Strategic Alignment of
Your Corporate Objectives
cultivation and retention. Employee motivation, empowerment
and buy-in. Customer and employee loyalty. Open book management.
Don't manage, lead and then get out of the way. All wonderful
stuff, but how do you do it? At first glance, it appears to
be equivalent to explaining the meaning of life. Truthfully,
it isn't quite that complex. In the words of Jack Welch, "People
always overestimate how complex business is. This isn't rocket
do you go about accomplishing great things for your company?
Every company can be broken into three segments. The visionary/leadership/CEO
and Executive Team segment, referred to as the Enterprise/Supra-System
is at the top of the pyramid. Below that comes the Business/System
segment consisting of managers who implement and manage systems
and processes. Finally, at the base of the pyramid is the Practice/Sub-System
where your worker-bees/technicians perform the day to day activities
that need to be done in order for your business to live and
All segments need direction and aim. Should the Enterprise fail
to provide the Practice/Sub-System with an aim, it will create
its own. What's more, its aim may or may not have anything to
do with the aim of the Enterprise. The same holds true for the
Business/System segment. Without aim and direction, it too will
create its own.
All businesses are comprised of systems and processes. The late
Ray Kroc realized that extraordinary systems, operated by
ordinary people, produce extraordinary results. In reverse,
a team of "A" players in a poorly run system will
produce sub-par results. The system will eventually discourage
and frustrate your "A" players resulting in failure.
It is the system that matters.
Each segment of a company must be informed of what the company's
"Big Picture" is. Each segment must know what is expected
of them. All three segments must be linked by an extraordinary
system with each segment consisting of processes that comprise
do you get there?
of all by being truthful and honest. You must be brave enough
to discern your own realities, discover genuine solutions and
achieve actual disclosure. You must be willing to take a good
hard look at yourself, your company, your people and your processes.
accept the fact that none of us is as smart as all of us. Two
minds are better than one and 12 minds are far superior to 2.
Your people have a great deal to contribute. Involve them. Encourage
and accept their input. Allow them to be brutally honest and
truthful - with you, each other and themselves.
develop a strategic plan. Not a flowery, pie-in-the-sky plan,
but a real strategic plan. One that states in honest,
truthful, realistic, achievable and measurable terms, your purpose
for existing, your vision and mission statements, and the company's
corporate-wide objectives, strategies and tactics. A strategic
plan that is exciting, believable, understandable, inspirational,
motivational and achievable. If you've already been through
a strategic planning drill, ask yourself, "Is our mission
statement a piece of superfluous jargon, or is it something
you and everyone in your company can sink their teeth into?"
Based on many of the vision and mission statements published
to date, there appears to be far more fluff than substance.
to do it right is an arduous, challenging, emotionally charged,
disciplined, revealing, and time consuming task that most people
would rather avoid doing. Forced to do it because it is the
fashionable thing to do, most choose to short-cut the process
and are pleased to come away with any kind of mission statement
that sounds and looks great, in spite of the fact that it can't
hold water and nobody understands it. Should you doubt that,
just read any ten vision and mission statements, including your
own company's and ask yourself, "what does this mean?"
you have determined your purpose and written honest, achievable
and measurable vision and mission statements, you must next
establish objectives to support them. To support the objectives
you need to determine your strategies. The strategies are supported
by tactics. When you are through celebrating and congratulating
one another on the fine job you've done and the Enterprise/Supra-System
knows exactly where the company is headed and how it is going
to get there another reality will set in. Those segments below
the Enterprise/Supra-System have no knowledge of your vision
and mission and were never asked for their input. In addition,
those in the Practice/Sub-System have probably heard about your
strategy session on the grapevine and saw the whole thing as
a waste of money. "Just a bunch of guys in suits lighting
candles, holding hands and making a wish." How then, do
you make them part of the plan?
involve and inspire.
them all of what it is you are setting out to do before
you do it. Let them know that their input will be valuable to
the overall success of the plan. Upon completion of the Enterprise
portion of the plan, let the rest of the company know what you've
accomplished and produced. Create dialogue, don't dictate. Involve
them, don't force feed. Work with the Business/System segment
to start their own purpose, vision and mission statements, objectives,
strategies and tactics, all in support of those of the Enterprise.
At the same time, the managers within the business segment must
inform and involve the Practice/Sub-System and make them aware
of what the Business segment is doing and the direction it is
headed. Once the purpose, vision and mission statements have
been written, the objectives, strategies and tactics have been
established, the torch is then passed to the Sub-System/Practice
segment of the company to complete its own strategy session.
Accomplishing this final phase of the strategic alignment requires
dedication, commitment, direction, assistance, encouragement
and support from the managers. Only with help from the Business/System
can the Practice/Sub-System complete its purpose, vision and
mission statements, objectives, strategies and tactics in support
of those of the rest of the company. From the top down and the
bottom up, everyone in the company will know and understand
where the company is headed. Everyone from the bottom to the
top will know what they have to do together, to achieve the
company wide goals. Everyone throughout the company is informed,
involved and inspired. Everyone has contributed and everyone
has been validated. Most importantly, everyone is now pulling
on the same rope in the same direction.
involved and inspired employees are loyal employees. They want
to contribute to their plan. They want their plan
to succeed. They want their company to succeed. They
are willing to stay longer and do more. They want to do more
for their customers. They miss fewer days of work. And
if you think your customers won't notice the difference, you
have another think coming. Happy employees make for happy customers.
Happy customers stay longer, buy more, complain less, demand
less and prove more profitable year after year. The same holds
true for your vendors. They too will see and feel a difference
and they too will want to do more for your company. It is wonderfully
Law of the Jungle
Now this is the law of the Jungle-
as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper,
but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk,
the law runneth forward and back
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,
and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack."
Could Have Predicted It?
in an "Alice in Wonderland" World
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