The 4 Keys to Organizational Alignment

Afterburner Team Written by:
Afterburner Team

Having a strategy is one thing; executing that strategy with organizational alignment is something entirely different. High-performing organizations find the balance between setting strategic direction and allowing practical execution through decentralized decision-making, all empowered by Leader’s Intent. 

Leader’s Intent means that an organization can say, with 100% confidence, that every team is executing toward the organization’s goals as clearly expressed by their leader. That is the key to organizational alignment, and ultimately, to the effective execution of the team’s overarching strategy.

The Four Keys to Organizational Alignment

Everyone in the organization – from the front line to the C-suite – should understand how their actions directly support the company’s High-Definition Destination or HDD. Your HDD is that overarching strategy. It’s the future of the company as you would like it to be. Let’s dig into how you can keep everyone on your team aligned as you create that HDD.

  1. Open planning. Open planning takes open minds. Creativity and collaboration are only successful when fostered in a conducive environment. Regardless of the role that someone plays within the business, all titles must be set aside before entering the room in order to optimize everyone’s ability to ideate fully.
  2. Avoid overly tactical discussions. Strategizing is the name of the game. Details are essential but will come later on within the process. To be able to delve into the nitty-gritty, you must have a concise understanding of the strategy’s basis and create high-level courses of action through the planning process that directly influences the overall plan.
  3. Be dynamic & establish accountability. Set clear touch-points and meeting cadences to allow for accountability and frequent discussion. As your communication increases, your ability to align and successfully manage pop-up threats will improve. Setting a dynamic tone among your team will also leave room for more dynamic shifts in strategy or execution when an opportunity presents itself. The ability to pivot your plan increases your potential for long term growth.
  4. Establish an inclusive environment. To lead with intent, every leader must enable their team members to contribute to the discussion. Contributors from various departments who had never collaborated amongst each other before find themselves igniting innovative conversation and mixing ideas and processes to cultivate entirely new points of view using a process we call open planning.

Active participation in the development of the organization’s HDD empowers each individual to return to their teams with duties that directly contribute to the strategy and result in wide spread organizational alignment. Guided by their leader’s intent, the tactical team will be able to meet the goals and expectations set by not only one department but the business as a whole.

The results that you will see in the efficiency, productivity, and overall team dynamic by simply leading with intent are remarkable – and it only takes a few fundamental changes in strategy. Ready to improve your organizational and strategic alignment? We can help. Reach out to us here.