This Organizational Goal Alignment process assists in aligning teams with organizational goals, and, importantly, ensuring each person in the organization has a specific contribution to make to the business' success.
This process works best, if it starts at the most senior level of the organization and filters its way throughout the entire organization. However, if you are not in a position to get your senior leadership to use a process such as this, simply use the process within your team from the KPIs that you have been given for your team. This will still ensure that your team members are all working together and aligned toward common goals.
Step One: Set the Priority for The Year
The senior leadership team meet for a "Direction Setting" session, to decide the organization's priority for the coming year.
Depending upon the size of your organization, this senior leadership team is generally the CEO and his or her direct reports.
Their objective is to decide the one single focus, which if every person in the organization was working toward, would enable the organization to be massively successful this particular year.
Examples of organization priority that might come from the "Direction Setting" session are:
- Build Market Place Awareness
- Improve Customer Satisfaction
- Increase Market Share by 10%
As you can see these are very broad. They are simply meant to communicate the theme for the year. The nuts and bolts measures come further down the process.
Do make sure that there is only ONE theme that is the focus for the year.
It will be easiest for you to understand this process if we use an example. So let's assume, for this example, that the company is a consulting firm. Let's say that following their senior leadership's "Direction Setting" session, it was decided that the organization's priority for the year is to "Increase EBIT by $1,000,000.
Step Two - Choose The Organizational Focus Buckets
With the organizational priority decided, the next step is to decide upon the organizational focus.
This is where you decide the big 'buckets', that the entire organization must focus on. The activities that will that support the priority of Increasing EBIT by $1,000,000.
Normally, these big buckets are also decided by the senior leadership team (and generally, in the Direction Setting session) because of the cross-functional perspective that this group of leaders has.
In our example, the senior leadership decided the organization focus would be in the following core areas. The idea being, that these are the five areas, they believe will give the best ROI, if the entire organization is focused upon them.
Best practice is to keep these focus areas to less than five. Any more than this and you run the risk of a scattered focus which can undermine your effectiveness.
Step 3 - Establish The Departmental Focus
Now, with the organizational focus buckets in place, it is time for each Division Head to hold a "Goal Alignment" meeting with his or her leadership team.
Depending upon your organization size, this is often the people that report directly to the Division Head. E.g. if the Division Head is the Manufacturing Director, the attendees at this meeting would be the various Focus Factory Managers.
Or if the division head is the H.R Director, it might be the Head of Training, Head of Recruitment, Head of Compensation.
The intent of this meeting is that these middle tier managers decide how, as a division, they will support the organizational priority and focus areas.
Under each of the 5 organizational focus areas, the Division Head and his or her team identify one or two areas which, if they can improve their performance, will have a significant positive impact on delivering to the priority of $1,000,000 EBIT.
It is not unusual for the charts for each department to be quite dissimilar. For example,
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