fbpx

Waymaker Podcast: How to find strategic alignment, the secret sauce to winning organisations S1:E6

by | May 28, 2021

Season 1: Episode 6

Big idea: What’s the secret sauce to winning companies? Alignment. Here’s how to create, keep and grow strategic alignment across your organisation.

Transcript

Alignment the secret sauce of winning organsiations

00:02
welcome to leadership talk
00:04
the official waymaker podcast where we
00:07
explore
00:08
how your organization can achieve more
00:11
by doing less
00:22
welcome to leadership talk the official
00:24
waymaker podcast
00:25
i’m your host craig hyneman and with me
00:27
is ceo and founder stuart leo
00:30
stu are you ready oh i was born
00:33
i was born ready craig uh good you know
00:36
i
00:37
i thank you um
00:38
[Music]
00:40
i went to a a kids adventure
00:44
camp when i was um at the tender age of
00:46
18 or 19
00:48
um right did the what we call the
00:50
university of life
00:51
every young australian kid you know puts
00:54
their backpack on and heads off to
00:55
europe back to the motherland and i
00:58
worked at this adventure camp
00:59
um 8 10 12 13 year olds that um
01:02
you know it was you wanted to boost your
01:04
ego there’s nothing like a
01:06
you know 10 year old pommy kid who
01:09
you know loves neighbors and thinks
01:11
you’re a you’re a
01:12
they didn’t have chris hemsworth back
01:14
then but i don’t know he thinks you’re
01:15
chris hemsworth
01:17
and we would start every session
01:21
with are you ready and
01:25
all the kids we trained them all to
01:27
answer
01:28
as loud as they possibly could we were
01:32
born ready and you know what it was the
01:35
coolest thing about it and there was a
01:37
point to the story
01:38
okay is that i can’t wait to hear it
01:41
okay
01:42
yeah it actually
01:45
it like got the energy going it got all
01:47
the
01:48
like um endorphins and chemicals
01:51
powering through the brain good
01:52
chemicals um
01:54
and it aligned everybody it it meant
01:58
everybody was ready to find out
02:01
the activity that you’re about to take
02:03
them on it could have been abseiling or
02:05
horse riding or
02:06
archery or canoeing in the river or
02:09
something
02:10
and they were just like on the edge of
02:13
their
02:14
gum boots wanting to know where they
02:16
were going to go for the next adventure
02:18
all from that adrenaline it’s
02:22
interesting that you mentioned that word
02:23
alignment
02:24
stew because that’s actually what that’s
02:27
what we’re going to talk about today
02:28
alignment
02:29
oh how funny um craig are you ready
02:33
i am i was born ready we didn’t rehearse
02:36
that
02:37
no we didn’t i am and see that’s the
02:39
thing the kids had come in
02:40
and the first thing you’d teach them is
02:42
that
02:43
yeah and and because what happens you
02:45
know the first time you do it they get
02:46
it wrong
02:47
and everybody laughs and you know it’s a
02:49
bit funny and trust me by
02:51
day two activity six um
02:54
everybody’s just like and super excited
02:59
and sadly we don’t really treat
03:02
employees
03:02
like that um we don’t fire them up
03:06
um we i’m talking collectively we um the
03:08
world often
03:11
yet alignment is the secret source
03:14
to a winning organization there we go
03:17
segway
03:18
um and that um i think was part of the
03:22
secret sauce to
03:24
those kids having a good time by
03:26
throwing themselves into that daily
03:27
activity
03:29
and it’s part of the secret source of
03:31
building winning organizations
03:32
alignment uh you want to prove your
03:36
thesis there stu
03:38
i do i need to a bunch of 13 year olds
03:41
don’t just prove that
03:42
[Laughter]
03:44
so we’ll look um research tells us um
03:48
from gallup uh and look it’s probably
03:51
pre-covered so it could be worse could
03:52
be better
03:54
that around 70 of current employees are
03:57
not
03:57
fully engaged and not ready
04:00
for their day if i can use that language
04:03
and that’s a pretty alarming statistic i
04:04
remember reading that for the first time
04:06
with a team of 15 20 in our consulting
04:09
business
04:10
looking out across the room and going
04:11
right that probably means 15 people out
04:14
there are not engaged um if if we’re the
04:17
standard
04:18
out there in the workplace and some days
04:20
we might have been better in some days
04:21
we might have been worse so
04:22
that’s a lot of people that’s a critical
04:24
mass they’re not actually engaged and
04:26
that’s a huge problem and
04:28
jim collins um and his his co-writer
04:31
uh jerry power wrote this awesome quote
04:35
which i love building a visionary
04:38
company
04:39
requires one percent vision and 99
04:43
percent
04:43
alignment building a visionary company
04:46
requires one percent vision and 99
04:48
that’s yeah it’s pretty bleeding
04:50
obviously well
04:52
it is a big call but it kind of is a bit
04:54
obvious and i think this
04:56
is where a lot of organizations
05:00
get it wrong they think that if people
05:02
know the vision and understand the
05:04
vision then they’re aligned to the
05:05
vision
05:05
and that’s just you know bs really
05:09
um and that’s why it’s
05:12
it’s just so poorly done out there in
