I’ve met many executives recently who talk about the difficulty of transforming their companies – the choices, strategies, projects, budgets, priorities and so on. They talk about a lack of alignment, as though nothing could be done about it. Yet…
No alignment means no transformation!
No matter how much effort you put into transforming your business, unless there is alignment that is real and understood, your transformation could go round and round in circles.
Your organization can spend a lot of time and money not transforming anything. If you, like many decision-makers and managers I work with, are in a situation where:
- Decisions are agreed on but not executed.
- Two members of your executives have diametrically opposed views, and what should have taken three months to settle remains unresolved two years later.
- Members of the management committee refuse to hold joint events with employees or clients because they cannot agree on a common message.
- There is no conversation taking place with the unaligned committee members.
- Senior management keeps questioning and overturning various committees’ decisions.
- The priorities change every week.
- It is unclear why some decisions are made, as they do not appear to fit with the company’s chosen direction.
- And so on...
then there is clearly a lack of alignment. And the worst thing you can do is ignore it in the belief that it is inevitable.
Are you prepared to challenge your beliefs?
If you are part of a management committee, you could be part of the problem. That’s right!
- Have you thought about what transforming your business means for you?
- Have you thought about your own decision making process?
- Have you ever thought about what you yourself need to stop doing, delegate or start doing?
- Have you ever considered what you need to learn to do differently – such as listen and consult more, ask more questions and do more coaching?
A company is not just the sum of its products, services, processes, systems and structures. Above all, it is the sum of the individuals who compose it and who are the “glue” that holds these elements together.
For a successful business transformation, there must be a high degree of consistency among all these elements. Before looking at how to transform your business, it is important to ask the members of the management committee the right questions:
- To succeed, what will we have to set aside to make room to manage our transformation?
- What are my ideas, my ways of doing things and acting that could hinder a real business transformation?
Asking the right question is half the answer
If you, along with other members of the management committee, allow yourself to step back and take a hard look at yourselves, you may come to some simple realizations that could have a very positive impact on the success of your transformation. Allocating money and resources to a transformation is not enough to make it happen. You have to be fully committed to it, personally.
I was recently told about a newly appointed CEO who took a very bold step. He dared let go all the executives who did not align themselves with the company's new vision, despite the fact that he had known them for years, sometimes not only as long-time colleagues, but also as friends.
What about you? What what are you willing to do?
Co-founder, President and Strategic Advisor