Three phases of strategic alignment
See where your organisation is today, set direction for the future, discover misalignments of practice and purpose
Work through today's limitations to bring crucial activities into line with your ambition, for visible, near-term results
Align culture – including leadership and people, systems and resources – with business purpose, for enduring excellence
This mini version of the Help / Hinder review is a ‘taster’ that allows organisations to understand the most pressing risks of misalignment, and see how these affect engagement. We run the survey and write up the results – the whole exercise can be completed within around one month and gives a cost-effective way of road-testing how we at Marble Brook work. [Read More]
Helps / Hinders Review
This survey reveals what aspects of the organisation are helping or hindering excellence. We ask each employee to evaluate systems, resources, leadership and the actions of colleagues. We also ask the person to rate his or her engagement and willingness to ‘go the extra mile’. This snapshot survey gets everyone involved and helps set direction for organisational realignment. Focus groups with volunteers then allow us to gather more information on the main concerns. [Read More]
Pre-Deal Risk Evaluation
The Pre-Deal Risk Evaluation allows private equity firms to go beyond the financials and understand how well a prospective asset is set up to generate returns. Similar to the Helps / Hinders Review but – with fewer open-ended questions – faster to complete, this instrument reveals employee engagement levels and how well aligned the company is to its business purpose. The results of this evaluation may be used in the due diligence process as well as for creating an action plan after deal execution.
Define the 'Aligned' Culture
Any organisation keen to make more of a difference for employees, customers and shareholders needs a strong culture – accepted ways of thinking and doing – where day-to-day practice is aligned with business purpose. A benchmark for excellent performance is needed. Based on survey and other data, the senior team then sets out its ‘aspirational’ or target culture, in the form of (usually) a vision / mission and a set of work principles or ‘values’. Employees (as many as possible) provide feedback so the concepts and language can be refined. We structure this process, facilitate consensus and advise on best practice and communication. Our aim is to help not just senior management but all members of the organisation ‘own’ the vision, which evolves through a bottom-up process that secures buy-in and commitment.
Plan Alignment Initiatives
Senior management sets direction and priorities. Middle managers and those with hands-on roles flesh out the steps toward an excellent workplace. We create ‘expert streams’ to deal with various priorities such as process and policy, communication, leadership and rewards. We bring a structure and process to involve many people as well as keep the work on track. This bottom-up approach benefits from the knowledge of many employees, encourages ownership and accelerates realignment.
The initial implementation phase – we challenge and support people to start realigning practice and purpose. The aim is – in short order – to make valuable improvements to how work is done. Enthusiasm rises. These enhancements also make ‘the organisation’ easier to work with – business outcomes begin to improve as teams unlock their potential. Our role is help people see and overcome road-blocks, advise on best practice and ensure agreed progress.
Initiate Culture of Alignment
Culture is deaf to what managers say – changes take time as work practices do not evolve overnight. As with the quicker ‘wins’ of near-term connections, we facilitate multi-discipline teams to structure the effort into manageable chunks. We help identify ‘champions’ of a culture of greater alignment. Teams begin to optimise process and systems; consider evolving customer needs; agree what the new culture means for people – restructuring, recruitment, training, appraisal and rewards. Again, we facilitate, challenge, support and monitor the health and effectiveness of the programme.
Align People with the Evolving Culture
When cultures change, so the organisation makes fresh demands of its people. Individuals often have to undergo significant changes to be effective in the new environment. We are skilled in mentoring senior executives as well as facilitating the development of teams. We help people to explore what they might do to fit in with – and be effective within – the new culture of alignment, referencing the organisation’s commitment to long-term business excellence.