Strategic alignment is a process that may sound easy on the surface: Define what matters most and create a road map to get there. But it is, in fact, much more complicated. Experts assert that strategic alignment requires extensive planning and the willingness to evaluate often, make changes as required, and cultivate a workforce that feels involved and responsible for an organization achieving its goals.
The Importance of Strategic Alignment
Without strategic alignment, the Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) reports, well-intentioned managers may waste time on good ideas that add nothing to the bottom line. Worse, employees who are unclear of the organizational strategy may lose faith in the mission, which can lead to diminished morale and an unwillingness to do their best. By ensuring strategic alignment, the organization's resources will go to best use when they do the following:
- Focus energy where it is needed at the right time
- Address workforce redundancies
- Eliminate conflicting priorities
- Coordinate team members to increase communication and buy-in
- Clarify the competitive advantage of the organization
- Provide structure for employees
- Empower employees to shape the organization's future
Strategic Alignment: Success or Failure?
Any attempt to begin a strategic alignment is doomed if the organization does not have a clear vision. Its leaders must decide what the goals are, then set objectives to meet them. Chron offers several factors to consider for strategic alignment success:
- Coordinate employees' activities so everyone in the organization works toward the same goals using prescribed processes. This enables employees to work proactively rather than just respond to situations.
- Give employees direction and let them know what matters most in the organization. They will then spend their time on activities that promote organizational objectives instead of focusing on their own goals.
- Make regular progress reports, emphasizing the methods used to achieve goals. Supervisors will be able to help employees adjust before problems become large and hard to correct.
- Keep strategic alignment ever evolving. Circumstances change and affect how the organization must function to remain viable.
- Periodically assess strategies and goal achievement, and adjust as needed. The organization may find improved ways to conduct business and must be flexible enough to implement better business practices.
Strategic alignment is just one part of a complex puzzle that makes modern businesses efficient and profitable. And the Boise State University's online Master of Business Administration program covers strategic alignment in depth. The degree, which can be finished in under a year, is designed to open opportunities for business professionals who want to grow their careers or begin new ones.
Learn more about Boise State University's online MBA program.
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