Archive for November, 2012

Mostly Aligned

Bonus points for delegating! Delegation is a crucial component of true organizational alignment. In my experience, leadership is most effective when is has “a top down viewpoint balanced with a bottom up perspective.” Complicated sounding, right? What I mean by that is leadership must strive daily to keep the organization in alignment, with a keen understanding of the workloads, demand influences, and market realities that impact their teams. These all have to be addressed daily with new directions given in concise instructions that can be passed down through the organizational hierarchy in a way such that the man or woman who must deliver on the instruction does so with the same passion and exuberance for the brand as the ones at the top.

Managers are to first “Protect and Serve” their direct reports – and delegation is only effective if the workers believe that. Executives are to first listen to those Managers and empower them with the authority to execute – helping them to understand their viewpoint and be receptive to task ownership. They must work together to balance the weights of the business future with the necessities of all those who are responsible for delivering it. Effective delegation is an art form rarely taught by leadership, seldom well-communicated through an organization, and most often the cause of good companies never getting beyond the “mostly aligned” stage of their business. I spend many hours with executives and leadership teams discussing these very issues because they know that the “mostly aligned” will never achieve greatness.