Twenty-one years ago, as I was exiting corporate life as an international start-up and turn-around specialist, I founded my own company, ExecuVision International. The focus then, as now, was to help companies develop organizations where every member had the opportunity to contribute at his or her highest level of ability.
In those early days, there was no marketing strategy. The projects we acquired came through referrals, keynotes, and workshops. Much of the time, the initial contact with a potential client was initiated through the Human Resources department. The most frequent request was to facilitate a strategic planning session.
Like any start-up, we were very happy just to have a client. We accepted essentially any challenge thrown our way, simply to develop business and find our feet. With strategic planning requests, we often found ourselves repeating the same conversation:
Can you facilitate our annual two-day Strategic Planning session this year?
If our calendars allow, we can probably do that. You say this is an annual event?
Yes, we do this every August. The entire Executive Team and some of the Management Team is involved.
Who facilitated last year?
I know … Why aren’t you using … again this year?
His plan didn’t work.
We heard variations of this conversation several times. We, because we were a new and untried company, accepted the projects. At the end of two days we usually had what seemed to be a viable plan, which in reality was not strategic at all. It was a tactical work plan with tasks, people, milestones, and timelines.
After a few of these lucrative but frustrating assignments, ExecuVision changed our focus. It was because we realized that next year, we were going to be the company whose “…plan didn’t work”. That is not how we wished to be remembered.
Our conversation with HR changed. When we were first contacted, one of our first questions was, “When was your last Strategic Alignment retreat?” That changed the entire conversation. We also quickly realized that we were talking with the wrong person, since the HR person considered us a vendor, not a strategy partner.
Our subsequent conversation had to be with a very senior C-Suite member. That conversation was about how well the Executive and Management Teams were aligned with the overall vision of the organization. It was a very different conversation than we previously had held.
That was in the beginning – twenty-one years ago this month. Since then, we have established an excellent track record, working with over 400 organizations to help them find alignment and clarify both their vision and their individual roles.
ExecuVision, of course, also had to learn to become more selective in the companies we took on as clients. What is known as strategic planning is a simple but not easy, mechanical process. Strategic alignment, on the other hand, is only for the courageous few who are seeking organizational transformation.
We have identified seven key alignment components that we consider essential in any effective organization:
- Time Management
- Appreciation and Recognition
Recently, we developed a very effective and easy tool to help you assess your own alignment with your team. On these seven areas, you assess your own ability and estimate the corresponding ability of your team as a whole.
At the end of the five-minute assessment, you and ExecuVision receive a brief report, which becomes the basis of a free, non-committal Zoom conversation about the results. Once we have studied the results, we will contact you to set up a time to talk.
To access the assessment, simply click on this link and complete the five-minute survey. https://assess.coach/iexecuvision
We look forward to helping you evaluate the results!