Strategic Alignment

Bridge the gap between strategy and execution

Strategies can only be well executed if an organization aligns the goals and initiatives of business units and functional groups with the broader vision for the way ahead.

In our experience, a lack of alignment on what the strategies are and a disconnect between high-level corporate strategies and operational or tactical-level execution is what leads to the breakdown of strategic plans and a failure to hit your numbers.

Only 20% of strategic plans actually achieve their objectives.

Within complex, global organizations, intense focus and coordination is required to ensure strategies are translated into realities. Strategic plans don’t execute themselves; regardless of how much effort you put into developing strategies, they will be unsuccessful if your organization doesn’t align, cascade, and execute them in a cohesive and disciplined manner.

Contact us to learn more about our strategic services.

We help you align executive teams on a way forward and identify opportunities, gaps, and cross-functional dependencies between both higher and lower level strategies and initiatives.

Read more about the inspiration behind this offering, our unique approach, and the specific solutions we provide below.

Backstory

One of our first clients, the President of a Fortune 1000 consumer goods company, once said to us:

“I can tell you exactly how many bags of product I have in X store, but I have no idea what a particular person is doing on any given day in my thousand person company. I know they’re all busy doing stuff, I just couldn’t tell you what.”

From our experiences, we see that many businesses are facing similar problems. Somewhere between the C-suite strategic plans and the entry-level analyst, there is a break down. A clear understanding of both high-level strategy and tactical execution is missing; the idea of exactly who is doing exactly what to make the strategies actually happen is somehow getting lost.

This is demonstrated in the results strategies produce. Despite the tremendous amount of resources that goes into the development of strategies at most companies, many are unsuccessful, fall short, or are not well understood by the employees who are supposed to be executing them.

State of Strategies

  • A 2008 IBM study found that nearly 60 percent of projects failed to fully meet their objectives.
  • Harvard Business Review research showed that employees at three out of every five companies rated their organization weak at execution.
  • In 2005, a Harvard Business Review study found that 95 percent of a company’s employees were unaware of, or did not understand, their organization’s strategy.
  • In 2010, Accenture found that only 20 percent of companies claimed to communicate strategy very well internally. The same study found that only 18 percent say they are very good at converting corporate strategy into priorities and goals.
  • A 2009 FranklinCovey study showed that 41 percent of workers did not understand what they personally were supposed to do each day to help achieve their company’s goals.
  • A 2015 Corporate Executive Board survey found that seven in ten employees cannot prioritize competing tasks based on organizational importance.

Our Approach

We don’t claim to be experts at devising strategies – our experience lies in aligning your existing strategies, ensuring they are actionable and well understood at lower levels, and identifying gaps and cross-functional dependencies.

Ultimately, we are hyper-focused on enabling you to successfully execute your strategies— on your own.

Our proven process aligns an organization on a shared set of strategic priorities and bridges the gap between strategy and execution. Agreement and clarity on strategic planning and implementation allows for a more effective allocation of resources, enabling you to accomplish your objectives and create value for your organization.

Creating actionable and measurable strategies, aligning the entire organization around them, and then rigorously checking progress against them will ensure that teams and individuals are working on things that are actually driving organizational performance.

Our custom-tailored offerings generally focus first on ensuring that the senior leadership team is aligned on a common set of actionable strategies. We then enable clients to communicate their strategies out, cascading them down to create lower-level team goals and initiatives. Finally, bottom-up refinement and identification of horizontal and vertical dependencies are integral to our approach.

Overview of Solutions

Alignment sessions

Facilitated 1-3 day alignment sessions or offsites with executive and senior leadership teams to determine priorities and align the top level on the way forward.

Strategy building

Exercises and working sessions to provide guidance to clients in setting vision, mission, goals, strategies, initiatives, and metrics at all appropriate levels (typically C-suite to 1-2 levels down).

Codifying strategies

Capturing strategies all in one place, ensuring they are easily understood, accessible, and communicable to the broader organization. Our product, the Alignment Triangle, allows you to easily visualize all of this in one document.

Bottom-up refinement

Process of bottom-up refinement of top-down corporate strategies to ensure they are comprehensive, actionable, and achievable at lower levels.

Dependencies session

Session to identify cross-functional dependencies and gaps between the strategies of different teams or groups in order to deconflict, solve problems before they arise, and identify opportunities for further collaboration.

Strategic review

Rigorous process of reviewing progress against strategies in order to ensure execution.

Results

After our strategic alignment process, you will be able to clearly set forth strategies, initiatives, and metrics to make the broader vision and goals a reality, not a strategic plan that sits on a shelf. This in turn enables you to actually achieve the objectives you set out, and surpass them, creating a strong record of predictable performance that will be rewarded by the market.

We’ve implemented our strategic alignment process at a variety of Fortune 1000 companies, from a major consumer goods producer to a leading software provider to a natural resources extraction company to a financial investment firm—all with impressive results.

In one case, a client using our strategic alignment process identified new revenue opportunities with a projected value of $10 million achievable this year and $40-50 million potential annually in the future that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

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