Building a visionary company requires 1 percent vision and 99 percent alignment. When you have perfect alignment, new people coming into the company should be able to quickly grasp the company's purpose, mission, vision, and values without ever reading it on paper or meeting a single executive. Thus, as a leader, creating alignment may be your most important work.

When companies fail at reaching their full potential, it's often due to misalignment between the company's purpose, mission, vision, values, and strategy, and the work people in the organization are performing. At its core, most companies face the same challenge; how to unify the organization to achieve a shared vision and produce results.

Misalignment is basically like a train that goes off the rails. The train still has momentum, but its direction is unpredictable. For example, although a strategy may exist, it's mostly being ignored, and people are following their agendas with little regard as to what impact their actions have on the success of the company. Misalignment is usually also accompanied by the lack of a coherent vision and poor leadership.

The first step to reach alignment is to recast your purpose, mission, vision, and values into a compelling context for building a visionary company.  The next step is to create a strategy and align on what success looks like and how it's measured. Finally, you need to ensure the right competencies exist within the team and create accountability by connecting work to outcomes that support the purpose and mission, and progress toward the greater vision.


Inspired by: Total Alignment: Tools and Tactics for Streamlining Your Organization