Preview Thursday: Transform Your Company
The following is an excerpt from Transform Your Company: Escape Frustration, Align Your Business, and Get Your Life Back by Alex Vorobieff.
The Beginning: Business Alignment
I always knew inherently that there was a place to start taking the dysfunction out of a business—and a way to keep it out.
The name of that starting line is business alignment.
Business alignment really boils down to a set of essential questions. You as the leader of your company ask these questions about your business. Then you and your team use the answers as reference points to make big and small decisions. It sounds simple, but business alignment is incredibly powerful. It provides clear but invisible lines and guidance for people throughout the company. Using these lines, people are able to calibrate and coordinate their efforts, so that you can finally get the results you’ve been expecting.
Alignment always starts from the inner core of a company.
In my experience, companies that try to align starting from the outside—where they interact with customers and suppliers—are never able to change.
Business alignment is a logical place to start transforming your company into a business that actually works. It’s where you get people on the same page—before they start getting frustrated with each other.
The power of business alignment is that it addresses the real cause of the symptoms that make your life hell as the leader of a dysfunctional company—the horrible meetings, the email quagmire wars, fighting fires all day, and so on. Problems like these always come back to people not knowing the essential reference points: where they’re going, how to get there, what behavior is acceptable, what is expected of them, and how to get back on course when they get stuck.
Business alignment is the missing business school subject. We see cover stories of uber-successful entrepreneurs who seem to go painlessly from startup to billionaires in a few years. But those magazines ignore the stories where the excitement wears off, the frustration sets in, and years or decades go by without any forward progress.
How do you transition from you and a couple of people in an open room to tens or hundreds of people who work together effectively? How do you actually get your business to where you want it to go, without everything depending solely on your effort and energy? It all starts with the question “How do you get people on the same page?”
Not “What planning system do you use?” Not “What is your management system?” But,
“How do you get people to paddle together in the right direction?”
Business alignment really boils down to the same principle they use at the Disneyland canoe ride: “If we don’t row, we don’t go.” You as a leader are responsible for getting people to effectively row together. And you do that by asking essential questions and then communicating using the answers.
At its core, business alignment helps you find a starting line, so that you can finally plot a successful course to the finish line. And just like any journey, before you take the first step, you need to know where you are and what is standing between you and the destination.
Alex Vorobieff is the founder and CEO of The Vorobieff Company, a premier business-consulting organization. A highly sought-after speaker and business alignment coach, Alex Vorobieff has helped scores of successful companies eliminate the real source of their frustration using business alignment tools (a term he coined after years of working with and investigating different business systems).
He shares his how-tos and techniques through Confident ROi magazine and his latest book, Transform Your Company: Escape Frustration, Align Your Business, and Get Your Life Back.
In addition to solving thorny business problems, Alex Vorobieff enjoys pursuing his hobby of photography.