‘There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all’ – Peter Drucker
Ummmm. Yes. Oh Dear.
Possibly, many of us have been in that position. Finding out that people have been doing tremendous work but, actually, it’s not the work that needed doing. Very awkward.
So what happened there? Alignment, probably.
Alignment? Alignment is about ensuring that everyone knows what their role is in making the vision into a reality. It is crucial for a leader to gain buy-in from their people and because alignment is entirely people focussed, it is as complicated and unpredictable as people relationships can be.
If a leader thinks that just telling people to get on with it and comply is enough, then they aren’t likely to find that people give their heart and soul to their work or organisation and they may end up playing ‘all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order’ – Eric Morecambe.
Individuals need to feel committed to objectives to give of their best. And when they are, they frequently become self-motivated, self-directing and find creative ways to solve problems. Leaders should view alignment as a deliberate, ongoing process that needs to be reviewed continuously with tweaks made as the environment and requirements change. It requires leaders to be continuously in tune with what is happening and who can then passionately energise their people if enthusiasm turns a little stale.
Good leaders understand that people need both their hearts and heads engaged with the vision. They need to feel enthused about the ideas and they also need to understand ‘why’. It needs to make sense to them so that they can ‘buy-in’.
If we get people aligned to our vision it saves us time and energy. People then understand the ‘why’ and how they play their part in that. We, as leaders, can then spend much less time fighting fires. It’s very important to encourage conversation within the organisation to maintain buy-in, so that people can feel that their concerns have at least been heard and understood. When people are confused as to where the organisation is heading and where they fit into that, they can become disengaged with the whole thing and their performance suffers. Meaning, of course, that the performance of the business suffers to a lesser or greater degree.
So. Go out there. Start talking to people and keep talking to people. Tell them where you are all headed. Tell them why you are all headed over there. Tell them why they are so important in getting you all from here to there. Tell them how they can play their part in the businesses success. And keep talking to them. and remember what William Drayton said – ‘Change happens when someone sees the next step.’
We’d love to hear from you. We’d love to hear your challenges and what approaches you may have tried, or be thinking of trying, to improve your ALIGNMENT for your company or your part of the company. Email us on [email protected] and share your stories with us. Go on. You know you want to.
Jan Sargent, Director of Transforming Performance, can be contacted for support with Leadership, Team Performance, Coaching, Mentoring, Behavioural Profiling and Executive Coaching and help in getting the best from you and your people.