05:14
the marketplace
05:15
so what does alignment look like what
05:18
does it look like well that’s a good
05:19
question
05:20
um think for yourself think and i think
05:23
we’ve all had these moments
05:25
um i can think of them where you’ve been
05:29
a part of a team
05:30
um a team a team within a team a unit a
05:33
business
05:35
and it’s just it’s kind of just clicked
05:37
it’s kind of just worked
05:38
um there’s a couple of moments in my
05:40
life where i can look back on and go
05:42
man like that if i could go back to that
05:44
moment
05:46
and we were rock stars we were just like
05:48
we were killing it
05:49
um and it wasn’t that it was just
05:52
one person killing it in the team and
05:54
everybody writing off their coattails it
05:56
was a number of things that came
05:58
were coming together and you know if
06:00
you’re thinking about that moment i hope
06:01
you can think of a moment
06:03
if if you can’t then you’ve never
06:04
experienced it
06:06
where you enjoy work it’s not easy it’s
06:10
still hard there’s still the daily
06:11
challenges
06:12
but somehow as a part of a team stuff
06:15
just happens success is there
06:19
you know it’s working if something goes
06:21
wrong then other people are around you
06:23
to
06:24
actually get it right um because you’ve
06:27
all got this
06:28
alignment to where you’re going and what
06:30
you’re doing
06:32
and you’re not you’re not thinking about
06:33
yourself you’re not thinking about
06:35
your performance you’re thinking about
06:37
where you’re going as a team
06:38
and that’s what matters most and and
06:41
that’s a
06:42
that’s a really special kind of feeling
06:45
um can you like do you have moments
06:47
where you think of that
06:48
past workplaces or teams or rock and
06:51
roll bands in your instance
06:53
yeah well that’s it’s just like yeah
06:55
it’s everyone moves together it’s like
06:57
that whole
06:57
idea of the um the flock of birds i
07:00
think
07:00
you talked about um a couple of episodes
07:03
ago where
07:04
everyone just kind of moves together
07:06
right it
07:07
and and yeah it’s not like everyone’s
07:09
it’s not like it’s passed down the chain
07:11
you know and this delayed response or
07:13
anything like that it all happens
07:14
together
07:15
almost um yeah magically it’s almost
07:18
magic
07:18
magic yeah yeah so okay so if
07:22
i if it’s so important to an
07:23
organization 99 important
07:26
and and 70 of people say that they’re
07:29
not uh
07:30
fully engaged um why don’t more people
07:33
do it why don’t we invest more in that
07:35
area well um i think the simple answer
07:39
is it’s really really really hard
07:43
and we should just point out that that
07:45
stat i said before around gallup it’s
07:46
it’s a
07:47
it’s a it’s a symptom of a lack of
07:50
alignment
07:51
alignment okay yeah so 70 not engaged
07:55
would tend to indicate that they’re also
07:57
not aligned
08:00
now they could be and just don’t believe
08:02
or don’t care
08:03
that’s always entirely possible too but
08:05
um
08:07
it’s just a symptom of the underlying
08:08
root cause and that underlying root
08:10
cause is alignment
08:11
and i think it’s really hard because
08:14
it’s a
08:14
complex a complex problem um
08:18
if you haven’t we should do a session we
08:21
haven’t done it in this podcast
08:22
um there’s a wonderful guy
08:26
professor david snowden who has the the
08:29
preeminent
08:29
world leading framework on problem
08:32
solving where he talks about
08:34
simple complicated complex and chaotic
08:37
problems
08:38
do you sell favor just google that um
08:40
that’s for free he’s a legend
08:42
um and uh
08:46
the point here is complex problems
08:49
are different from complicated and
08:50
simple because complicated is linear
08:52
simple are just best practice complex
08:55
have many moving parts
08:56
and many moving parts means you can
08:59
change one thing
09:01
but all the other things don’t always
09:03
react
09:04
logically or what appears to be
09:06
logically because there’s
09:08
indirect and direct influences one
09:10
activity might be connected to
09:12
two or three other activities one of
09:14
those other activities may or may not be
09:16
connected to two or three or four or
09:18
five other activities
09:19
that’s complexity we see these sorts of
09:22
problems like um
09:24
climate change pandemics
09:28
human behaviour cultures cultures are
09:32
a complex not everything is connected so
09:36
so alignment is a complex problem
09:41
it’s not solved by just doing one thing
09:43
a lot of leaders think that i’ll go and
09:45
sell a great vision
09:46
let’s go back and recast vision get
09:49
everybody aligned
09:50
well that’s probably not going to be
09:53
that effective
09:53
because alignment is as a result of
09:56
clarity of vision
09:58
clarity of marketplace clarity of ideal
10:01
customer
10:02
clarity of how we make money through our
10:04
business model clarity of our strategy
10:06
clarity of
10:08
how we acquire customers and service
10:10
them it’s clarity of how we treat
10:11
employees and
10:12
um and our culture and it’s and so many
10:16
other things and it’s clarity of what
10:17
matters most
10:18
today tomorrow this week next month next
