How much profit is your organization losing as a result of poor alignment? Probably a lot. But what do I mean by alignment? I break organizations up into three areas: processes; people; and technology. I did not develop this division of strategy, but I do subscribe to it. Effective organizations make it their mission to ensure that these three areas are aligned and consistent. Here are some characteristics of a well-aligned organization:
-minimal duplication of work effort amongst employees;
- business processes that focus on value-added activities;
- technology that supports the organizations' business processes and automates repetitive activities;
- an organizational structure that supports the desired culture and clearly communicates responsibilities and accountabilities;
- centralized documentation and templates accessible for the entire organization.
Does your organization have these characteristics? Most do not, which means that you need to go through a transformation in order to get there. Each area that is not aligned leads to additional costs for the organization. These costs come on the form of additional resource costs to complete duplicate work and work on non-value added activities, expensive technology investments that do not benefit the organization's ability to better satisfy customers or replace manual work and an organizational structure where employees are unsure of accountabilities so decision-making processes are long and labour-intensive. If this sounds more like your organization then you are losing profit unnecessarily. The good news is there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. For some of those steps, you will need to wait until my next post.