In any organisation one of the hardest things is to make sure people "walk the talk": to make sure staff actually do things that the organisation says are its priority.
Aligning day to day activities with values and strategies is an essential part of executing a plan.
In Managing Alignment as a Process (HBS Working Knowledge) the authors describe eight alignment checkpoints for an organization to monitor during the annual planning process.
- Enterprise value proposition: The corporate office defines strategic guidelines to shape strategies at lower levels of the organization.
- Board and shareholder alignment: The corporation's board of directors reviews, approves, and monitors the corporate strategy.
- Corporate office to corporate support unit: The corporate strategy is translated into those corporate policies that will be administered by corporate support units.
- Corporate office to business units: The corporate priorities are cascaded into business unit strategies.
- Business units to support units: The strategic priorities of the business units are incorporated in the strategies of the functional support units.
- Business units to customers: The priorities of the customer value proposition are communicated to targeted customers and reflected in specific customer feedback and measures.
- Business support units to suppliers and other external partners: The shared priorities for suppliers, outsourcers, and alliance partners are reflected in business unit strategies.
- Corporate support: The strategies of the local business support units reflect the priorities of the corporate support unit.