Alignment Definition

Alignment definition is easy to state, yet it is not so easy to accomplish.

Photo courtesy of Strange Ones

If I define your organization’s Heart as your organization’s mission, values, vision, strategy, goals, roles and responsibilities; then, strategic alignment is when all your employees know about your organization’s Heart, feel passionate about it, make all their daily decisions based on it, and behave according to it.

Strategic alignment is when all your structures, processes and systems (see definition of structure, process and system here below) support your organization’s Heart – and don’t work against it.

Alignment is when all the organization’s teams – all the way from the top executive suite down to the front line teams – have goals that are in perfect sync with each other and are truly committed to such goals.

Strategic alignment is when all your team leaders – regardless of their rank (CEO, Middle Level Managers, or Entry Level Supervisors) – give precedence to the team they belong to, over the team they lead (this question is not about importance, it is only a question of order).

This alignment definition is easier said than done. However, without strategic alignment it is very difficult if not impossible to achieve organizational high performance and a truly sustainable competitive advantage.

The tools I give you in this web site help you do just that – take advantage of them.

A structure is a formal pattern of relationships between groups and individuals; for example:

  • Grouping all sales agents in one Department is a structure.
  • The fact that all sales managers report to the VP of sales is a structure.
  • The traditional organizational chart represents a structure.
  • Etc.

    A process is a specific sequence of steps, activities, or operational methods; for example:

  • Manufacture could be a process or a series of processes.
  • Ordering is a business process that includes several activities in sequence that may include storage, distribution, order taking, and delivery.
  • Etc.

    A system is a physical and social technological application that enables work execution; for example:

  • HR systems include specific policies and practices that have a direct influence in how the work gets done and by whom.
  • Information systems incorporate technology to process and channel different forms of information to the appropriate people and to work units.
  • Etc.

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    To keep on learning about the skills you need to lead the performance of your entire organization, go back to the previous page, or click here and continue reading in a sequential order.

    To learn more about the skills you need to manage the performance of your direct reports, go to my Management Skills page.

    If you would like your executives to learn about my alignment definition in order to help you align your organization through my speaking or consulting services, please click on this link.

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