Strategy for software Dummies – part 17
The title for this series of posts is inspired by the extensive series of instructional/reference books, which serve as non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered, or for readers who need a solid brush up. The title doesn’t imply that software CEO’s are Dummies; only that there is a need for a new type of “strategy framework” that produces more than fluff and which can be completed in a very short time.
This post deals with avoiding invisible or suppressed misalignment.
You can find a list of all posts in the series at the end of this post.
The invisible misalignment
As a CEO and/or the member of a management team I am certain that you have experienced the situation, where you have reached agreement on something, but felt that there was still unspoken or suppressed disagreement. It happens all the time in most companies.
I believe that you can only prevent ongoing invisible or suppressed misalignment, by testing team members individual positions from time to time. Doing so, you can bring the misalignment in the open and use the different positions to have a constructive analysis of the situation and find common ground.
ValuePerform is an excellent tool to perform an alignment check on you critical issues such as the company strategy and the priority of the management areas. ValuePerform is a tool to be used every 6-12 months depending on the changes, which have taken place. Adding or replacing members of the management team always call for a new alignment check. Mergers and acquisitions also calls for alignment checks in all important teams.
Alignment and consensus
Is alignment and consensus the same thing? No, alignment only requires that you understand and support a certain strategy and the associated actions required to pursue this strategy. Consensus requires that everybody agree on the strategy and the associated actions. Consensus is much more powerful than nominal alignment. Consensus requires much less control and coordination in the execution phase simply because everybody agree on the objectives and the strategy.
This explains why so many management cultures (especially the Japanese and the Scandinavian) puts a lot of emphasis on consensus. Decision making may be slower, but execution is much faster.
Other posts in this series:
Post #1: Strategy? – oh no, not again!
Post #2: Introducing ValuePerform – a lean approach for strategy analysis and alignment
Post #3: The 6 sources for financial growth
Post #4: Why do management teams disagree?
Post #5: Getting the priorities in place
Post #6: The Customer Value Proposition
Post #7: The Customer Value Proposition TODAY
Post #8: The Customer Value Proposition in the FUTURE
Post #9: The Market Situation
Post #10: ValuePerform and the 15 Management Areas
Post #11: What is important and what is not?
Post #12: How are we performing?
Post #13: Identifying the important and the urgent issues
Post #14: The Action Plan
Post #15: Why does misalignment occur?
Post #16: The price of management misalignment
Post#18: The cost/benefit ratio of ensuring alignment