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05-21-19

WHAT DOES TEAM MEAN?

jazz band

A lot has been written about teamwork.

Teamwork is the foundation of alignment.

But many people have never been on a high-performance team, thus they do not have a real framework or experience base to work from. They don’t really know what “team” means.

In addition, there are many kinds of teams:

A crew team is a homogeneous group. Each member has a virtually identical build and an identical skill-set. There is only One Team, and they must work in perfect harmony in order to win. They are all—quite literally—in the same boat!

A golf team is a loose collection of individuals, all playing their own games. The team wins if enough people win their individual matches. However, it is possible for an individual player to win the individual trophy, yet have their team lose the match.

An improvisational jazz band is a different kind of team altogether. There is no conductor, no playbook, no scoreboard, no trophy, no match to win or lose, and no coxswain to keep everyone synchronized. Yet, the musicians demonstrate amazing teamwork.

A football team is a highly interdependent group of diverse players. Each player has very specialized skills. While there are sub-teams—offense, defense, and special teams—there is only one winner at end of the game. They win or lose as a team.

In 2015, retired General Stanley McChrystal discussed the complexity of sub-teams in his book, Team of Teams. In many companies, the real issue is that people are aligned with their “sub-team” but are not aligned with the other teams or with corporate.

  • The Boston office is tight, but they don’t get along with the New York office.
  • The marketing team is tight, but they don’t get along with sales.
  • The corporate finance team is tight, but they don’t get along with the divisions.
  • The European team is tight, but they don’t get along with the Americans.
  • The Democrats are tight, but they don’t get along with the Republicans.

People tend to get along with their immediate group. Their function. Their local office. Their clan. Their tribe. But they fight with people who are not part of their group.

So, as you embark on the journey to improve alignment, perhaps you should start by answering One Simple Question, “What does ‘team’ mean?”

Learn more about creating One Team

05-14-19

HOW YOUR OPERATING MODEL IMPACTS ALIGNMENT

BlueprintCompanies operate in many ways. Some are highly centralized, others are highly decentralized.

Your corporate operating model is a key factor in deciding how to create alignment.

The following list is not meant to be exhaustive but can help you articulate your operating model.

The “One Business” Company

  • Company competes primarily in One Market
  • Most likely, the company is organized functionally (sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc.)
  • Most likely, there is One P&L

 

The Highly Centralized Corporation

  • Big, strong corporate headquarters
  • Most of the big decisions are made at corporate
  • Divisions are partially autonomous
  • Alignment is primarily created “top-down” by corporate

 

The Multidivisional Corporation

  • Strong corporate headquarters and strong divisions
  • Division leaders are General Managers
  • An even balance of power between corporate and divisions
  • Cross-divisional alignment is created by corporate

 

The Federation

  • Moderately strong corporate headquarters
  • Autonomous divisions, often led by Presidents
  • Only a small amount of “top-down” corporate-level alignment
  • Alignment is primarily created at the divisional level
  • Small focus on cross-divisional alignment

 

The Conglomeration – A Company of Companies

  • Small corporate headquarters
  • Company Presidents are highly autonomous
  • Alignment is primarily created at the operating company level
  • Little or no focus on cross-company alignment

 

The Association

  • Corporate has very little power
  • Members choose to affiliate—or not
  • Members pay to be a part of the association
  • Corporate has limited decision authority, and primarily exists to serve the members
  • Alignment is often around a common agenda

 

The Denomination

  • Many different operating models
  • Some have very strong corporate-driven alignment … others have very little
  • Always bound together by One Doctrine and/or One Tradition

 

The Abomination

  • If your company is in this category, you definitely need my upcoming book, Drive One Direction!

 

What is your company’s operating model?

 

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies unleash the accelerating power of alignment, because

Alignment is the ultimate competitive advantage™.

Contact us at start@shiftpoints.com or www.shiftpoints.com.

05-07-19

HOW YOUR COMPANY'S LIFE STAGE IMPACTS ALIGNMENT

SoapBoxDerbyCar

Alignment is mission-critical.

However, how you create it and how much you need is a function of what stage your company is in.

Here is a list of ten common company stages. Which One are you in?

Startup

Some startups develop a strong sense of alignment from Day One. Most, however, are so focused on survival that wordsmithing a mission statement seems like a big waste of time. Regardless, the primary alignment issue for companies in the Startup stage is product/market fit.

Scale-up

Scale-ups have built a viable enterprise but are still primarily focused on One Core Product and One Core Market. The primary alignment issue for Scale-Ups is focus. They must fight the temptation to diversify too much and too soon.

Expansion

Expansion-stage companies are expanding beyond One Core Product and One Core Market. Companies in this stage are starting to add divisions. They might also be adding additional geographic offices. The primary alignment issue for companies in the Expansion stage is building a One-Company mindset before the divisions create division.

Reenergize

Companies in the Reenergize stage have plateaued and need to get the company growing again. The primary alignment issue for companies in the Reenergize stage is getting back to their core—they must prune the distractions.

Realign

Companies in the Realign stage are fragmented and dysfunctional. They have silos and warring tribes. They must confront tough issues and deeply ingrained dysfunctional behaviors—often within the executive team.

Spin Out

Companies in the Spin Out stage are being spun out from a larger corporate parent. They will have a new company name and a new brand. Their primary alignment challenge is to keep the best from their corporate parent and, at the same time, develop their own unique way of creating alignment.

Consolidation

Companies in the Consolidation stage are shedding non-core assets so they can refocus on their core business. As divisions are sold off, it is hard to maintain employee goodwill. Once the consolidation is completed, companies must align the remaining employees with the new vision and strategy.

Transformation

Companies in the Transformation stage have old core businesses that have stagnated. They are focused on creating new ones. For many companies, this is seen as a “digital” transformation, but transformations can come in many forms. The primary alignment issue is maintaining the existing core business while liberating the new one.

Makeover

Makeover companies are solid, but tired. The primary alignment issue for companies in the Makeover stage is establishing a new brand identity and positioning. It can be very difficult to change—aka realign—what customers think of you.

Integration

After a merger, the challenge is to make One Company out of two. Integration-stage companies literally have two of everything—two mission statements, two lists of core values, two accounting systems, etc.—and they must consolidate down to One. Companies in this stage have thousands of alignment issues.

Which life stage is your company in? How does that impact how you create alignment?