energizing breakthrough performance

It’s Time to Fire Dilbert: Towards Dynamic Strategic Alignment

Alignment Component No. 1: Strategic Sufficiency

Criteria by which we can judge the Sufficiency of our strategies include an examination of the degree to which a given strategy:

  • Exploits opportunities to conserve resources through expanded involvement by our customers and our partners, i.e., have we explored ways in which achievement of an objective can leverage the resources and talents of another organization(s) to a greater extent than ever before, thereby reducing the need for additional expense?
  • Builds on discrete activities so that they cumulate to greater impact rather than cancelling one another out.
  • Links seemingly disparate activities together to provide new benefits or an expansion of problem-solving capability.
  • Eliminates wasted effort and redundancy.
  • Achieves cost-benefit proportionality, i.e., the importance of the objective served by the strategy and the cost of implementing the strategy are proportional such that costs and benefits reasonably commensurate with one another. Alternately, should a "pilot light" or "minimalist" approach to the objective? Do we run the risk of investing great sophistication and attempts at perfection for an objective that is relatively unimportant?
  • Builds on existing strengths in a realistic manner and does so without enfeebling existing strengths where it would be ill-advised to do so.
  • Builds on realism concerning weaknesses that would impede achievement of the objective and spells out an approach which compensates the weakness through a strategic alliance, partner or contractor, or corrects it by direct and appropriate application of resources.
  • Arrays people, organization, technology, and budget so that implementation is feasible.

Numerous other templates are useful in discovering whether you are approaching alignment. Is there are porous fit among the organizational components within the organization? Is there strong fit among the roles, responsibilities, and interfaced transactions of the organization, its customers, its partners and suppliers?

Is there good fit among the investment of resources and the stage of maturity in the product/service life cycle? Hey, Bob Dylan once wrote, "those not busy being born are busy dying." Are we investing in that which is being born rather than in that which is dying?

Similarly are we majoring in the majors and minoring in the minors? By this I mean are we investing time and energy in planning a future for areas that are the most important rather than polishing the rock of that which is admittedly imperfect but relatively unimportant?

These "matching principles" of strategy are essential to sound strategic alignment and what is intended by the term, strategic sufficiency.

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