Overcoming barriers to strategic alignment

Our article discusses overcoming the barriers to strategic alignment and how moving away from traditional tools and methods, towards innovative approaches and new technology solutions can help organisations successfully execute a new strategy in an ever-changing business environment.

We are delighted that Harvard Business recently published its excellent White Paper “Why Strategic Alignment Matters-And How to Achieve It”. The Paper, written by Melina Antypas and Janice Miller, gets to the heart of why strategic alignment matters and exactly what organisations and their senior leaders need to work at to successfully execute their strategies. 

The subject of alignment is no stranger to UNTAP by EXM.  UNTAP's CEO, Juan Manrique, recognizes that for a business to successfully execute its strategy, it needs it to align with both senior management and the rest of the organisation to shape a winning culture. This coupled with the need for a solution that helps define, communicate and control the execution of a business strategy around 'value-creation' and helps overcome common challenges when delivering on a Business Plan, are the reasons he developed EXM Strategy Execution Solution.

For leaders looking to gain the maximum value from their business strategy and bridge the gap between strategy and execution in their organizations, EXM suggests a 9 step process, the first of which is align. This is reaffirmed in the White Paper that states

“Regardless of the nature and direction of a strategic change an organisation wants to make, senior leaders throughout the organisation must be aligned with it.”

Barriers to Strategic Alignment

Why do so few enterprises manage to achieve strategy alignment?

Among the reasons cited in the Paper include inconsistent messages about the transformation at hand and failure to co-ordinate across units in the organisation, as well as reliance on the traditional approaches such as meetings or roadshows.

So how can organisations breakdown these barriers and move away from traditional methods to more modern approaches and use technology to achieve real strategic alignment and execution?

According to the study

“To successfully execute a new strategy in today’s fast-changing business landscape, organisations must accelerate the pace of building critical senior-level alignment and ownership around the strategy’s vision, goals and approach to change. Only then can they cascade the new strategy down to every level and out to every corner in the organisation.”

Innovative approaches

Use of technology

Modern technology that has the power to translate a paper-based business strategy into a digital, executable format can transform the way that leaders and senior management align, orchestrate and maximise their organisations strategy.

New cloud-based solutions, such as UNTAP by EXM, get people aligned behind the challenges and opportunities that will come with the new strategy, empowering and motivating them to deliver value and make a difference.  EXM is designed for both CEO's and Portfolio Managers to drive execution and deliver an organisational strategy that creates value

Training from external experts

The Paper found that one of the best approaches to strategic alignment is to engage leaders by delivering cutting-edge thinking from industry experts and Thought-Leaders, such as Jeroen De Flander, about topics relevant to their organisations unique situation.

Jeroen de Flander, is a Strategy Execution Thought-Leader and Chairman of the Institute for Strategy Execution (I4SE). I4SE is the global accreditation body for strategy execution practitioners offering training and workshops for individuals looking to boost their strategy execution skills, obtain a certification or gain the necessary skills to execute a business strategy. Jeroen de Flander, is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy execution and a highly-regarded keynote speaker. He has shared the stage with prominent strategists like Michael Porter and reached out to 33,500+ leaders in 40+ countries.

EXM is delighted to partner with I4SE championing strategy execution around the globe.

7 ways to achieve strategic alignment

  1. Build ownership around the strategy's vision
  2. Cascade the strategy throughout the organisation
  3. Develop strategic agility
  4. Explore new technologies
  5. Consult external experts
  6. Draw on internal expertise
  7. Leaders become teachers

Don't leave your strategy to chance

For organisations in all industries today, strategic alignment has never been more essential – or more challenging to achieve. There’s no time to waste. With potent forces reshaping the business landscape at ever-faster speed, the need for strategic agility is paramount and organisations can’t afford to leave strategy to chance.

Those organisations who take an innovative approach to strategy alignment, execution and control will stay ahead of their competitors rather than merely struggling to keep up.

What Next?

Is your organisation's value-creation & strategy planning process as efficient as it could be?

The reality is that according to Harvard Business Review “Companies realize only 40-to-60 percent of their business strategies’ potential value”

Here at UNTAP by EXM we believe that execution excellence is the basis of value-creation for organisations and individuals.  Are you ready to translate your Company's strategy into an executable ‘Value-Creation Plan'?  Why not download our brochure today to learn more.

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