10:21
year
10:22
and that’s really hard that’s really i
10:26
like
10:26
let’s be honest once people have all
10:29
that clarity
10:30
then it’s still about buying isn’t it
10:32
exactly at the end of the day you could
10:34
know all this just like i’m
10:35
still here i’m clear it’s not anyway
10:39
i think this still stinks yeah yeah um
10:41
well hopefully you go hopefully you’ve
10:42
gone by yeah
10:44
but um i think the and you know so
10:47
the the the other complexity in all of
10:49
this
10:51
and you can go back and listen to last
10:53
uh the last episode
10:55
is that we live in four dimensions um
10:59
nothing stays still around us so all of
11:02
those complex
11:03
activities are changing um
11:07
well today we acquire customers like
11:09
this but man like facebook just changed
11:11
its algorithm apple just updated its ios
11:14
um a new law has come out um
11:17
something’s happened uh well that’s
11:19
change
11:20
and that change affects something going
11:22
on so it’s really complex and
11:25
um so we shouldn’t you know we shouldn’t
11:28
uh
11:28
talk glibly about this and and i think
11:31
it’s why
11:32
um that’s why peter drucker um
11:35
i’m dropping a few quotes today is cool
11:37
i sound educated
11:38
um we love peter drucker he’s can i see
11:41
these on
11:41
on the instagram later this week
11:46
yeah you can you can um i’ll i’ll have
11:49
my people talk to
11:50
instagram’s people um
11:54
peter drucker said strategy is a
11:57
commodity
11:58
execution is an art he’s 100 right
12:01
like it’s not hard to write a strategy
12:04
or to identify a strategic position
12:06
that’s not that hard
12:09
but getting there wow i mean there’s a
12:11
reason why it took hundreds of years for
12:14
uh sir edmund hillary and um uh
12:18
now this is really i’d love to help you
12:20
here but history’s not good for me
12:24
the sherpa you you talk you talk olga
12:28
girl
12:28
yeah because he deserves equal
12:30
recognition because
12:31
um i’m gonna i’m gonna say
12:34
um all right so there’s a reason
12:38
why hillary and his best mate um
12:41
i’m going tenzing norgay thank you
12:43
tenzing nogger
12:44
um it’s a hard name off the top of my
12:46
head
12:49
off the top well done craig you’re an
12:51
educator
12:52
yeah craig google heinemann um
12:56
uh there’s a reason why edmund hillary
12:59
um and norgay
13:04
tensing
13:07
uh took so long to get to the top of
13:10
everest
13:11
like setting the strategy to go right
13:14
we’re going to attack the top of everest
13:16
and we’re going to get there and
13:17
we think there’s maybe eight base camps
13:19
on the way up
13:20
um fantastic like you know they didn’t
13:23
do it on the first attempt
13:25
it’s really hard and they had to align
13:28
many things they had to align whether
13:30
they had to align people they had to
13:31
align training they had to align
13:33
equipment they had to align
13:34
support staff and team there’s a lot of
13:36
moving parts
13:38
it’s a lot easier today because we can
13:41
look at
13:41
how they did that we can look at the
13:44
strategy of that
13:46
follow in their footsteps and do it and
13:48
there’s a lot less art
13:51
but yeah if you’re going to be a winning
13:53
organization
13:55
you actually need to not follow you need
13:58
to lead you need to go and do something
14:02
that other people haven’t done before it
14:04
might mean
14:05
some of the things you do have been done
14:07
before but you need to go and do things
14:09
that haven’t been done before you’ve got
14:11
to be different you’ve got to deliver
14:12
different value
14:13
you can’t be you can’t be the millie
14:16
vanilli
14:17
of the 1980s uh rock and roll industry
14:20
thank you for getting that
14:21
i got it thanks um for our younger
14:24
listeners
14:25
google that one google that one there’s
14:27
your there’s your queue
14:28
um so
14:31
strategy is a commodity we can put a
14:34
plan out there we can set our vision
14:37
executing and actually getting it done
14:39
is really really hard and so
14:41
it you know it’s so if you do it because
14:43
it’s so hard and
14:44
even once you’ve got it it’s hard to
14:45
hold on to it so we we
14:48
um we really wanted to attack this with
14:51
waymaker
14:52
because you know if you go back to some
14:54
of those early podcasts we did
14:56
there were those eight big um
14:58
observations that
14:59
wildly successful companies did um
15:03
uh clarity alignment focus
15:06
um uh maturity they were the first four
15:10
i think
15:10
i should know um
15:14
and and there’s a reason why clarity
15:17
comes first and alignment comes second
15:19
um the first thing to get right is
15:21
clarity of who we are and what we do
15:24
the second thing to get right is once
15:26
we’ve got that clarity
15:28
aligning everybody to it so
15:31
as an organization grows and and classic
15:35
movement of you know you’re in a small
15:36
startup of three or four or five people
15:38
you’ve all got deep clarity you’ve all
15:39
got deep alignment
15:41
you suddenly start growing and you chuck
15:43
five or ten staff on top
15:45
well no you don’t have alignment because
15:47
now the critical mass
15:49
does not have the clarity you had or you
15:52
have
15:53
