We believe alignment is the primary driver of business success and lack of alignment is the biggest barrier to success.
How do you know if your business is out of alignment?
Here are 5 signs:
When asked the question, “what is the company’s vision”, your employees all give different answers
Alignment all starts with vision. If have not clearly articulated your company’s vision to your employees (those you’ve hired to execute and move you closer to realizing your vision), your chances that you’ll get to where you want to go will be greatly diminished. In fact, your employees will begin making assumptions about where the company is headed. All companies have limited resources.
I was speaking to two business partners the other day and separately asked them to articulate their vision. Each had a different vision of where they wanted to take the company. Big problem. If these two were not on the same page, how could they expect their employees to follow in behind?
Your team has trouble executing
I was speaking with a business owner recently who was frustrated the company’s sales were declining. I asked him what his salesperson’s goals where…his answer, “he doesn’t have any goals. He just brings in what he can ”. Wow!
Is your team 100% clear about what success looks like? Do they know what the company goals are? Are your team members working at cross purposes to one another?
If your team members are having difficulty performing their jobs, ask yourself if you’ve clearly defined what is most important and ensure that is in alignment with your vision.
You have high turn-over
The confusion caused by misalignment can result in highly frustrated employees. Employees want to be led. They also want to know that their contribution matters and is helping to drive the company forward. That doesn’t mean you need to have everything figured out, but you need to make sure you’ve clearly communicated where the company is heading.
A monthly all company meeting is a great way to continually update your staff and recast your vision.
You are not clear on the top 3-5 company goals for the next 12 months
This is similar to point #1, but more operational. If you cannot rattle off the top 3-5 things your company is relentlessly focused on over the next twelve months, your business is not in alignment. Again, your staff will begin to make up their own priority list which may or may not drive the company toward your vision. This is especially true if your team is constantly in firefighting mode. The next emergency is always the most important thing and all the company does is tread water.
You don’t have a budget or financial plan
Budgets define priorities and what is important to the business. Budget articulate your trade-offs in black and white. Not having a budget means you don’t have any real priorities. Everything is up for grabs.
For example, if you want to grow yet haven’t detailed how much you’re going to invest in customer acquisition, how is growth going to happen? Again, every small business has limited resources and those resources should be focused on driving your vision. Budgets also allow you to validate your business model and keep you on track. To stay competitive you need to understand the financial drivers of your business. You may have thousands of dollars in waste that you don’t even know about. How could those resources be reallocated to drive growth?
Do any of these points resonate with you? Do you struggle with driving alignment within your business? Please contact us for a free business assessment. We’ve create a unique process and toolset to help drive business alignment.