The Value of Alignment – and five methods to achieve it

You hear the word Alignment a lot these days.  Because it has become a buzzword, the power of Alignment is often overlooked.  What is Alignment really, and what is its value?  Let’s define Alignment, explore its value, and talk about how to achieve it.

Alignment is a cultural mindset that leads you to embrace the decisions others in your organization made as if they were your own.  Alignment is the most powerful relationship you can have with a decision.  Embracing the concept of Alignment is a choice and a key characteristic of professional acumen.  If you’re aligned, you own the decision and commit to making it work.  Alignment is a long-term commitment.  It’s an attitude.  It’s a state of mind. 

Alignment gets its power from a simple truth.  A mediocre idea that is well-supported is much more effective than a great idea that is not.  If your work culture promotes the idea that people must buy into a decision to make it work, then everything is an uphill battle, because there is almost always someone who disagrees.  Alignment transforms a group by making it a cultural imperative to embrace decisions that are properly made.

Alignment doubles or triples your results overall.  When a team is aligned, it can get a lot more done, with much less effort than similar teams that are not aligned.  Drama and dysfunction are hugely reduced.  People are happier and more fulfilled.  In an aligned organization, engagement goes way up.

Five Methods to Achieve Alignment

  1. Teach everyone about Alignment and its benefits.
  2. Make alignment, and not
  3. consensus, the preferred point of action in your organization. When people are aligned, they are duty-bound to make the decision work.  When they arrive at consensus, they are only bound to tolerate the decision.  If Alignment is part of your culture, then you can implement the most effective decisions, instead of the decisions that most people find tolerable.  Alignment makes a huge difference.
  4. Implement tools that facilitate Alignment. Effective decision-making tools are a must.  Alignment is forged at the point of decision.  When establishing strategies, priorities, and projects, you can heighten Alignment by ensuring that they support your organization’s purpose, vision, values, and goals.  The rationality that comes from such an approach makes alignment a lot easier to achieve and maintain.  The alignment tools in get at the heart of this and provide a structure for achieving Alignment quickly and effectively.
  5. Be serious about After-Action Review and reflect upon recent decisions and implementations with respect to Alignment.  Did we align before we began?  Did we stay aligned?  How can we align better next time?
  6. Keep Alignment alive and well in your organization.  Talk about it all the time.  Train and retrain.

For more information about the Value of Alignment and how to achieve it, write us at  Also, check out these two resources on Alignment.

About the author – Dave Cahill currently serves as President of and as Managing Partner of Avanulo, a global performance enhancement firm, and Cohost of the TPL Show, a podcast about leadership (  He has taught leadership, continuous improvement, and crisis resolution to thousands of people in 10 countries.  Dave has served in line and staff positions for world-class organizations like Tenneco, Groupe Danone, Mead Johnson, and the US Army.  He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Russian and has lived and worked across the US, and in Mexico, Brazil, Europe, and the old Soviet Union.  He is married with 8 children, four grandchildren, and 18 foster children.  Dave currently resides in rural Ohio with his beloved wife, Andrea.

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