Get your ducks in a row! Get your stuff together! Shape up! Get organized! These phrases might be ringing in your ears from your parents, your boss, or significant other. But when you think about it, or maybe you don’t have to, these phrases are vague. First, you probably don’t even own any ducks. What stuff and what is stuff anyway? Shape up what? Organize what and where do I begin? In business we use the word alignment. A consultant may come in and say, “Mr. or Ms. CEO, you need to get this organization in alignment.” Again, we’re listening to vague direction. What is alignment, why do we need it, and how do you do it?
Business change is constant - that’s a given. Strategic planning and goal setting must also change with every curve the fickle finger of fate throws at your organization. Then, of course, in order to meet the challenges of change, your executive team and management staff must all be on the same page in order to effectively drive the change throughout the organization and meet your goals.
Recently I had the privilege of working with a small community bank whose executive team had worked diligently to make and begin implementing a two-year strategic plan. A monetary goal is set, and the mission statement is in place and it reflects their goal of helping those with banking needs who reside in their state. Like any consultant worth his/her salt, I set about launching a survey to see if everyone was on the same page with this mission and the monetary goal. When respondents would complete the survey, I then set up an interview with them to dig deeper into their answers.