out of alignment you can feel it – the steering wheel pulls and there will likely be a rattle or vibration that gets louder the faster you go. But what about your team? How will you know when alignment is slipping? What are the signs to look out for?
Here is a list of the most common reasons to focus on alignment, which ones are relevant to your team?:
- People are pulling in different directions. It does not feel like a cohesive team.
- Priorities are not clear or there is a lack of clarity regarding the results to be achieved. This results in poor accountability.
- The focus of attention shifts from one quarter to the next. Perhaps it does not shift, leading to a demand for greater agility.
- People are busy, but they don’t feel like they are making sufficient progress. There is a lot of firefighting and a risk of burn-out.
- You want to engage and energize people in a bottom up approach to goal setting.
- With many competing projects and priorities vying for attention, some areas are being neglected.
- There are hidden agendas, turf wars and boundary disputes / politics. There is evidence of silo-ed thinking & poor cross-functional collaboration.
- People say one thing but do something else. Decisions are taken but don’t get acted upon.
- It is hard to say ‘no’. Trade-offs are not being made.
- Some resource allocation decisions don’t seem to make sense.
Alignment is a primary performance loss for many teams – a key barrier to a team realizing its full potential and spending more time in the Zone of Peak Performance™.
Nothing can propel a team towards peak performance like optimizing its alignment. Thus, the power of Pitstop to Align™.
Pitstop to Align™ most directly explores the following parts of the pitstop meta-model:
However, alignment is complex and multivariate – it is not just linked to one or two variables but is connected to many aspects of a team’s performance and potential. In this way it is linked directly and indirectly to many of the factors shown in the pitstop meta-model.
Alignment is one of the keywords used to describe the array of ‘design’ factors at the top of the model (right people in the right roles, doing the right work, etc.).
The team at the bottom of the pitstop model is misaligned – with the dynamics of the team causing it to fracture and pull in different directions. In this way alignment can be linked to factors such as Tension & Cohesion, Communication, Trust & Respect, etc.
Alignment is also represented at the centre of the model, indeed it is a key factor in the performance of the car. This represents the alignment of strategy and execution, as well as the alignment of the firms offerings with the needs of its customers/stakeholders.
The first step in the journey to peak performance is Pitstop to Perform™, followed by Pitstop to Align™ and then Pitstop to Win™.
What executives say about Pitstop to Align™:
- I had assumed that people knew what the key priorities were - it was an eye-opener to find that they did not. Today, I can be confident that there is clarity as well as buy-in to the key priorities for the team.
- There were conversations that needed to happen within our team... The pitstops made it safe for people to say what they were thinking. Issues of personalities and politics were put aside. The result is a new energy and focus for us all.
- The real impact has been in terms of ownership and accountability, accompanied by a new clarity and sense of purpose.
- These centre on 3 practices of ‘good management’ relating to targets, incentives and monitoring/measuring according to Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun and John Van Reenen in “Does Management Really Work?’, Nov. 2012 and are described as ‘clarity enabling practices’ by Karen Martin in her book Clarity First, McGrath Hill, 2018.