Organizations follow a supposed winning strategy to dominate their market. However, while 85% of businesses know their implemented system, only 10% of them successfully execute it. This might result in business fallout, like a financial crisis. After all, without a coherent overall strategy, a team has no road map to follow when running daily operations.
Organizations can avoid this through strategic alignment within all teams, staff, and even the decision-makers.
Considered a vital key to business success, everyone must understand how to use their strategy on their tasks. So, if you want to outperform the competition, here’s your ultimate guide to strategic alignment within your business.
What is strategic alignment
With 90% of executives failing to meet their objectives, most forget to align their goals, plans, expectations, and strategy when scaling. Organizations have to address this, as not meeting business objectives harms your team, such as losing integrity and remaining stagnant.
This is where strategic alignment comes in.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit research, the top 10% of companies use strategic alignment to achieve their business goals. It allows them to reach project goals and objectives while also getting closer to their long-term plans for the company. In fact, according to a research, projects aligned to strategy are 57% more likely to deliver their business benefit. They are also 50% more likely to finish on time and 45% more likely to stay within budget.
It is like a thread that links a company’s business environment, culture, and strategy with its resources and structure, as well as its users, marketplace, and customers.
Why strategic alignment is important
Strategic alignment for a company isn’t as tricky as it appears. But, at the same time, it isn’t as easy as you may think. It requires commitment from everyone in the organization, and it’s crucial for business because it helps generate better results in terms of sales, staff management, improving customer service, and even rewarding team members.
For instance, leaders of various top companies are using executive coaches to help them improve their strategic business plans. These coaches also help drive vision down through the organization for better execution.
Maintaining strategic alignment is a make-it-or-break-it for organizations because it empowers them to develop the things they need to prioritize, effective decisions, and better solutions for all conflicts. After all, without a strategic alignment, there will be missed opportunities as members try to prioritize different things and achieve other goals. But, as long as companies follow their system, they are bound to sail their way to business success as smoothly as possible.
Moreover, strategic alignment keeps employees motivated and inspired to achieve new career milestones. It also allows people who develop products and services, direct marketing and sales efforts, and allocate resources to establish best practices for their team. It will then enable organizations to work at their peak performance, like teams hitting deadlines, achieving new milestones, recording high sales, and satisfying customers simultaneously.
In addition, strategic alignment for a business is essential because:
- It allows companies to focus time, resources, and effort on their core products and services
- It lets staff, team leaders, managers, and decision-makers prioritize tasks and remove conflicting priorities
- It increases employee engagement
- It prevents miscommunication within the team
Strategic alignment benefits
Organizations use strategic alignment to ensure that the team performs with one goal in their mind. It identifies where the organization wants to be in the future, how to accomplish it, how to execute the strategy, what things they should focus on, what metrics they should use to measure success, and what action programs will help them achieve their goals.
Here are some of the benefits of having strategic alignment within an organization:
Companies without strategic alignment might compromise the welfare of their employees, resulting in poor performance, low sales, and demotivated teams. Employees might also spend extra hours working on tasks while creating little to no impact on their business goals.
But with strategic alignment in mind of every employee, they will work synergically as they all understand their goals and how to achieve them. With this, it saves businesses time and other resources they could spend on other beneficial things.
Strategically aligned projects also delivered net business benefits 37% higher than their unaligned equivalents. Now, let’s convert this into a tangible business benefit in dollars.
STAY ON TOP OF THE MARKET
Companies without strategic alignment will find it hard to keep up with market trends while maintaining their brand identity. But with a clear goal, strategy, and efforts to stay on top of the industry, businesses can focus and find the balance between following trends and staying true to their brand commitment.
One of the companies that failed to stay on top of the market while keeping their brand identity was Friendster. Before Facebook dominated the social media industry, Friendster had over 100 million users, many in Southeast Asia. However, in July 2009, following some technical problems and a redesign, the site experienced a catastrophic decline in traffic as users fled to other networks such as Facebook. And for Friendster, many people have forgotten them.
How to test your company’s alignment
Having a strategy also isn’t enough to keep your business afloat. In fact, you must regularly check on your strategic alignment to see whether staff and managers within your company are on the same page.
Harvard Business Review shared how to test strategic alignment for a company. According to them, firms must consider the following questions:
- How well does your business strategy support fulfilling your company’s purpose?
- How well does your organization support the achievement of your business strategy?
Then, it would be best if you plotted your answers on the matrix by Harvard.
- Very best chance of winning: this quadrant suggests a more positive work climate, above-average staff engagement, a solid commitment to values, and fewer conflicts within the team.
- Best of intentions, but incapable: meanwhile, if your company is placed on this scale, it might be because you might be incapable of implementing your strategy as intended. These are poor customer attraction and retention, higher costs, organizational imbalance, and poor financial performance.
- Boldly going nowhere: businesses fall on this scale if they have strong alignment between strategy and organization but weak alignment between plan and purpose. This could mean that you have the best talents on your team, but you failed to future-proof your company. Hence, it can’t meet customer demands over time.
What You Can Do
As mentioned, strategic alignment for a business requires commitment from each organization member. It positively influences the team and improves efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.
To achieve strategic alignment, integrate a business platform that gives you a complete view of your team’s performance. For instance, The Sales Machine is an all-in-one business success platform that helps maximizes sales, improves marketing, strengthens team development, and rewards staff for actively reaching their KPIs.
Unlike other business CRM tools, it provides a cost-efficient platform at a fraction of the cost of its competitor while delivering 100% more value.
Want to know more about The Sales Machine? Visit us at www.thesalesmachine.com to request a FREE, no-obligation demo with our team.