Never Align Your Executive Team To Your Company Strategy (Unless First...)

Chief executives want their executive team to be aligned to their firms strategy.  To do this they start with with a great company strategy that has typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars/pounds/euros to put together using world-class strategy consultants.

The chief executive feels assured that executive team members should be aligned with the strategy as they were each consulted while it was being constructed.  

The chief executive holds an executive off-site just to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.  Often they bring back the strategy consultants to facilitate this session.  Everyone nods and overall there is agreement that the strategy is the righ for the company.

Everyone returns from the business and the strategy starts to be implemented.  

After a few months, you, as chief executive, start to observe to your frustration that the implementation is stalling in some area, also perhaps some of the executive team members are still more focused on their silos than company wide initiatives.

You thought the executive team were aligned to the strategy, but they aren't.

Moral of the story:  Never align your executive team to your strategy.

Unless first you…

                                   …ensure your executive team clicks. 

That is:

  • your executive team is aligned as a team
  • they have a collective executive team purpose
  • they know, and agree, what is expected of them as an executive team member
  • they have drawn up guidelines for individual and collective behaviour
  • any individual or team dysfunctional behaviour has been expelled
  • they understand how they tick as individuals
  • they understand the dynamics within the executive team
  • they calibrate their performance against other top-tier executive teams

Many executive teams don’t have these fundamentals in place.  So it is no surprise that they don’t click and dysfunctional thinking & behaviour means they are not aligned to the company strategy.

And this lack of alignment means your strategy is less likely to be effectively implemented and your company's success in the marketplace will be reduced.

Take-away:  Never align your executive team to your company strategy unless you first ensure your executive team clicks.  (And when your executive team clicks there will be no future need to align them to the company strategy as all will be in sync).

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