The Power of One

Achieving the alignment that leads to enterprise value

With a strategy in place, the leadership team can now begin confidently to execute the strategy. In Good to Great, Collins notes that great companies that execute well have disciplined people, thought, and action. How does a functional team align around these disciplines? First, it begins with a commitment to a regular meeting rhythm, the hub of the interdependence between functional teamwork and a clear strategy. Solving problems, working through conflict, and working together on important business issues is how teams practice teamwork and build morale. Moreover, meetings are how organizations get work done; they are the vehicles for leveraging the team’s collective intelligence, watching trends, confronting ugly truths, and monitoring results. They are the gears that drive alignment. Imagine a team that only comes together to debate and discuss business once every four or five months. It is virtually impossible for that team to ensure it works on the right things, stays committed to decisions, holds itself accountable, and delivers high performance. Indeed, chaos and silos are the more likely result.

Second, as Collins writes, the leadership team should “preserve the core and stimulate progress.” This means the leadership team must engage in disciplined thought around market risks, key business decisions, and opportunities to innovate products or processes. Innovation requires a team to collaborate on the current position of the business and what needs to be done to achieve the future goal. Innovation also requires high quality debate as well as a careful allocation of resources – time, talent, and finances – to pursue the right kind of innovation.

Finally, setting clearly-defined short-term, mid-term, and long-term priorities is critical to disciplined execution. For one thing, goal setting provides a clear link to the operating strategy and demonstrates progress toward fulfilling the vision. For another, setting and achieving goals, especially in a collaborative culture, keeps team spirits high and fosters strong commitment to future goals. Most importantly, setting and achieving goals is both cause and evidence for the alignment of the leadership team. It is one more way to reach clarity, work together, and build a performance mindset.

A Process in Motion: Alignment to Build Enterprise Value
A highly functional team with a strong leader, a clear and compelling strategy, and the discipline to execute that strategy is the recipe for creating strong business results. And, the research does link great teamwork, strong collaboration, and disciplined execution. Sustained alignment, once achieved, is not guaranteed. It requires continued diligence in the areas of teamwork, strategy, and execution. The rewards include improved business results, increased organizational and leadership capabilities, reduction of unnecessary turnover, and greater enterprise value.

One team, one voice, one direction – it’s the power of one.

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Susan M. Diehl

Susan M. Diehl

Partner and Advisor

Susan Diehl is a is a partner with Trinitas Advisors, an executive coaching firm that helps business leaders build the leadership alignment they need to win more, grow faster and succeed longer. She can be contacted at susan@trinitasadvisors.com.