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Organizations are created for a purpose. Most have a plan which describes what the organization is intended to accomplish. Usually referred to as the organization’s strategy or business plan, many companies spend a great deal of time and energy, and often considerable consultant time, developing formal detail concerning what the company is about and what it wants to accomplish.
Developing a strategy and implementing a strategy are two different activities and, unfortunately, it is in implementation that most companies experience the greatest problems. Part of this problem can be traced to confusing the implementation of strategic intent with the routine of running daily operations.
Properly implementing a strategy is first and foremost about aligning the organization around the strategy, and then maintaining that alignment and focus while dealing with demands and details of daily operations. Initial alignment of an organization around a strategy is an intensive and broad- based effort. Done correctly, organizational alignment is a systemic and systematic process that is initially a considerable addition to daily operations. This activity is about ensuring that the processes, structures, procedures, tools, work flows, measurements, tracking systems, reward systems, and staff and management behavioral norms are all in alignment with each other and operating in support of the strategic intent.
Once the initial alignment is in place, routine maintenance of this alignment becomes part of daily management across the organization. However, without that initial alignment, daily management often becomes a series of reactions to get through the day with little to no direct tie to the strategic intent. Managing daily operations, particularly in this modern environment of lean staffing and rapid response, is a full-time job that leaves little to no time for a systemic and systematic review of how the organization operates as whole – which is what is required when initially aligning an organizational system around any specific strategy.
Vector Group’s consultants are experts at facilitating organizational alignment. We work with the organization’s management directly, taking on many of the initial alignment tasks. This allows internal management to maintain their primary focus upon the daily requirements and commitments of the organization while still assuring the implementation of changes necessary to better achieve the strategy.
When Vector consultants finalize alignment activities, the organization is left with a strategy actively in play and a management group that is fully knowledgeable about their responsibilities and required daily behaviors, to maintain strategic intent while running daily operations.