What is Strategic Alignment?

Strategic alignment means that all elements of a business — including the market strategy and the way the company itself is organised — are arranged in such a way as to best support the fulfilment of its long-term purpose. While a company’s purpose generally does not change, strategies and organisational structures do, which can make chasing “alignment” between strategy and the organisation feel like chasing an elusive mission.

 

In its simplest form, organisational strategic alignment is lining up a business’ strategy with its culture. The approach to it is a process that requires management to change and align its vision for the company with that of its leadership goals, different departments, culture and individual staff members. Through organisational strategic alignment, a company makes sure that there is consistency between the tasks that need completion and the business completing them.

 

Develop a Supportive Culture

In order for a company to experience organisational strategic alignment, its management, processes and goals must be in alignment. To create a culture of support, a company must clearly define the competence of its resources by evaluating if its equipment, staff and processes can handle new changes. If employees do not possess the competence to handle a new strategy, a company should provide training to enhance the skills of its managers and employees. Without adequate training and support, the relationships between employees and managers will suffer and the organisation will lack flexibility.

 

In an effort to create a supportive culture, senior management should be involved in organisational strategic alignment from the start and secure the proper resources to help ensure the success of the employees and the company. Employees also must commit to supporting a company’s strategic alignment, and management can help ensure this support by clearly defining the company’s goals and providing an incentive to help the staff accept new strategies.

 

Change the Factors Affecting Organisational Strategic Alignment

Trust, communication, transparency, quality of planning and decision-making techniques all affect a company’s organisational strategic alignment. In order to for a company to experience successful alignment, it must strive to understand its stakeholders, particularly its customers, through marketing research. A company should use a critical path analysis, an algorithm that helps develop project management timelines, as well as customer surveys in order to predict the amount of time needed to implement change.

 

Poor follow-through can negatively affect organisational strategic alignment, so a business must continue to follow plans for change after taking the initial steps, track progress and taking into account the consequences of not following through with plans for change. Additional considerations for companies to take into account regarding organisational strategic alignment include the reactions from competitors and the possibility of government intervention.

 

Management Alignment

In order to get the ball rolling on organisational strategic alignment, a company must create a performance and cultural management focus that leaders identify and agree upon during a time of strategic change. This focus is like a North Star for managers to follow that enables them to provide the appropriate employee motivations, cognitive support and resources. In order to align management, however, company leaders must know how to manage change by understanding reasons for internal resistance to organisational strategic alignment and make the relationship between a company’s vision and its technology, organisation and processes clear.

 

Rewarding Individual and Team Efforts

Raising self-awareness and allowing teams and individuals to have more autonomy can help drive organisational strategic alignment and have employees centered on the company’s goals. In order to promote team and individual efforts, a company must offer transparency and provide sufficient information for employees to complete tasks, as well as include other company stakeholders.

 

By promoting efforts to individuals and teams, a company helps build trust, which can increase loyalty to its organisational strategic alignment goals.

 

The good-to-great companies did not focus principally on what to do to become great; they focused equally on what not to do, and what to stop doing (Collins, 2001). Companies that only do things that align with the strategy, and not the things that don’t align with the strategy, allows organizations more resources and time to execute what matters the most.

Strategic alignment, not just limited to the projects, but to everything that the company does, is primarily broken into two broad categories:
1. Projects: Preparing an organization for tomorrow
2. Day-to-day operations: managing today’s business. The following example demonstrates where company departments have competing goals and where strategy is not in alignment with various functions within the organization.

 

Primo Business Solutions will be running multiple workshops in the upcoming months. These courses are both practical and interactive. There is available funding for the workshops, please contact Jas Bhara for more details primobusiness@protonmail.com

Upcoming workshops:

Problem Solving and Team Building

PESTLE Analysis

Company Strategic Alignment

Communication Skills