How to Create Strategic Alignment

How to Create Strategic Alignment
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Defining Strategic Alignment
If you think of corporate strategy as “what” you are trying to achieve, then “how to create strategic alignment” is about ensuring that your resources, investments, efforts, decisions, and actions work cohesively together toward achieving those strategic priorities. It is all about creating synergy and higher performance.

Alignment Research
We began our alignment research based upon input across eight industries, 410 companies, and academic experts combined with our 25+ years of hands-on experience. Our objective was to understand and isolate the ingredients that mattered most in terms of short- and long-term organizational health and performance. While we believed from experience that strategically aligned companies and teams consistently achieve higher performance, we were blown away by the research results.

Highly aligned companies grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable while outperforming unaligned companies at these rates:

  • Customer Retention 2.23-to-1
  • Customer Satisfaction 3.2-to-1
  • Leadership Effectiveness 8.71-to-1
  • Employee Engagement 16.8-to-1

Such powerful results show how important it is to the success of your enterprise that you get aligned.  To get aligned, your key stakeholders must believe that your strategy is clear enough, believable enough, and implementable enough for your unique situation.

How to Create Strategic Alignment in 6 Steps

  1. Strategic Drivers – Vision, Mission, and Values
    First, define and agree upon your strategic drivers – your Vision, Mission, and Corporate Values. While some leaders feel like this is “touchy feely” stuff that does not add much value, all three are critical if you want to win the hearts and minds of those responsible for executing your strategic plans.

    Vision – what we hope to become and the business we will be in tomorrow
    Mission – your organization’s core business and fundamental purpose
    Values – your fundamental beliefs and decision making filters

  1. Target Clients – Your ideal client where you should win the majority of the time
    High growth companies focus on ideal target clients. Why?  Because ideal clients do not just buy your stuff; they passionately buy and use what you have to offer.They do not just need what you offer; they feel they must have what you offer.  They are not merely satisfied with what you offer; they are thrilled with what you offer and advocate on your behalf.   These attributes create repeat business, client referrals, and testimonials to help build your business.
  2. Differentiation – What clearly sets you apart in the eyes of your target clients
    Some people call this a unique value proposition. Companies typically differentiate themselves in the areas of “better, faster, or cheaper.” Regardless of what you call it and how you frame it, it is worth the time and effort to determine what specifically makes you better (from your customers’ perspective) than your competition (and the other available alternatives).
  3. Success Metrics – What defines high performance
    People yearn for direction and focus. How you measure success and failure at the company, team, and individual level sets the stage for a high performance culture.
  4. Optimizing Strategies – The big bets that matter most to your success
    Not all strategic moves are created equal and you do not want to sacrifice strategic clarity. High performing companies pick their battles, place their bets, and empower the entire company to define clear priorities, think boldly, and drive forward with a ruthless focus toward higher performance.
  5. Key Goals and Actions – The critical few goals and immediate actions you commit to as a team
    Having defined the optimizing strategies, you now need to cascade them throughout the company. Each level in the organization needs to convert the big bets into their own set of goals and actions for the next 30, 60, and 90 days.

The Bottom Line
Strategy sets the collective direction and energy. But a great strategy can be rendered utterly useless if it is not aligned with the goals and actions that can lead your company dramatically forward. Do not waste a good strategy by not paying attention to strategic alignment.

To learn more about how to create strategic alignment, download One Page Strategy Communication Map Examples that Create Strategic Alignment

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