In a lot of organizations, you end up finding that everyone is off doing something else.
The marketing department is looking at one set of data and focusing on one different problem. The sales team is off on it’s own special mission to make sales in an area that may or may not be the areas that are most important to the executives in the C suite.
All of this is happening while the operations department is chugging along, delivering things that are outdated and have to be immediately tailored and adjusted to the needs and whims of clients that have been sold something that they didn’t realize that you can’t deliver.
And, finally, the strategy that everyone took part in putting together at some point recently is gathering dust because it says something that is against the grain of what the whole organization is doing.
This isn’t unusual either.
Sad, but true.
What this means to your organization is that it lacks alignment.
Why is alignment important?
Well, at its simplest, without alignment your organization is never going to succeed at the level that you need it to.
So what do you do to make sure you have alignment?
1. Make sure everyone is operating from the same play book:
This is what your strategy is supposed to provide, but often doesn’t because the people coming up with the strategy are taking pie in the sky cracks at something that will never translate down to the operational level.
So what you have to do is make sure that the people that are going to deliver the results of the strategy are involved. You want to create shared amounts of ownership and shared responsibilities.
2. You need to have shared responsibilities:
Pretty often I talk about the problem of aligning your sales and marketing, but this is a challenge throughout the organization.
If you aren’t careful, the situation I described above can happen to your organization as well.
So what you need to do is create some sort of shared responsibilities and shared outcomes that will help keep everyone working on the same team.
3. You MUST keep a constant eye on your outcomes:
It is oh so easy to get lost in the fog of trying to make sure that you are staying busy, but is that the real metric of success that you are looking at?
I seriously doubt it.
As we get more and more inundated with noise and tasks, it becomes easier and easier to just believe that you are being successful because you are busy.
Your marketing team is busy.
Your sales team is making sales.
Your operations team is delivering services and products.
And, at the end of the quarter, you haven’t hit any goals.
Because you haven’t been focused on the correct things.
So make sure you are looking at the right objectives and outcomes, so that you are productive and not busy.