Communication & Alignment

Need An Alignment?

When I think about the term alignment, it usually conjures images of letting go of the steering wheel while driving along an open road. If the car is aligned properly, it will stay straight. If not, the car will veer to one side or the other in a manner that without correction, could yield catastrophic results.

A few months ago, I attended a terrific presentation by Edgar Papke hosted by Vistage International on the topic of alignment. Essentially he offers a model that stresses the alignment of purpose, leadership, and culture in order to win in today’s hyper-competitive climate. It’s not only great advice in terms of leadership and business strategy, but also essential to effective communication.

While there are many companies which are criticized for saying one thing and doing another, such disconnects are often either unintentional or victim of what I would regard as priority hierarchy. In such a case for example, a multi-national PR agency may exclaim the virtues of collaboration, selling clients true global capability because of its seamless cross office collaboration. Unfortunately, when times get tough, individual offices can become stingy with their revenues. General managers don’t want to give up revenue to another office and, as a result, seamless collaboration takes a back seat. It doesn’t mean the agency isn’t committed to working together, it’s just that collaboration falls down the priority list during lean times and the client pays the price.

More problematic however is misalignment that’s more subtle. It isn’t that your car has a mechanical problem, it’s that you as the driver gets distracted reading a billboard or changing a radio station, only to discover how quickly your path has changed. It may be unintentional, but just as dangerous.

As a leader or communication professional in your organization, how do you make sure everyone’s keeping their eyes on the road? We’d love to hear your thoughts?

Category: Communication & Alignment Leadership


About the Author: Leo Bottary

Leo J. Bottary is an adjunct professor for two of Seton Hall University's graduate level programs in strategic communication and leadership.  Leo has enjoyed a 25-year career counseling leaders in the areas of strategic comm…

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