Aligning Organization and Strategy in 5 Simple Steps
Jan 17 2023

Let’s start by thinking about the two organizations A and B.

The following procedures were used to construct Organization A:

Step 1: Develop a business plan

Step 2: Form an organization to implement the plan

However, Organization B was established by taking the subsequent actions:

First, establish an organization.

Step 2 is to develop a business plan around it.

Which company do you anticipate will be successful? You’ll have to read the story to find out, I guess.

We’ll go over the five methods for aligning your organization and strategy in this post. You’ll also discover whether the organization or the strategy should come first, as was already mentioned.

1. Recognize the difference between capability and competence

You should comprehend the concepts of competency and capacity if you wish to align your organization with strategy.

You see, competence is a personal matter. For example, a skilled product designer can develop a new app that becomes popular. Additionally, a skilled marketing executive can plan a marketing campaign that propels a company to new heights.

On the other hand, the capability is a quality of an organization. An organization is either able to carry out a specific strategy or it isn’t—that it’s simple. An organization now requires people with a variety of abilities to be competent in implementing strategy.

Therefore, create an organization around the plan rather than the other way around. To further comprehend this, let’s look at an illustration. I’m sure everyone has heard of Amazon. Heck, chances are good that you’ve recently placed an order on Amazon if you’re reading this. Anyway, let’s talk about their corporate approach.

The business emphasizes the convenience of internet shopping. Through Amazon, customers may order anything, including a laptop and a pair of shoes. The business needs a variety of “competencies” to become “capable” of such a remarkable performance. Examples include advertising, product design, user experience design, website management, data engineering, and many more. If Amazon intends to sell every item online, the company will need to hire qualified personnel with the necessary qualifications. Something that they already do very well.

KEY LESSONS

You should be aware of the distinction between capability and competency. Competence is a personal trait, whereas capability is a quality of an organization.

Each team member should understand how their work aids in executing the organization’s plan.

Leaders should help juniors wherever necessary while putting a new plan into action.

Implementation of a strategy may need to be improved by outdated company culture and values. This needs to be examined, and any obstacles need to be removed.

It can be very beneficial to use change management models like ADKAR, Lewin’s Model, and Kotter’s 8-Step Model.

2. Make sure everyone is aware of their role in the strategy

The phrase “strategy implementation” may imply that it solely applies to organizations and not to people. But you need to get everyone on the same page if you want to align your organization with your plan. Each team member needs to be aware of how they are contributing, whether they are the CEO or the graphic designer.

Take Amazon as an example once more. The goal of Amazon’s business strategy is to be a one-stop shop where customers can find all of their needs met. We’ve previously talked about that. However, this cannot be done by one person or even one team. Numerous teams and cross-functional leadership will be required. Every team member must utilize their abilities and competencies to the utmost extent because of this.

For instance, the customer service team handling customer inquiries needs to understand its position within the corporate strategy. Amazon must respond politely and quickly to all customer inquiries if it wants to be a one-stop shop. The customer service team needs to keep in mind that if a customer is dissatisfied, they may choose another e-commerce website.

Similarly to this, the website development team has to understand how their efforts support Amazon’s strategic objectives. So they must constantly check that the website is responsive, loads quickly (less than three seconds), and is mobile-friendly.

3. Leaders must offer encouragement

The successful implementation of a plan depends on each team member doing their assigned duties. Truth be told, not everyone possesses leadership qualities, particularly junior workers. You may add, “Every employee must contribute to the strategic success of the organisation.” But in practice, it’s a leader’s responsibility to provide the procedures and organizational framework necessary to do this.

Therefore, managers should upskill staff members who lack the knowledge or experience necessary to contribute to the organization’s plan. And the leadership group needs to be on board for this to happen. Employees frequently hold back from speaking up out of concern that they may be mocked or fired. Implementing a new approach in particular might be ruined by cultivating a culture of fear. Because of this, managers need to make sure their team is taking care of their needs. Leaders must provide encouragement at every stage, whether it involves work distribution, dispute resolution, or training.

4. Examine organizational culture and look for any obstacles.

Wait if you’re trying to convince your company to adopt a plan in which you have complete confidence. You know, any approach seems intriguing when it’s written down. It resembles a fresh voyage with unknowable results. But keep in mind that your team will accompany you on the road. Additionally, how they do business and their principles can have an impact on how well a plan is implemented.

Let’s look at an illustration.

A new plan that Company A wishes to put into action is to launch a new product line every three months. But up until this point, the business has only sold one kind of product. This is due to the company’s traditional, risk-averse, and obedient values.

Now, if the business wishes to align itself with the new plan, that will be an issue. Highly attentive people could be reluctant to introduce new items every three months. How can the compliant followers object if the leaders want to stick with conventional goods?

However, this can be altered. Let’s talk about it in the next section.

5. Modify the Values and Processes that Are No Longer Important

You’ll need to modify outdated procedures as you align your firm with a new strategy. As you develop and try to implement new strategies, you’ll need to add fresh approaches to your job. Naturally, it’s easier said than done. However, there are a number of frameworks you might apply to bring about fresh modifications.

The first of them is known as the ADKAR Change Management Model, which stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. As the name says, raising awareness of a change is the first step toward it. After inspiring a desire for change, it is then necessary to educate and train staff members on the new procedures. 

But simply having knowledge is insufficient; what counts is your ability to put it to use. Making staff “able” to use the new information is the fourth step, which follows Knowledge. The final step is to normalize the new methods of operation and reinforce them.

If changes are a significant component of the execution of a plan, Lewin’s Change Management Model is another intriguing paradigm to utilize. This paradigm has three steps: Unfreeze, Change, and Refreeze. The “unfreeze stage” refers to encouraging employees to adapt by outlining the benefits of change and why it is necessary. In the second stage, Change, new operational procedures, standards, and values are implemented. The Refreeze stage refers to reaffirming the new values and processes.

We have now concluded this article. Aligning your company with a new strategy can be a difficult undertaking. Therefore, rather than the other way around, it is preferable to create an organization around a plan. However, keep in mind that change is achievable if you’re trying to incorporate new methods into an organization that already exists. You can affect change, maybe by utilizing any of the change models discussed above. Want to learn more about change management? The Top 3 Change Management Models is a great article to read next. This article also includes Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model, which is extensively discussed in addition to ADKAR and Lewin’s model.

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