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Business Process Consulting - Four Key Factors in Achieving Alignment
by Peter McLean

The key to successful business development centers on building the ability to align and adapt to the current market conditions, environment and context in which your business is operating.

Alignment is not about getting the same thing done over and over again consistently. Maneuverability or agility, as described by John Boyd, is what leads to alignment, successful action and outstanding performance.

There are four key factors in aligning a business to deliver outstanding results.

Strategy Strategy is about determining the nature and direction of the business. Strategy formulation aligns and adapts the internal business environment to the needs and wants of customers. Strategic thought is informed through absorbing information from the external environment and aligning this thinking with the business capabilities required to meet the demands being placed upon those capabilities. This means making hard-edged choices and critical decisions that ensure that the energy being put into building business capability is properly focused. Different strategic directions require different capabilities.

Disciplined Leadership Leaders and managers within an aligned environment know that they must serve the Mission and Vision of the company as they live the values of their business on a day-to-day basis.

To this end, they ensure that they are implementing strategic intent passionately and rigorously. They exhibit the qualities of good leadership because they know what they are in business for and for whom. They think about it all the time. They are always listening to what is going on, and they talk about it constantly. They grow in their understanding by continually honing and sharpening their insight, in light of the experience gleaned from the operational environment of their business. In an aligned business environment, leaders know what they have to do to influence the business, keep growing and reinventing themselves to meet the new requirements. They also know when they should move on.

Planned Series of Deliberate Initiatives over Time It takes time, energy, commitment and a long-term view to build alignment in a business. There are no short cuts to high performance. Planned approaches work because there is an end in mind and a series of steps that need to be taken to achieve the required result.

Within the business environment, these steps must be clearly spelled out in action plans. What is envisaged in the corporate strategic plan cascades into the small business plan and the performance management process at the individual level.

Everyone in the business must know what the corporate strategic vision is and they must understand how the part that they play in their particular area of the business fits into the overall scheme of things.

A 'Can Do' Culture A high performance, aligned culture can appear daunting to achieve. It is. However, by having agreed, common platforms for planning, leadership development and decision-making, a 'can do' culture will emerge.

Strategy informs the leadership requirements and the structures and systems that are developed and established in order to build agility and adaptability. Alignment is underpinned and supported by the use of common approaches and a common language. Communication becomes a two-way street, where operations feeds back new invaluable information into the strategic thought of the business, which in turn informs what needs to be done. The culture changes dramatically by maintaining the balance between managing standards and compliance, as well as the entrepreneurial energy required for high agility and adaptability.

Peter McLean is a highly experienced Coach, Senior Manager, Consultant, Business Owner and Company Director. He successfully coaches top Executives in some of Australia’s leading multi-national companies. One such Senior Executive recently won an International Award for Excellence within his particular field. In addition, Peter works extensively in the Public, Private, Commercial and Not-for-Profit sectors, delivering outstanding results for his clients. To learn more of how you can benefit from Peter’s experience, visit the Essential Business Coach web site!



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