I noticed that the steering wheel of my vehicle had started shaking a little more each week than it had in times past. First, I checked the pressure to make sure that everything was aired up properly. I checked the tires themselves for unusual signs of wear to determine if the problem is internal or external. I noted that the tires had unusual wear and took it to the tire shop for repairs. The main problem was that the car was out of alignment. Consequently, I also needed to get new tires because of the wear. Once wear patterns emerge it would be difficult to maintain alignment. The shop could put it back in alignment, but the awkward tire could recreate the problem. Money and time would have been wasted.
May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Organizational alignment is critical to moving forward together. Like a rowing team, if one part/member is not rowing or rowing in the wrong direction it creates havoc. Once out of alignment, it creates other hazards like the example above of blown tires, wrecks, and more. If caught early enough the damage would be minimal and not much would need to be done other than simple alignment. However, if the problem has been present for a while then other costs are going to come into play.
Getting your organization into alignment is much like a country song I heard back in the 90’s, Meet in the Middle by Diamond Rio. The leadership and body need to come together into alignment. If the body of the organization has a vision, mission, and values set but the leadership does not follow then the group can veer off course. The opposite is true also. If the leadership is of one mind but the group is of another then it will also veer off course. Through proper strategic planning, both parties can come into alignment. Like tires, the left and right side must work together in order for the car to drive properly.
How do you do this?
- Decide on vision, mission, and core values for the organization. There are great resources available to every group on the web. Search for these key terms and begin researching for your organization.
- Create job descriptions of the work force that have a purpose which lines up with those decisions and have duties and responsibilities that match up to the purpose. Each job needs a clear purpose and the assign tasks that lead to the fulfillment of that purpose.
- Set smart goals each year for the group and for the leadership.
- Evaluate and adjust as necessary. Sometimes simple alignment is needed. However, if left unchecked then other repairs might be necessary such as new tires, u-joints, shocks, struts, or springs.
Getting into the shop for alignment is never convenient and rarely cheap. However, this cost is less than a new car especially when the whole car is not the problem.