Let us start with a metaphor that we believe will speak to everyone.
You can quickly see the symptoms when a team does not feel they are rowing in the same direction. At that point, people tend to point to a problem with the boat, the oars or some of the people on the boat and simply forget to step out and work out where they were supposed to go in the first place and how it is even possible that they ended up not being on the same boat anymore...
It is normal in an organisation to delineate responsibility and accountability in order to get things done, but too often I see a lack of alignment in teams, projects and organisations more broadly which leads to friction and dysfunction.
There is the unavoidable alignment shift that comes with people who are experiencing change in their life (for many reasons), but there are still manageable aspects of alignment such as direction, purpose, priority, risk etc. It is essential that individuals can connect, through the work they do, to the purpose and priorities that should matter as a collective.
When a team or individual appear to be rowing in a different direction to the pack, it drives both functional and emotional friction. These can have a large cost, notably through time spent judging decisions without a 'north star' that indicates clearly where we are going.
Alignment drives a high degree of value and requires continuous management. Does it really get the attention it deserves in a world full of complexity and continuous change?
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