“Everyone Needs Their Alignment Checked Every Now & Then”
This was a witty response an advocate of mine once said to somebody who was inquiring about http://www.mattsilver.ca and what it is my company does. The comment was meant to be funny (metaphorical reference to car alignment being checked), and also meant to be serious. What makes it witty is that both statements are equally true!
As mentioned in previous posts, I often find myself engaged in some energizing and interesting conversations with people. One of the more common topics that naturally arise is the definition and purpose of organizational alignment. People often ask me what it is and how I go about achieving it within an organization. I’ve had several dozens of these conversations over the past few years, and can now safely say there are some patterns I’ve learned to recognize in myself and the people I talk with.
Some people will recoil or question the validity of new words, titles, or ideas – that’s just human nature. Anything ‘new’ means change, and change isn’t something we usually enjoy. When we encounter something ‘new’ it also means we aren’t as comfortably in control of what the ‘new’ word, title, or thought process is, mostly because we’re encountering it for the first time. Because of this, I’ve found some unique challenges when contacting new advocates and/or clients who are curious about ‘organizational alignment’.
I’ve now experienced a few times where advocates and clients have felt: “I know how to best organize the leaders, vision statements, and teams in my organization, I don’t need any help at all! Who are you to tell me that I’d be healthier with your help?!!” Politeness usually stops them from saying it directly to me, but on those rare times when somebody does feel this way, you know it’s there! It’s in their eyes and body language with bright flashing neon signs and loud sirens making sure you haven’t missed the emotional cue this isn’t something they feel in control of or informed enough about to be comfortable with. Again, it’s our human nature to project an image of being in control and well informed… Who doesn’t want to look in control and informed?
So how should a person answer (or advocate) what an organizational alignment specialist (like myself) does, while at the same time trying to minimize the potential of raising their guard? Let me interject a moment of vulnerability here and say I don’t have a perfect solution to this quite yet. The reason being that each individual or group I talk with has it’s own unique sensitivities and/or receptiveness to organizational alignment and the ways we all need help. From dealing with organizational CEO’s and boards who need a healthier and clearer mission statement, to supervisors & team leaders who need established healthier teams, all the way down to the teams themselves who need to work together in a healthier and productive way. Every level of every organization needs an outside-in perspective, along with a helping hand in their organizational alignment… That’s where I come in!
To this day I still find it humorous that the struggles of being an organizational alignment specialist don’t occur when I’m working with organizational heads, leaders and/or teams…to be honest, those are the most rewarding parts of this job! My clients find the process to be enjoyable once I get involved which energizes me even more and round and round the positive circle goes. The best part is that my clients are not only the benefactors of the process, because I work in partnership with them, they actually get to take ownership of those benefits!
*Shameless plug –> feel free to read my testimonials page at http://www.mattsilver.ca for more proof of this).
The problem that pops up from time to time is during initial contact with potential advocates and clients. If only they could see the end results for themselves and how easy it is to get there, I wouldn’t find myself worrying a perfect iron-clad answer to what an organizational alignment specialist does. Truly, that is 65% of where the stress load of my company arises…
I fully believe the end results of healthy organizational alignment speak for themselves which is why I probably fall short as a salesperson (I’m happy I don’t have to be the guy who sells ice to people living in the Arctic, because I know they don’t really need it, nor would they benefit from it). So as I sit here today, returning to the world of blogging my company’s journey, I would encourage you to stop and read some of the many articles that are being written on the necessity of healthy organizational alignment and team dynamics… The sheer amount of research and published reports that are proving the necessity of these things is staggering, and I encourage everyone to get on board before they become the last (and least productive) organization to do so.
To learn more about this, please visit http://www.mattsilver.ca Together we can change the culture of your organization and actually enjoy doing it at the same time!