Align Teams Around Goals to Better Execute Strategies
According to research by IBM, 9 out of 10 business plans fail to achieve strategic goals. When leaders do not align teams around goals, our own organizational alignment research found that business strategies are 50% less clear to employees than to leaders.
Until employees have a clear line of sight to how their work directly contributes to strategic priorities, believe they are empowered to achieve the desired results, and feel that the entire company is fully committed to accomplishing what matters most, they will knowingly or unknowingly slow or even impede effective implementation of business goals.
Where is the disconnect and what can we do about it?
Begin with Leadership
If you want to align teams around goals, the first step is to understand that effective strategy execution starts at the top. Strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing companies. Not only must your strategy outline clear and compelling choices about where to play and what actions to take; but it must also be understood, believable, and implementable enough to all key stakeholders responsible for executing it.
You need to test and re-test for understanding of all stakeholders and for clarity of individual and team roles. To align teams around goals, there should be active involvement of key stakeholders in the strategy design process early and often to ensure your teams are all pulling in the same direction.
Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Align Teams Around Goals
Once underway, leaders need to be careful not to make the following leadership mistakes that could potentially derail their efforts to align teams around goals:
The Bottom Line
Strategic goals are achieved when leaders know how to inspire and align their teams to perform at their peak. Be clear, be ready to act, and report, inspire and sustain measurable progress.
To learn more about how to create leadership team alignment, download The Top Skills for High Performing Leaders
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