5 Reasons Most Strategic Alignment Fails | Paradigm Learning

5 Reasons Most Strategic Alignment Fails

Posted by Paradigm Learning on December 21, 2017

More than 65% of organizations have a strategic initiative.

Yet, only 14% of employees actually understand their organization’s initiative.

Beyond that, less than 10% of all organizations successfully execute the initiative.

Setting a goal and establishing an initiative are the easy parts. The true challenge is inserting real people into the picture — getting them to understand how their daily decisions and actions directly affect the success of their organization.


Without aligned people, strategy is destined for failure. Here’s why it’s so hard to get people on the same page:


1. Lack of clarity in the messaging

The message from senior leadership might change as it cascades down through various layers of management. Just like the game “telephone”, we played as kids. The more people conveying the message, the more it changes. It is important that the message is captured and disseminated to the people exactly as senior leadership intended.


2. “What’s in it for me?” mentality

Employees often can’t see what’s in it for them. You can’t just tell employees that a change is coming. You must help them understand the change and what makes it important. You need their commitment for the initiative to succeed.


3. Missing the big picture

Few employees can connect how their individual jobs fit into an overall initiative. More often than not, it takes a collaborative learning environment to help people understand how their role contributes to the larger initiative.


4. Detachment

People may be unaware of the factors that can create misalignment. It’s important for people to self-discover the process of change during an initiative and the emotions associated with the change. Connecting people to change is easier than forcing people to change.


5. Change > People

It all boils down to CHANGE. Change is always about people, and people are always resistant to change. Strategic alignment allows organizations to tackle initiatives that change how people think and act. But putting change before people is no different than putting the cart before the horse.


Strategic alignment allows organizations to tackle initiatives that change how people think and act. In the end, it doesn’t work unless people understand what is driving the change, where the business is going, and how they fit into the picture of success.

See strategic alignment in action - Read Lockheed Martins's Client Story!

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