Yes, business insights captured using software suites could indicate organizational misalignment, but how do businesses scale these gaps?
In Going from theory to reality – Part 1, we understood the value of organizational alignment and saw an example of what misalignment in an organization looks like. While the lead for one particular bid process was under the impression that things were flowing smoothly, other participants in the process showed dissent and mentioned there was a lack of clarity. Clearly, the human data revealed the misalignment that may have been overlooked. So how do companies really scale organizational misalignment once identified?
Image courtesy of Martin Fisch via flickr
Avoid the mistake of misalignment
Be proactive when it comes to creating organizational alignment, or in other words, do not wait for a misalignment to happen. For starters, leaders and decision-makers need to learn not to enforce their belief systems but to challenge their own existing hypothesis and perceptions. A product manager could think he/she has the right processes in place to develop a product but the developers may have a different take on things. By keeping communication lines open, the team will be more receptive to the manager’s perceptions and could also sensitize the manager to potential flaws in his/her beliefs. So capture insights right at the start.
Analyze after you identify
A myriad of answers will flow in when you use a business insight capturing app. In order to facilitate deeper analysis and understanding of these answers, it is necessary that you are able to plot them. Below is an example of a business with a better organizational alignment for their Bid Process than the one in Part 1 of this post.
Graphic 1 :The scores are plotted according the category of executives providing them
Apart from the colored bars indicating the categories of executives, there is a clear indication of the number of participants in the X axis and criterion on Y axis.
Graphic 2 :The colored column indicates the level of satisfaction with the current process along with the percentage score too.
Apart from capturing suggestions, Graphic 2 plots level of satisfaction using colors. Green for extremely satisfied and yellow for somewhat satisfied.
Communication, consistency & connection
Every business has its own set of values, goals and visions. Tie these in with all your corporate communication, marketing communication and even your branding and PR activities. Apart from overall organizational goals, also clearly communicate expected outcomes of various tasks and projects. Consistent business messaging ensures better clarity for both external and internal stakeholders. Once this is established, it is vital for employees to collaborate on internalizing and personalizing these organizational messages. It is crucial for an employee to understand how he/she is adding value. This is where the real connection takes place and misalignments are reduced.
The most critical part of the entire alignment process is to follow-through. In our experience, we have found many execs upset about someone misaligned and brush it off by saying ,“Opinions vary, but only one counts.” Execs are especially touchy when employees rank something really low that they thought was high priority. Taking offense is counterproductive to the entire process and growth. Follow-through on valid recommendations. We followed through on recommendations from our team in the 9Lenses Soccer Leadership and saw a 50% improvement in results!
So there you have it! Start by being proactive when it comes to achieving organizational alignment and then work harder to scale the misalignment gap using smart business insights and thorough follow-through.