and so that alignment piece needs needs
15:56
focus
15:56
and so we built roadmap for
15:58
organizations of many sizes
16:01
to get better at
16:05
alignment and so roadmap is waymaker’s
16:09
solution to the alignment problem yes
16:12
yeah you could call it the arrowhead
16:14
um all things working together if you’re
16:17
building clarity
16:18
if you’re if you’re growing together if
16:22
you’re executing with clarity through
16:24
your okrs
16:26
then you’re they all lead to alignment
16:29
but alignment
16:30
really finds its arrowhead in the
16:31
roadmap module so the three big modules
16:33
of waymaker
16:36
the diagnostic that’s basically do we
16:39
have clarity do we have maturity what
16:41
level
16:42
um what have we got to do that’s going
16:45
to raise a whole bunch of ideas
16:47
the road map is where we start to drop
16:51
those ideas in and
16:53
and the road map is where we begin to
16:56
put a flag on the hill out in time
16:59
but also answer the question the most
17:01
important question
17:03
the question of action in the waymaker
17:04
toolkit what one two or three things
17:06
that if we deliver in the next quarter
17:08
or half
17:09
shift the needle on this organization
17:13
that is the alignment piece what
17:18
most what happens mostly and i as i’ve
17:21
been working with organizations for a
17:23
long time now
17:24
and i’ve done it myself and i’ve
17:25
witnessed in others is
17:28
the organization sets some strategic
17:30
objectives
17:32
and suddenly those big rocks end up on
17:35
the ceo’s shoulders or the cfo’s
17:37
shoulders or the ceo’s shoulders
17:39
or the gm shoulders and really the rest
17:43
of the organization just goes and does
17:44
business as usual
17:46
and they’re kind of like cool we’re back
17:48
to our day job now isn’t that nice
17:50
um johnny smith over there uh
17:53
he’s got that big rock that’s going to
17:55
transform this organization
17:57
um keep going johnny good on you well
17:59
done
18:00
high fives how you going can i buy your
18:02
beer
18:03
meanwhile you know johnny’s like why is
18:06
one person working on
18:07
the one thing that’s going to move the
18:09
needle for
18:10
99 other people and and so
18:13
we get the alignment piece wrong we get
18:16
the strategy bit right this is the thing
18:18
we got to do and then we get the
18:20
alignment bit wrong and so
18:22
so the road map helps people see the one
18:25
two or three things
18:26
but then align self-align or
18:30
instructional alignment
18:31
through your own personal goals to say
18:33
well in my day-to-day
18:35
does my day-to-day support that if so
18:37
how
18:38
does it not support that should i be
18:40
supporting that how do i support that
18:42
because if if it takes a hundred hours
18:45
to shift this organization forward doing
18:47
it
18:47
doing something and one person has to do
18:49
it well that’s a big load
18:51
but if 50 people have to do it well
18:52
that’s a light load
18:54
so the roadmap is is that integral piece
18:57
of alignment
18:59
that’s awesome in the uh not
19:01
not-for-profit sector where
19:02
um i spent a lot of time we would talk
19:04
about this idea between owners and
19:06
heilings
19:07
um this this you know old adage that
19:10
you’re you’re either like a paid worker
19:13
that doesn’t necessarily you know align
19:15
themselves with
19:16
with you know the vision and strategy
19:18
and all the rest of it or
19:19
this is actually this is actually my
19:22
thing this is
19:23
this is something that i own and i have
19:25
a different attitude towards it
19:26
like this owners hirings type thing does
19:28
that kind of like resonate
19:30
in terms of the alignment process like
19:32
we obviously
19:33
don’t want a bunch of owners right yeah
19:36
yeah i think um
19:38
um uh
19:41
this idea of overpowering you no no no
19:44
no
19:46
i mean let’s just press in on that for a
19:47
moment because that’s
19:49
ownership alignment that they’re you
19:51
know they’re complex they’re connected
19:52
um you can’t have one without the other
19:55
um and so you know if you’re there just
19:58
to do job and walk out
20:00
you’re probably not aligned you you’re
20:03
probably
20:03
just picking up your paycheck
20:07
doesn’t mean you’re not doing what
20:08
you’ve been asked to do no
20:10
but does it mean that you’re aligned in
20:13
the sense that something changes around
20:15
me therefore i adapt
20:17
therefore i i move the wind has changed
20:19
so i reset my sail
20:21
my job might say do x but something
20:24
around me is change which requires me to
20:26
do
20:27
x plus y um well hey i did my job
20:31
you know we’ve all experienced that at
20:33
times um
20:34
we’ve probably all done it at times to
20:35
be frank too and so yeah you’re right
20:38
there’s this
20:38
this sense of of ownership piling kind
20:41
of
20:41
um yeah
20:45
it’s not a bad way of dividing the sheep
20:48
and the goats so to speak
20:49
um i think excuse me i think the
20:53
the thing to press on in this is that
20:56
when we’ve worked in teams where the
20:57
majority of that team has a sense of
20:59
ownership
21:01
that the job description is is secondary
21:04
to what’s needed to get done
21:06
and you know i love
21:09
