By Gordon Tredgold.
In pretty much every Organization that I have worked, they have all made the same mistake when it comes to driving Organizational Effectiveness. This is in spite of the fact that they all had the same goal of creating a High Performing Organization.
That mistake was they lacked Strategic Alignment.
Strategic Alignment happens when all elements of your organization Culture, Purpose, Mission, and Vision are working together in harmony towards your goal.
The challenge is that many companies only focus on one or two of these items, and rarely all four and usually those are the Mission and Vision.
But in reality, these two components have the least impact on whether you achieve your goals or not.
Now to be clear I am not saying that Mission and Vision are not important because they are important. It’s just that Purpose and Culture have a much bigger impact on the outcome than Mission and Vision.
Without a clear Purpose or a strong Purpose, your teams are not going to be highly engaged and it’s highly engaged teams that deliver amazing results.
Purpose is what keeps teams committed to the goals during the tough times, in those difficult days when quitting feels like a better option than fighting the good fight.
The Purpose has to be beneficial to your teams, either they benefit directly from it, or indirectly from a sense of having done a good job, making the world a better place.
I always like to share the story of a project I worked on where instead of talking about boosting market share, customer satisfaction or profits, the business manager told us that the goal of our project was to get presents to children on the day of their birthdays, not two days later, and to make sure that pain relief medication arrived when people needed it.
That gave a pretty run of the mill project a higher Purpose, one that we could be round of achieving and it took a team that was engaged to a whole new level, where now they volunteered to work evenings and weekends, without overtime payments.
Why? Because the goal was important to us.
When you have a strong why it is always going to help drive up engagement levels and commitments.
But even more important than Purpose is Culture.
It doesn’t matter what Goals you set, what your Vision is, or even your Purpose. If it’s not aligned with your Culture, or if you have the wrong Culture, then your doomed to fail.
Culture has the biggest impact on the Outcomes generated by any organization.
Culture is the Behaviour, the Habits, and Values or your organization, and it is those things that drive what we do every single day. It determines how we react when under pressure or in difficult situations.
Culture determines what we do when Leadership is not there to guide us or give direction.
The right direction can help organizations deliver even if the Purpose is weak, or the Mission and Vision are not clear.
But when you can align all four of these elements then you’re cooking with gas, then you have the full force of your organization working together, pulling in the same direction and fully committed to the out.
The stronger the alignment of these four components bigger the results you can achieve.
Now the difficult part is that finding Purpose and implement the right Culture is hard, and that’s why there is a strong tendency for people to focus on Mission and Vision.
Now that might get you results, but long term Organizational Effectiveness and Sustainable Results come when you have all four working in tandem.