The Case for Better Alignment

single hand of drowning man in sea asking for helpIn my work, I have seen the impact of poor alignment. If the people in a business are not aligned with the values and vision of the organization, you often see the majority of people actually pulling in a direction different from the vision, or not pulling at all.

Organizations with high engagement and trust have nearly all people pulling in the direction set by the collaborative efforts of the group’s key people, but how can you tell if your organization is truly in alignment?

I read a great blog article today on Triple Crown, the site for my friends Bob and Gregg Vanourek. It contained two checklists for whether your organization is in or out of alignment .

The assessment that Bob and Greg share below is a wonderful way to get a quick gut check on the health of your organization. Try their test and see how you come out.

Here is their article (reprinted with permission):

Are you working more but enjoying it less? Stressed out? Overloaded? Does it feel like things are slipping out of control?

These conditions are becoming “the new normal” for leaders today; they also indicate that your organization is out of alignment:

• People are working at cross-purposes
• Turf wars break out between departments
• Everyone is criticizing or blaming everyone else
• People seem resigned to the chaos
• Many check out mentally

How can you tell if your organization is out of alignment? Here are two checklists with the key indicators.

Answer Yes or No to the questions on the checklist that best describes the circumstances of your organization.

Checklist 1: Organizations in a Downward Spiral

1. Your profitability is lagging your peers and prior years.
2. Your revenue growth is lagging your peers and goals.
3. You are losing critical, long-term customers.
4. You new product innovation is behind the curve.
5. Your cost structure is creeping out of control.
6. Your employees are not engaged.
7. You keep hearing complaints of too many top priorities.
8. You are losing key talent.
9. Your suppliers and business partners are not helping you resolve your challenges.
10. Your workload and stress are at all-time highs.

If you answered “yes” to four or more of these questions, your organization is out of alignment.

Checklist 2: Organizations in Upward Chaos

1. You are growing so rapidly that you can’t keep up with the demand.
2. The quality and customer service you deliver are being heavily criticized.
3. Key customers who tried your products or services have now ordered elsewhere.
4. Product development is caught between fixing bugs and releasing new models.
5. Your costs of fixing problems are outstripping your base cost structure.
6. You are losing critical executive talent.
7. Your employee attrition rate is high.
8. You are hiring and promoting in shotgun fashion or breakneck pace and paying the price with lots of painful mistakes.
9. You keep hearing complaints of too many top priorities.
10. Your workload and stress are at all-time highs.

If you answered “yes” to four or more of these questions, your organization is out of alignment.

Most executives know one of the keys to sustained high performance is having an aligned team. Unfortunately, too few leaders know the steps to take to get there.

Triple Crown Leadership reveals a proven 10-step process for alignment. If you want practical steps for aligning your team, request our free white paper, “Collaborative Alignment: A Transformational Leadership Process,” through an email to, and sign up on our website to receive our blog and monthly newsletter.

Core Concept: Effective executives proactively monitor early warning signals to make sure their organization isn’t out of alignment.

Offer: If you want a free, no-obligation consultation on addressing your alignment challenges, contact us at We’ll set up a half-hour call with the first few to request it.

Bob and Gregg Vanourek, father and son, are co-authors of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations, winner of the 2013 International Book Awards (Business: General). Twitter: @TripleCrownLead

7 Responses to The Case for Better Alignment

  1. Tom Brady says:

    A Case for Alignment make a Case for Cultural Measurement. I have been using a Cultural Values Assessment from The Values Centre ( since it’s inception in 1998.
    This assessment answers three basic questions:

    1. How does our culture stack up against high-performing cultures?

    2. What are the sources of cultural entropy (limiting values) that limit our organizational effectiveness and employee engagement?

    3. What are the levers we can use to efficiently & consciously create our desired high performing culture?

    You then apply this knowledge to orchestrate a cultural change process which starts when the leader’s values change, to leader’s behavior change, to the values of the organization change, to the behaviors of the organization change.

    By doing so you address both checklists through culture change – a more permanent solution, assuming you build this assessment into your organizational scorecard.

  2. Sherri Rogers says:

    This will be helpful

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