i love military examples because they
21:12
highlight
21:13
um they highlight the need
21:16
um because it’s very real um when
21:20
when you have a team of um of soldiers
21:23
working together
21:24
um if they’re not working together guess
21:25
who dies everyone
21:27
um you know if they are working together
21:30
well guess who survives everyone well
21:32
everyone should and
21:34
and so you you see those um
21:37
those mentalities played out so well i
21:39
think jocko willing
21:40
um i can never pronounce his name right
21:42
he talks about this principle in his
21:44
book extreme ownership
21:46
um a great book if you haven’t read it
21:48
go read it um
21:50
of cover move and the first thing they
21:52
teach a soldier
21:54
is for two people to do cover move you
21:56
know one person shoots while the other
21:57
person moves
21:58
um then you swap and you can two people
22:01
can take over a number of people
22:02
that’s alignment two people working in
22:05
alignment
22:06
doing two different jobs but working
22:08
together getting the job done and that’s
22:10
the big idea here your
22:13
job description might say i’m a soldier
22:15
i shoot
22:17
that doesn’t mean i run well no hang on
22:19
a minute you do what you need to do
22:22
if you stop doing what you’re doing the
22:23
other dude gets shot and what happens
22:25
then well you get shot too
22:26
because you can’t respond so you know
22:28
that i think this idea of alignment
22:31
um is tightly
22:36
integrated with ownership it’s tightly
22:38
integrated with clarity
22:40
it’s tightly integrated with working to
22:43
your skills
22:45
and also your specialties sometimes
22:46
you’ve got to do more than one thing
22:49
and it’s it’s also aligned to
22:52
this idea of exploration we
22:56
when you take the diagnostic in waymaker
22:58
one of the mindsets that we might
23:01
label you as you come out through the
23:03
diagnostic and
23:06
when we talk about a transformative
23:09
mindset
23:10
we have four four mindsets that
23:14
the psychographics will pick up um
23:18
they are explorer dreamer organizer
23:21
or transformer um
23:24
and the mindset of of the dreamer is we
23:27
have big ideas but we never put in place
23:28
anything to help us get
23:29
to get us there the organizer is we
23:33
actually just do like organizing but we
23:35
don’t really have any big ideas so
23:36
you know that’s those two play attention
23:40
and then the other two explorer and
23:41
transformer the explorer mindset is the
23:43
is the is driven by curiosity um that
23:46
youthful adventure
23:47
we’re just going to explore we’re going
23:48
to hack our way forward and the
23:50
transformative mindset
23:52
is that we’ve moved from being youthful
23:55
and maybe hacking our way in alone or as
23:58
a small team
23:59
to now being transformative we can now
24:02
do this as a whole team
24:04
and and so one of the measures of moving
24:05
from explorer
24:07
to transformer is that ability to do it
24:10
with alignment to transform at scale to
24:13
see
24:13
change happen across an organization not
24:16
just in one part does that make sense
24:18
yeah um and i i probably got sidetracked
24:21
there but
24:21
yeah no and i think that you’ve proven
24:23
your point that alignment is
24:25
really important to you so let’s get
24:26
practical
24:28
let’s get practical for a second like
24:30
how would a business leader or team
24:33
like begin to attack this idea of
24:35
alignment
24:36
in their organization i i like the
24:39
example i touched on last podcast
24:41
um and i’ll use this to highlight the
24:44
two narratives
24:44
that example was nasa putting a man on
24:47
the moon
24:48
so um jfk should have a clip of jfk
24:52
saying his famous speech um by the end
24:55
of the decade we will have man on the
24:58
moon
24:58
um that was the vision you know the
25:01
whole country
25:03
got behind this vision that was
25:06
visionary
25:07
we are going to put man on the moon and
25:10
and
25:11
you know in terms of the cost of that
25:13
i’m happy to be proven wrong on this
25:15
number but it was something
25:16
like um i thought it jumped up to
25:20
something like 20 or 25 percent of gdp
25:22
went to this purpose
25:26
so that’s an enormous amount of money in
25:28
the in the us gdp
25:30
um uh i could be wrong happy to have
25:33
somebody prove me wrong on that number
25:34
um but it was something astronomical um
25:38
and the number 25. 25 25 billion
25:42
is 25 okay all right okay so um
25:45
that may be where i was getting either
25:47
way a huge
25:49
amount of time effort capital resource
25:52
across the country went to achieving
25:55
this goal
25:56
and um and that meant it wasn’t just
25:59
nasa working on this
26:00
like all the secondary and tertiary
26:02
industries was going towards this goal
26:05
um the now what’s my point here
26:08
um uh traditionally we attack
26:12
goals like this through traditional
26:14
waterfall approach
26:15
that is that’s our goal let’s work
26:17
backwards that means we’re going to do
26:19
this and then we’re going to do that and
26:20
then we’re going to do that and then
26:21
we’re going to do that
26:22
um the opposite that’s you know very
26:25
tech driven
26:26
and um uh quite hard
26:30
