Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2017 - 15

BUILDING LEADERS
SAM SHRIVER & MARSHALL GOLDSMITH

CONSTRUCTING A

MONUMENT?
When we found out the central theme
of this issue was "strategic alignment,"
several
executive
acquaintances
flashed through our heads. None was
more prominent than the image of
David Brennan. Among many other
career highlights, David is the former
CEO of AstraZeneca. He currently
serves on a number of boards and
advisory committees of one kind or
another. Central to our purposes here,
he has always been the kind of person
who could reduce the most intricate
and complex dynamics into their most
practical and concrete essence. We
spoke with him recently about strategic
alignment and he did not disappoint:

"I've always thought about strategic
alignment this way. Say you are walking
down the street and happen to be passing
a busy construction site. You see three
bricklayers. You approach the first one and
ask him what he is doing. He answers by
saying, 'I'm putting mortar on the bottom
of these bricks.' You continue and ask the
second one the same question and he
tells you, 'I'm putting up a wall.' You get
to the third, repeat the question and she
stands up, looks you squarely in the eye
and with unrehearsed conviction tells you,
'We're constructing a monument!'
With David's vignette as a backdrop,
let's agree that strategic alignment
translates to people (in many cases
large numbers of people) who are
frequently diverse in every imaginable
manner and focused on achieving two
or three goals of significance. There
are many benefits imbedded in that
kind of working relationship, but chief

among them are increased productivity
and amplified engagement.
PRODUCTIVITY
Effective performance management
initiates with a clearly defined strategy.
As per the age-old analogy of "Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland" approaching
the Cheshire cat in the tree at the fork
in the road and asking, "Which road
should I take?"; if you have no idea
where you are going, it simply does not
matter which path you follow.

EFFECTIVE
PERFORMANCE
MANAGEMENT
INITIATES WITH A
CLEARLY DEFINED
STRATEGY.
Clear strategy that is simple and
easy to understand affords everyone
the opportunity to align their
daily activities and calibrate their
progress. This connection in and of
itself doesn't necessarily guarantee
productivity targets will be achieved,
but the probabilities associated with
delivering desired outcomes is greatly
enhanced when "the flag at the top
of the mountain" is in plain view for all
to see, and represents a destination
that captivates the aspirations of those
signed up for the journey.
ENGAGEMENT
We are all well-acquainted at this point
with the power of discretionary effort.

If you have an organization full of
people who have "bought in" to a
strategy, it almost invariably translates
to increased communication and
incremental adjustment based on
emerging
circumstance.
Stated
differently, people who have "bought
in" care, and when people care, they
take ownership. And when they
take ownership, they take personal
responsibility for fixing problems (that
no one could have predicted) pretty
much in real time.
Read anything ever written about
CEO Alan Mulally and the Ford Motor
Company from 2006-2013. What you
will find is a real-life example that
chronicles the efforts of thousands
of Ford employees worldwide in a
monumental turnaround effort. In
overly simplified terms, the strategy
developed and communicated by
Mulally was, "Here's where we are ...
here's where we need to be ... and you
(Ford employees) are the people that
are going to get us there!"
We would argue there is not a more
effective technique of increasing
employee engagement ever devised
than providing a crystal clear "what," and
supporting those with a vested interest
in achieving that "what" to figure out the
details associated with the "how."
Marshall Goldsmith is the world authority
in helping successful leaders get even better.
Sam Shriver is the senior vice president
of commercial operations and product
development at The Center for Leadership
Studies. Email Marshall and Sam.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT 20 1 7 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2017

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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
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