In Part 3 of this 6 part series, we dive into the specific process your organization can use to become purpose-driven, with this week’s focus on operational alignment.

The next big question to be answered by your entire organization is “How do we allocate resources over the next year so that we can continue to “run the organization” on a day-to-day basis AND – at the same time – begin to invest to change the organization in pursuit of our long-term vision?”

Up until now, your leadership team has been thinking about your strategy “in a perfect world”. It’s the people on the front lines, however, that have to address the real-world issues of what it takes to deliver your products and services, and to sell and support your customers every day. A strategy for balancing both short term and long-term priorities can only be addressed by involving the people who actually DO the work, and by providing assistance, direction, and eliminate or mitigate roadblocks to help them figure out the best way to get there. The end result of this operation alignment phase is a roadmap of operating plans and change initiative plans to guide the next year.

During this phase of becoming a purpose-driven organization is where long-term vision of strategy meets the reality of running your business for the rest of your organization. In many organizations, this process is referred to simply as “annual planning”. During this process, the conflicts between resources required to meet normal operating demands, and resources required to support strategic priorities and change initiatives, are identified and reconciled.

At the conclusion of the Operational Alignment phase, all annual operating plans will have been completed, balancing the resource demands of “running the business” and changing it at the same time. You will have at your disposal:  a long-term plan that details the change initiatives; operating plans for each unit, including updated goal targets and the vital few annual supporting projects; workload management plans, which include resolution of resource, schedule conflicts among operating units, cross-functional initiatives and individual workloads; and individual plans, which include updated goal target and supporting projects for each person, including their professional development plans for the year.

Watch this short video on how to achieve operational alignment in your organization:
Click here to read part 4!