is the agile which is let’s just do what
26:32
we can achieve and let’s not worry too
26:33
much
26:34
about that end goal let’s just make
26:36
what’s relevant and and move our way
26:38
through in agile
26:39
um i’d like to suggest that our roadmap
26:42
works
26:43
um best works with a bit of a hybrid
26:45
approach um
26:47
sort of an 80 20 or a 70 30 however you
26:50
you want to kind of set it up we like
26:52
the idea of the
26:54
the big goal let’s put a man on the moon
26:57
um uh clarification of what that really
27:02
means
27:03
well that’s that’s the big idea but
27:05
actually the reality of that big idea
27:07
wasn’t just put a man on the moon
27:09
it was send a man to the moon have him
27:12
land on the moon in another spaceship
27:15
safely have him get back on that
27:17
spaceship
27:19
connect with another spaceship that’s
27:21
flying around the moon
27:23
and then that connected spaceship fly
27:26
back to earth and land without killing
27:28
man
27:29
does that make sense that’s a big
27:31
difference so
27:33
so the really exciting thing about
27:37
that journey putting man on the moon
27:39
which actually involves sending a man to
27:41
the moon landing him without killing him
27:42
putting back on
27:43
and sending back to earth without
27:44
killing them was that had never been
27:47
done before
27:49
and if we think about that comment i
27:51
made earlier that we’ve got to do
27:52
interesting things we’ve got to lead not
27:54
follow
27:56
then we’ve got to put men on the moon
27:59
and get them back to earth again
28:00
safely so all of the compartments of
28:05
doing that
28:05
with just theory
28:09
it had never been proven once they got
28:13
on the journey
28:15
all they were doing was being aligned
28:19
aligning and calibrating to the next
28:21
step of the journey
28:24
and and and everybody was focused in on
28:26
that
28:28
so it wasn’t like i was the luna landing
28:31
module dude
28:32
and i’ve done my bit um so
28:35
i’m off see you later guys good luck
28:37
with the trip no no no the lunar landing
28:39
module dude
28:40
had developed the lunar landing module
28:43
to land on the moon
28:45
and he was still sticking around making
28:47
sure that his skill set was applicable
28:49
to whatever needed to happen along the
28:50
way
28:51
and whilst this wasn’t the la the the
28:53
man on the moon trip which i think was
28:55
apollo 13
28:56
there’s that famous movie with tom hanks
28:58
and um
29:01
and ed harris the other two names thank
29:02
you ed harris um in harrison his
29:04
waistcoat apollo 11
29:06
where they didn’t put man on the moon
29:09
the
29:10
the the thing had a catas not
29:11
catastrophic but a
29:13
significant failure on the way to the
29:14
moon and they had to
29:16
do their flyby around the moon in a
29:18
broken spaceship and head back to earth
29:20
and the great story out of that
29:23
was how the different teams came
29:25
together to solve the problems
29:27
hour by hour to get man back to earth to
29:30
make it a successful mission
29:32
and that’s kind of what we’re talking
29:33
about here don’t worry about
29:35
the nth degree worry and align to what
29:38
needs to happen in the next short term
29:40
period
29:42
and if we can do that well and
29:44
everybody’s focused on that
29:45
with an understanding of what the big
29:47
idea is and what success looks like
29:50
then who really cares what happens next
29:52
year because we don’t know
29:54
there could be another pandemic there
29:55
could be a bomb drop there could be
29:57
a financial crisis who cares
30:00
what we can do is today next week and
30:03
next month
30:05
let’s focus on that and and let’s
30:08
deliver that successfully so what’s my
30:11
role in that
30:13
then let’s lift our eyes back up to the
30:15
near future does that make sense
30:17
yeah so to summarize you’re saying that
30:19
everyone in the organization
30:21
can contribute to the next step of the
30:23
journey
30:24
yeah yeah that’s where you see alignment
30:26
oh that’s how you begin to see alignment
30:28
where everybody in the organization can
30:30
yeah begin to see it and
30:32
and what i’m saying is um if you just
30:36
uh using the moon example if you if you
30:38
said no my job is just the lunar module
30:42
then you would never contribute to the
30:44
other problems going on around
30:45
the entire journey and and that’s not
30:49
what an align
30:50
team does an align team contributes to
30:53
the whole
30:53
whilst doing their bit and and when
30:57
one part of the team has to go off and
31:00
do something over here another part of
31:01
the team can backfill it’s
31:03
you know everybody uses sporting
31:05
examples um
31:06
i love football proper proper football
31:08
soccer afl
31:11
no i know proper football my friend um
31:14
[Laughter]
31:16
and if you sent 11 men out onto the
31:19
field
31:19
and said um don’t worry um
31:23
just the center forward and just the
31:25
center midfield and just
31:26
the center back um know the game plan
31:29
and the strategy and their align don’t
31:31
don’t worry about
31:32
everybody else well you’re not going to
31:34
have a very good team
31:35
you want your team to understand
31:39
how to play as a team and that means if
31:41
