12 - Alignment
To strengthen the impact of the team on the company’s outcomes, you will have to ensure the alignment of the team’s actions with a broader strategy.
But what is strategy?
Strategy is neither a path, nor a plan.
“Strategy is a deployable decision-making framework, enabling action to achieve desired outcomes, constrained by current capabilities, coherently aligned to the existing context”. Stephen Bungay, The Art of Action.
Strategy sets a destination, expresses an intent. It is the decision to achieve something in order to generate an expected outcome.
To achieve the expected outcome requires to properly align three components: the strategy, the operations and the tactics. Tactics are the short term actions we realize, for instance, a project for the team. Strategy is about doing the right things. Operations are about tying the strategy to the tactics, and doing things right.
To become a successful EM, you’ll need to deploy a very strong execution model with the team. You’ll have to take actions to align properly the strategy, the operations and the tactics.
As an EM, it will often be about communicating and explaining the overall context, why we run these projects, how they are connected to a broader initiative, how the team is contributing to the success of the company.
A powerful way to achieve this is to create a shared understanding with the team by stating their mission clearly. Then it becomes easier to connect the dots, and to have the same articulated mental model to link the why, what, who, how, when.