Relatively early in my general management consulting career I gravitated to the complexity required for enterprise-level change. Since then I have practiced and studied a number of the academics, the books and the techniques required to bring about change- large and small. One theme common to all is alignment.
Alignment of the executives, sponsor and change team. Alignment of the communications and plans. Alignment of the various stream and work-package teams. There are a number of dimensions and constituencies (See, for example, Stakeholder Analysis- A Swiss army knife for managers). A simple way to think about, and quite frankly communicate, alignment is something we have referred to for at least a decade as the Concept of One.
When taking on complex projects, you can drive alignment by applying the Concept of One to a number of critical elements including by way of example:
- One mission
- One integrated strategy (business & technology; marketing & operations)
- One decision making structure and process
- One economic model
- One map (roadmap)
- One team (as appropriate, Swift Teams)
- One organizing concept
- One set of common methods and tools
- One communications plan
- One implementation plan
Getting the buy-in to create the the softer concept of alignment, or common “language”, can sometimes be a little easier by advocating for the more concrete “Concept of One”.