if
31:42
suddenly the game called on everybody
31:44
pulling back in defense
31:46
everybody would pull back in defense um
31:48
it might mean everybody pushing forward
31:51
um to to attack and i i mean i grew up
31:54
as a kid watching premier league
31:55
football and
31:56
excited by the manchester uniteds of the
31:58
world and and there was a goalkeeper in
32:00
the 1990s
32:02
um called schmeichel schmeichel i think
32:05
that’s his name
32:06
a danish guy phenomenal goalkeeper
32:10
he played for manchester united and um
32:13
you know
32:14
his real fame was that uh
32:17
if it was the last few minutes of the
32:19
game
32:20
and they were behind where was he
32:24
he wasn’t in the goals he was actually
32:26
up on the forward line
32:28
and and he scored a goal every now and
32:31
then
32:32
um and what he was doing was he was
32:36
he was playing the role required for the
32:38
moment
32:39
and not playing to his job description
32:42
and
32:42
that’s what team alignment is and so
32:45
many times that
32:46
team got the ball across the line
32:49
why because the other team was kind of
32:52
disoriented
32:54
what’s the goalkeeper doing up here
32:55
what’s going on what’s about to happen
32:56
and they’re distracted
32:58
and they’re suddenly not playing to
33:00
their they’re not aligned
33:01
and the minute they’re not aligned well
33:03
your aligned team will just make
33:04
mincemeat of the others and so even
33:06
though he didn’t score many goals doing
33:08
that
33:09
boy oh boy did he create the chances
33:11
absolutely
33:12
and and that’s what an align team does
33:14
an align team is
33:16
quite happy to do what it takes to get
33:18
the job done in the moment that requires
33:20
it
33:22
that’s excellent peter schmeichel this
33:24
is the guy’s name
33:26
thank you thank you i
33:29
always knew you were a secret prize i
33:31
was yeah that’s right
33:33
yeah so that’s that’s the crux
33:37
the the align team is the team that is
33:39
prepared to do
33:40
what it takes in the moment regardless
33:42
of the job description
33:44
great so so stu ultimately then
33:48
um a ceo business leader
33:52
um they’re listening to this and they’re
33:53
going all right how do i find out if
33:55
i’ve got alignment
33:56
yeah yeah if you don’t have it you know
33:59
so there you go there you go if you
34:02
think you’ve not got it
34:03
you’ve not got it you’ve not got it now
34:05
yeah yeah um
34:06
there’s no bs in your way through that
34:08
so how do i begin to
34:09
start getting it well yeah
34:13
yeah first solution oh yeah we do
34:18
that sounds so cheesy when we do it
34:20
doesn’t it
34:21
um in reality uh look um
34:25
if you’re a business leader a team
34:26
leader and you think you haven’t got it
34:27
and you want to get it
34:28
um start with the way i make a
34:30
diagnostic
34:32
run your team through it it’s like 20 30
34:34
minutes um
34:35
what we’ll drop out will be insights
34:40
you know google for a waymaker coach or
34:42
talk to us
34:43
we’ll put you in touch with with
34:45
advisors
34:46
or help you through that but really
34:50
the first steps is in clarity clarity of
34:53
role clarity of team clarity work going
34:56
but even without a lot of clarity you
34:57
can start to build the alignment piece
34:59
and that alignment piece will come from
35:02
okay where are we going but what matters
35:04
right now
35:05
how do i contribute to that and what are
35:08
other people doing
35:09
and when you know that you have the
35:11
agility
35:13
you have the agility to duck and weave
35:14
it’s like a
35:16
man i mean we’ve um
35:19
i don’t want to demean your reputation
35:21
by me saying we’ve played in some bands
35:23
together
35:25
because it’s just not it’s just not good
35:28
for you dude that is true though
35:30
but it’s like that moment if you’re like
35:35
playing playing some tunes around the
35:37
campfire
35:38
um or playing in a band and you know
35:41
somebody’s doing something
35:42
and the other the other the other
35:44
players are creating the space they’re
35:46
choosing not to play
35:47
or they’re playing something else
35:50
they’re
35:50
they’re filling out the lower end if the
35:52
higher end is is
35:53
is going it there’s that moment where
35:57
people are working together
35:59
um regardless of what the music says to
36:02
make the sound
36:03
that’s alignment and as we take that
36:07
trip down memory lane did i just do it
36:11
it’s probably good no not at all it’s
36:13
probably a good time to uh to wrap this
36:14
one up stew
36:16
probably it’s good talking about
36:17
alignment i’ll go pull out some jazz
36:19
albums
36:20
and um and listen to people doing it
36:21
well um
36:23
yeah um
36:28
uh yeah so jump on waymaker.io uh
36:32
sign up for a free trial take the
36:33
diagnostic
36:35
start to figure out uh how you can best
36:38
get alignment in your organization
36:40
and look this is just one of the ways
36:42
that we can encourage you
36:44
to achieve more by doing less which is
36:46
what we’re talking about here on
36:47
leadershiptalk
36:48
so uh thank you so much for listening
36:50
make sure you subscribe if you haven’t
36:52
already
36:53
and and we’ll talk to you again soon
37:09
[Music]
37:14
you

