The Strategy Word Of The Year So Far: Alignment

Ever notice that certain words creep into business talk and take on a life of their own? If you Google “Business Clichés,” an interesting post of 10 of them by Victor Lipman in Forbes in April 11, 2013 comes up. He advises to avoid them like the plague- things like “stretch goals, ramp up, thrown under the bus, rightsizing (this has to be a favorite of the people who get downsized.) A word you hear often these days is “alignment.” I want to speak positively about this word before it makes someone’s cliché list. Businesses want to get all parts of the organization in alignment with the company goals. Individual employees should have a job where their duties are aligned with their strengths. Who in the world wants to argue against that? Google “Business Alignment” and see the very long list of resources that have information and advice for how to achieve it. Along with establishing Service Objectives, projects to enable and sustain organizational alignment have the potential positive outcome of getting everyone on board and involved. And, like many other business strategies, achieving and sustaining alignment is an on-going process, not an event.