What is alignment and how does it work? 

  • When we talk about ‘alignment’ we mean people are pulling in the same direction, helping each other, supporting each other, and understanding how what they're doing is driving the next level of work towards meeting organisation strategy. 
  • With alignment in place, tiny course corrections can still happen all the time.  Teams realise when their measures aren’t moving, they can adapt and pivot to try something different. Continuous learning is built in. 
  • You can't go from nothing to full organisational alignment. It’s a muscle you build up over time - once you’ve got it working at one level, you can start to build out, and help other people measure what they're doing in the same way. 

How can you get leadership buy-in, then when you’re got that get their time? 

  • Every case is different. The online world makes it more difficult without face-to-face interactions.
  • Sometimes you need someone frustrated/motivated enough to make a difference, make that change, and then use the proof to convince the people at the top (Show not tell). People need to see it in their context, with their people and their problems. 
  • Stories from other organisations can be interesting, but it’s more compelling when the stories are from within your organisation.
  • Start with 1-2 teams when trying something new (it’s the time to make the most mistakes and learn) - better to not put the whole company through that. 
  • If you go too big, too soon, then there can be too many detractors for some people.
  • Sometimes it just takes one person convinced of the change, to drive it from within the organisation. 
  • Using goals can help you achieve lots of big business problems (strategy execution, alignment, communications etc.) Understanding what the leader's specific problems are that they need to solve, and making sure all of your narrative links back and is related to how goals can help you do that (impacts how you start, the approach you take, the enablement) can help enable buy-in. 
  • Being clear upfront about the time it will take to make this work. 
  • Each leader is different; you need a toolbox, not a recipe - different tools for different leaders. Understanding the leader's perspective is key. 

How critical is the role of senior leadership in adopting an outcome mindset?

  • Often senior leadership involvement in fostering an outcome mindset can be unrealistic in terms of commitment and time constraints. 
  • You might get a vacuum above, but in bigger organisations, middle management should be able to give their teams guidance on strategic direction that could enable them to do it in a smaller bubble.
  • It’s not about seniority, it’s about trust. If you want to foster an outcome mindset, you need to believe in people so they contribute in an honest way about what they think/believe, not just saying what they think people want to hear. 

How to get a good understanding of the context of a team?

  •  Normal good discovery practices; talking, listening and learning.
  • Understanding context through discovery and asking insightful questions is crucial:
  1. Why are you using OKRs? Dig for the real answer.
  2. Is there someone senior that will champion this?
  3. If I went and spoke to ten people in your organisation and asked them  what the purpose of their work is, what would they say? Provides huge insight into how communications, strategy and goal setting works in an organisation.