How to create, keep & grow strategic alignment

Jim Collins and Jerry Para wrote in Built to Last, “Building a visionary company requirements one percent vision and 99 percent alignment…”

Research tells us around 70% of current employees are not fully engaged In the work (GALLUP)

If alignment is so important, why do so few achieve it?

It’s really hard.

It’s complex.

It involves many, many moving and interconnected parts.

Most leaders simply under-estimate the complexity of alignment and under-value the skill set and tool kit to do it.

Listen to the podcast here:

Peter Drucker, one of our heroes of business said, “Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.”

Tom Peters, went on to say, “Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in continuous improvement and constant change”.

Here’s how Waymaker solves the complex puzzle of strategic alignment.

How does Waymaker solve the strategic alignment puzzle?

Alignment is a three cord rope.

strategic alignment is like a three cord rope

1 Align the what to why

The first cord of alignment is alignment in what the business does to why it does it.

That’s a vision aligned with a market problem, which is aligned with strategic position, aligned with a valuable business model, aligned with the right customer experience and the most effective employee experience.

Waymaker does this through the diagnostic process. Each user, every quarter, participates in a short diagnostic for 15 – 25 minutes and the data from the answers reveals the insights on where alignment is weak or strong across the whole business.

Learn Waymaker's Experience Curve

2 Align the what to when

The second cord of alignment is alignment of when the business is going to do things.

That’s alignment in what will shift the needle on the business at what time. What must happen this quarter, this year or next year?

The most important question is, ‘What is going to shift the needle on the business in the next quarter or half?’

Waymaker helps leaders and teams plan and visually see this through the Roadmap within Waymaker.

The Roadmap is a single source of truth in what happened and when. And, in what’s forecast to happen – when and by whom.

In Waymaker, the user can see exactly how far progressed each goal is live to the minute.

Strategic alignment in roadmap

3 Align the what to who

The third cord of alignment is alignment of who is doing what today, this month, this quarter and this year. That’s goal alignment across teams defining who is doing what and when it’s going to get done by.

Waymaker does this through the OKR module. Every user can see the business goals and create their own goals (OKRs) in alignment.

Waymaker will show progress of achievement to date and surface a confidence score of the likelihood of that goal being delivered by the deadline.

goal strategic alignment

How do you know if you have alignment?

It is simple to know if you have strategic alignment.

The right things get done, by whoever needs to do it, regardless of the job description.

That’s when you have alignment.

How does Waymaker help you?

You create, keep and grow all three types of alignment using Waymaker.io

About Waymaker

Waymaker enables strategic alignment on teams of 2 to 2,000.

Waymaker is intelligent strategic alignment software that helps leaders and team achieve more, by doing less.

If you have not yet experienced Waymaker, take a free 30 day trial here.

By <a href="https://waymaker.io/author/stuart-leo/" target="_self">Stuart Leo</a>

By Stuart Leo

Published on May 28, 2021

Stuart is the CEO & Founder of Waymaker. Stuart is a passionate believer in helping people find their organisation's true north and giving them the tools to get them there. When not exploring new ideas in leadership and management, Stuart is with his family exploring the beautiful regions, islands and coast of Australia.

Subscribe to the Waymaker Podcast

Listen to Leadership Torque - The Official Waymaker Podcast
Listen to Waymaker Podcast
Listen to Waymaker Podcast on Spotify
Watch Waymaker on youtube

You may also like…

Waymaker Podcast: How to achieve clarity in your organisations values, principles & behaviours S1:E12

Build clarity, alignment and deliver results through values, principles, beliefs, and behaviours in an organisation.

As you work in organisations, you will be familiar with values and principles. However, there is often a big misunderstanding about what these mean. They are often stuck up on a wall. This week, we are diving deep into this confusing bucket of values, principles, beliefs, and behaviours.

read more
Waymaker Podcast: Lead with Employee Experience S1:E11

Waymaker Podcast: Lead with Employee Experience S1:E11

If you’re leading a team, you will be well versed in hiring employees.

But, are you retaining, growing, keeping and reinventing your team? Is your employee acquisition process effective? Over these few weeks, our podcasts are exploring Waymaker’s seven leadership questions – but, in reverse.

read more

Be a Waymaker