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02
Apr
2011
Strategic alignment is the mainframe of strategy


It is not all about the strategy that we approve in the boardroom. It is not all about how well our human resources can work to follow the interdepartmental objectives in our view. It is merely not about how far we know ourselves. It is not all about merely how far we know about our market. Actually it is all about aligning different variables of strategy to avoid conflict of interest within organization and aligning organization’s grand vision with market & macroeconomics, then aligning those to multiple organization factors.

In my consultancy career I have seen many businesses getting failed even after producing plans and strategies based on the single point “What we think is best”! It was merely because of their failure in aligning their employees & technology with grand plans or strategies.

Even many times I have seen businessmen and top managers making plans or strategies that were not aligned with macroeconomic and market sentiments. They were more interested to go for a kill in their over ambitions.

In majority of the cases where organizations reaches failures is not because of absence of finance or sinking of reserves. Finance and reserve shortage is an outcome not a cause. They actually gets failed to understand their strengths and weaknesses, absence of wide and accurate knowledge of competition structure and strategies, lack of understanding over industrial trends and innovations & last but not the least; failure in creating spark within organization’s variables and workforce to accept corporate strategy as a prime source of motivation & individual to overall success.

In my view the strategies need to focus the implementation factors of strategy than factor of making a strategy within. If you are going to make profit of $10 million where you can not convince your variables [departments, employees and middle tier management] to align for the same so, it is better to work for $5 million where you can motivate all the variables to work for the cause. The best thing in business is to know your capacity first and then working to enhance your capacity to raise the level of your objectives and visions. If it is all set then $10 million is not far.

We need to keep interacting with our workforce, market and overall economy to understand key factors for strategy formulation. May employees can respond superficially over our big bang slogans while actually they are not ready or prepare mentally to work that big. In this regard being business leaders we need to come out from our chambers and boardrooms to know the real strengths and weaknesses of our workforce and then preparing them to align with our plans and strategies.

There are very few middle tier managers that can understand our strategic goals beyond their wordy meanings. It is not their crime rather the instincts of their leadership role being a middle managers. If we can not flow our leadership to the bottom of our organizations we can not electrify our strategy. In this regard strategic alignment requires top leaders interacting with bottom organizational leaders at least once in a month. So they can understand and communicate in their own styles to future bottom of the organization.

Technology is another important factor. It is the main source of communication & being communicated by other factors inside and outside an organization. Many companies rather like to work manual in the Middle East and they never try to access their organization’s key info factors via technology. Technology provides efficient mean to understand what is going on in minutes rather than manual days. Even technology is the key element to understand the markets and macroeconomic factor that are essential to align your stated strategy with the macro environment. Technology is also important to create customer’s support procedures that work in parallel to our client’s service strategies. When I say technology I count research in the same as for me research is the best technology. Our misconception about technology is merely restricting it to machines.

Many times I have seen departments within organizations work as rivals. The top rivalry is of Marketing and Finance department. It is even a result of top management politics whereby they want their watchdog “finance department” to pull marketing aggression as it costs. It is indeed ridiculous as in this way the top management signals that their strategic goals are ambiguous and when they want marketing to work successful they equally don’t want their finances to utilize as requited for an impact factor marketing strategy.

This is where a lot of CEOs and top managers need to improve. If the vision and objectives are clear, then marketing and finance need to know their exact roles and position. If the budgets are well agreed then finance department’s role has to supervise potential variances and if marketing need revised budgets they need to reach the boardrooms to post their perspectives.

I am still not in line with confidentiality policy of various companies. If the meetings connected to business policy and strategy are that confidential so how the bottom unit of corporation can understand about corporate goals and vision. I think the CEOs need to install televisions in each and every departments of the company that telecast business policy meetings so they can get a feedback and understanding of strategy from the organization as a whole.

I know that majority of management theories and principles comes out from the military organization but it is 2011 and now we have to understand that business is not ARMY, NAVY or AIRFORCE. The distance of leaders from macro environment, markets and organizational units can severely affect strategy formulation and more when strategy is going to be implemented. Leadership and her communication style count in motivating and aligning workforce towards accomplishment of goals that serves everyone’s benefit.

In my regard being a leader of three emerging companies in United Arab Emirates I take strategic alignment as a mainframe of my strategies. This is all about my intention of working the best leadership for my companies that I am sure would be so big in future in her business and corporate culture. I think other business leaders and managers need to think about it. May they can find sure shot reasons of their failures in past or today when the world is crying over the crises and the confidence of business community is shaken. We need to align our strategy with market, macroeconomic factors and our customer’s expectations & then we need to align our organizational units and workforce with our strategy and the rest is all success. It is all about alliances, the world is no more a market of standalone strategies or better I can say that it has never been.


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Mr. Omer

Mr. Omer [1982 born] started  his professional career as a commercial / investment banker after achieving Gold Medal in Finance at master level from University of Karachi in 2006.

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