how aligned is your organization?

brand-as-business bit:  In response to a recent post on strategy, Dr. Marco de Haas CEO of S-ray Diagnostics and professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam shared with me a tool that he has developed to facilitate organizational alignment around strategy.  The diagnostic tool, S-ray Alignment Scan, visually maps and objectively quantifies which organizational units are aligned and which ones are misaligned with the strategy.

The tool uses survey data collected via a dedicated web portal to produce an image like the below:

Every bubble on the map represents an organizational unit, like a business unit, management team, or operational department. All bubbles are nicely arranged in the green area of strong alignment around the bubble of the top management team (TMT), which typically serves as the alignment point of reference.  The figure shows a case of strong strategic alignment (0,89 score on an alignment scale that ranges from 0 to 1) of the total organization with the business strategy.

If your organization is not aligned, the tool shows the non-alignment in an image like the below:

The bubbles on the map are literally drifting away from the bubble of the top management team, which as the point of reference is positioned in the centre of the green area. Some bubbles are even drifting towards the red area of misalignment, meaning that these organizational units hold opposing strategic views.

I can see how such a straightforward visual would:

  • produce clarity about the degree of alignment, or lack thereof, within an organization (an understanding which can often elude leaders)
  • facilitate productive conversations about the sources and barriers to alignment, by providing an objective diagnosis
  • enable leaders to focus on the areas which are the most out of alignment

And this tool could be used to assess alignment with overall organizational strategy, as well as regional alignment in a multi-national corporation, and even alignment of  brand touchpoints.  Pretty cool!

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