(Note: This is an excerpt from Dave Ramos' latest book, Drive One Direction.)
Alignment is a contact sport.
Every manager has a role to play.
Many exemplar companies have institutionalized One-on-One meetings. They are an exceptional way to optimize alignment.
This short meeting, held once per week, can “connect the dots” between your corporate strategy, goals, plans, and initiatives and every employee’s individual activities.
Ideally, this starts at the top. The CEO should have One-on-Ones with their direct reports to model the behavior. The executive team should do the same.
Here are some questions that managers can use to turn One-on-One meetings into alignment meetings:
- Do you think our vision is inspiring?
- What do our core values mean to you?
- Do you understand our corporate strategy?
- How do your goals align with our corporate goals?
- What can we do to improve teamwork and collaboration?
- Do you see any areas of misalignment that should be addressed?
Obviously, there are hundreds of other questions.
One-on-One meetings are just one component of the process known as Continuous Performance Management® (CPM).
One of the benefits of Continuous Performance Management is that it allows companies to increase strategic agility. Fast-lane companies are revising their strategy and goals quarterly. When you develop strategy four times faster, you can respond four times faster … assuming that your company can dynamically realign everyone—and everything—to capitalize.
The second benefit of CPM is that individual performance improves. The discipline of regular One-on-One meetings, structured conversations, and improved coaching produces dramatic results. According to McKinsey, 68 percent of respondents agree that ongoing coaching and feedback conversations have a positive impact on individual performance.
Imagine a company where 100 percent of the people invest 100 percent of their energy in activities that are 100 percent aligned with the strategic plan. Imagine being able to quickly realign the entire company to capitalize on new opportunities or respond to competitive threats. Then, imagine having real-time analytics to measure and optimize goal alignment.
Fast-lane companies are leveraging the power of One-on-One meetings to accelerate alignment. In addition, new technology from companies mentioned in the Work as One chapter can help automate the process and give HR professionals a way to hold managers accountable for having them.
One-on-One meetings are an important component of driving your company in One Direction.
NOTE: Continuous Performance Management® is a registered trademark of Betterworks.